Thursday 11th June 2015
with Oblivious, Last Half, Hope for Return, Of Blue Skies and Youth
IT had been a warm sunny day – possibly the hottest this year – so on a balmy summer evening a trip to The Shed was an inviting prospect. Launching the evening was a young band called Oblivious.
This four-piece acoustic group of two boys and two girls (but no drummer) was a singing band. They sang several of their own songs. Not bad – not bad at all. They delivered a good set of acoustic folk tunes.
Interesting point: A member of oblivious Kai Ross is the son of Peter Ross, the lead singer of Leicester band Sugarsnatch (now defunct) who I wrote about a few times for Arts in Leicester magazine.
I stayed to hear some of the set by Leicester band Last Half, which featured the work of ace guitarist Andras ‘Andy’ Illes. The band describes it genre as: Hard Rock/Post Grunge/Alternative Rock/Metal. Last Half is appearing at The Bridal Tavern on 20th June.
Duty called and I have to make my way to the next gig.
with Reuben Wisner, Abandon Her, Once Vagrant Souls and Blackwell.
Earlier in the day the bubbly EB-C of Dreaming in Colour Productions invited me to the Cookie tonight – seeing that one of my favourite bands was on the bill, I decided that would be a good thing to do.
Sadly I arrived too late to see Reuben Wisner and Abandon Her; having seen both of them at the Riverside festival, it was not too disappointing.
Once Vagrant Souls is a band I saw at The Soundhouse recently. I was happy to see them again. OVS plays good music, has appealing songs and melodies with engaging accompaniments, so this makes them a band well worth listening to – a very agreeable blend of sounds and lyrics. The song Addictions and Attractions allowed the band to demonstrate its admirable chemistry and its infectious beat soon had the audience clapping along with the band. A catchy tune that got everyone in the groove. It’s instrumental passages were impressive. This drew enthusiastic acclaim. Woman At The Door cantered along at a brisk pace, it’s County-and-Western styled rhythms catching people up in its stomping tempo. A single, releases a couple of weeks ago, came next. From the first chords you could tell this was going to a song you would like. It was laden with gloriously memorable riffs and won justifiable excitement from the crowd. OVS’s last song – Girl – started with a fizz and then fanned out into a vibrant dance number that got everyone moving. Lead Singer David Lewis showed no signs of flagging after half an hour, his vocals continuing with unbroken commitment as he took people with him into the clappy chorus. First rate.
The headline band of the evening was one that I had not seen (or heard of) before. Blackwell was a trio whose lead vocalist played on the keyboard. As they got into their set, you could see why people had been talking about this band in glowing terms. When you see a band for the first time, you don’t always get it; not so with Blackwell – from the first song it was very obvious that you were in the presence of a set of professional musicians. Immensely good music flowed from the stage. When they broke into a song imbued with ska-style rhythms they had me totally hooked. This band was musical aristocracy. One song after another brought sprightly, catchy sounds into the room, full of springy beats and infectious danceability. This was a band that knew how to write supremely good music and its three members had an obvious chemistry, not often seen but roundly appreciated. Andy Blackwell, from London, gave an impressive performance with his two colleagues and this one night that will be remembered as a moment.