The Crauford Arms is one of a very few popular venues in the Milton Keynes area accommodating local gig-folk. It host regular events from a variety of bands, but unfortunately the town doesn’t attract many big-names, largely due to the music culture scene still in its infancy. However, there are many talented emerging artists that make a pit-stop. The venues walls are laden with cross and bones skull décor making it a cosy home for the hard-rock scene. This evening Slam Cartel have stopped by on their World Star Love Tour.
‘Dream big’ is Slam Cartels motto as they embark on a mission of world domination. They began their journey five years ago whilst meandering in the sun on a boat thinking up big ideas. Fast forward in time to the present and they are still chasing their dream with gregarious amounts of energy and enthusiasm. With such gusto it begs the question: why are they still haven’t pierced the vale of world stardom yet? Tonight’s gig may provide some insight.
Due to an unfortunate illness, Slam Cartel are down a member and the hard-rock musical ensemble have become a quartet. They get their set started at 9:30 with their song ‘Power Storm’ with a curious and supportive crowd. There’s a lot of space in between the small number of people that have joined to watch. This doesn’t reflect their popularity very well, but in the bands defense the room is bigger than the usual gig venues. The number of people in the room certainly doesn’t reflect the quality of a band either as support act Summer Cannibals, which played before Slam Cartel, were enthralling. The locals just haven’t come out to play yet resulting in quiet Friday night.
With sweat dripping off his face, Lead singer Gary Moffat is evidently giving his all tonight. He moves around the room energetically for a good hour and half. All of the members are keeping up. Newbie guitarist JC’s guitar riffs are highlights and even though there is only a dozen or so people watching, they play for a crowd of hundreds.
Songs from their album ‘Handful of Dreams’ are played and a few other songs released as singles, with each one getting a pleasant reaction. They end their set with ‘Once In A Lifetime’ and there’s an itch for more.
Having played at a number of festivals so far and on the radar of influential musical entities, this is band that for all intense purposes should be bigger than what they are by now. Perhaps it is a side effect of being an unsigned band that keeps them held back. Either way, they will no doubt endeavor to continue singing on the road to world domination – no matter how long it takes to get there.