Gig reviews

Lottery Winners at The Sugarmill on Saturday 11th September 2021

A review of The Lottery Winners at The Sugarmill on Saturday 11th September 2021 from Ay Up Duck Radio’s Rob Ledgar

Definitely Something to leave the house for….

When you kick off a set with walk on music of Delilah by Tom Jones in Stoke-on-Trent then you truly know your audience. 

Leigh’s finest*, The Lottery Winners visited the Sugarmill as headliners on their current “Something To Leave The House For” tour.

L-R Rob Lally, Joe Singleton, Thom Rylance, Katie Lloyd

This multi faceted band wowed the audience with their unique mix of indie/ power pop tunes, kicking off with “Headlock” which is their most listening to tune from their debut album, which this re-arranged tour was originally meant to promote.

Frontman Thom Rylance is the master of stage craft, he involves the audience from the first minute to the last and keeps you immersed in their sharp, punchy, well rehearsed catalogue of song!

More audience engagement comes with Intros to the band before launching into the wonderful anti reality tv tune “That’s Not Entertainment”

Thom delivers more banter about the Sugarmill/ Lottery Winners backdrop and his pants “which reminds me this next song is called Little Things” followed with a song from their soon to be released album “Something to leave the house for” called Favourite Flavour.

The question that comes up next is “Why are all gigs in Stoke weird?”…this turns into a full on Will Smith rap with full audience participation while guitars are being tuned!

Another poppy, radio friendly,  new song “Sunshine” features bass player Katie Lloyd (Ko-lo) On vocals which also helps Thom have 5 mins to rest his voice.

Lead Guitarist Rob Lally has his turn to front the band for a short period, he plugs their next album pre sales by bringinging on stage a guitar that can be won if the album is pre-ordered while Thom trolls him with put downs. Rob then teaches the audience the chorus to “Much Better” All are participative as Thom counts them down to a “video shoot for the new single” and The Mill is bouncing. (see video link below on YouTube – there may be a swear in there so age restrictions apply)


The pace changes to a steady stroll as the classy and reflective “Overthink Everything” is next up.

“Start Again” suddenly ramps the energy up especially as Thom leads the audience to believe that the original joint vocalist on the song, Frank Turner is in town, then laughs hysterically before he convinces the crowd that “You are Frank Turner, This is the Sugarmill and Stoke version!” They don’t dissapoint with their passionate vocal accompaniment to the chorus.

Older classics like “Elizabeth”, “Meaning of Life” wrapped up proceedings before the encore when the band came back on stage without drummer Joe Singleton to perform the first song they wrote “Emerald City” in part acapello style before mixing it into Caravan of Love.

Joe re-joined the band to close the set with the anthem “21” “I don’t wanna go home” “This is how it feels to be 21” the crowd sings and it certainly did feel that way too. It’s the sort of set that makes you yearn for more, not want’t to go home and is  Definitely Something to leave the house for….

All in all a great night, from a wonderful band who know how to truly connect with their audience. 

Any up and coming bands would do well to go see The Lottery Winners if they want to learn stage craft.

*Leigh is also famous for being the birthplace of Pete Shelley frontman of The Buzzcocks

Tune in to Ay Up Duck Radio’s “Jumpers for Goalposts” ( ) show – 3 til 5pm every Thursday  with Ian Ledgar to hear more from the Racket and Lottery Winners


Lottery Winners Set List 11th September 2021

Pottering About With Batto – Gigs – I WAS THERE!

Pottering About With Batto – Gigs – I WAS THERE!

On my show on Ay Up Duck Radio on Wednesday 14th October 2020 I asked people to share their love of music by sending me pictures of gigs they were at. I was overwhelmed by people sharing their photos. I’ve included some of them below along with a link to my show.

Listen Again to the show here which included tracks from :-


Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot – Market Street

(list artists and songs)

insert pics with text of who and when


Ay Up Duck – ‘Quacking’ new radio station flys into North Staffs.

New Radio Station in Stoke Signal start of new era in 6 Towns

Launch of Ay Up Duck Radio on 22nd June 2020

DATE Friday 5th June 2020

Ay Up Duck, there’s a ‘quacking’ new radio station flying into North Staffordshire.
Ay Up Duck Radio is the name of a new community radio station launching soon in North Staffordshire. It is the brain child of friends Dave Johnson and Rob Ledgar,
The station will be broadcast online and be based in the heart of the city of Stoke-on-Trent at The Coachmakers Arms in Hanley.
Landlord Rob, said: “We expect to start slowly and build the station show by show. We will be encouraging volunteers to create their own shows by supporting them to develop their interests to create a radio show to share their passion.
“Our ambition is to get our signal beyond the Six Towns of our city, transmitting all over the world sharing the creative culture and passion that we have for North Staffordshire.
“Our city has given the world a rich diversity of talent, including the likes of Lemmy from Motorhead, Robbie Williams, Jackie Trent, Slash from Guns ‘N’Roses and Punk icons Discharge.
“If we can add further to that by helping another musican to get that all-important break, or if we can help develop a presenter, then we’ll be very happy

Dave, a former presenter at 6 Towns Radio said: “Ay Up Duck Radio aims to be a totally independent, advertisement free, community radio station for everybody, whether that means sitting in your armchair at home listening to the music or becoming a volunteer presenter.
“Should you wish to present your own show, or wish to explore any other opportunity in radio or written journalism, we would encourage you to get in touch. You can contact us by email at ‘’.
“We can offer you training to help you on to present your own show or get involved in other aspects of a radio station.
“We are looking for people who want to join us in whatever capacity they feel comfortable with, whether that be presenting, interviewing people, writing for the website, administration or helping meet and greet guests.”

Ay Up Duck Radio plans to start it’s first live broadcasts on Monday 22nd June 2020.