Gig review – Glastonbudget audition at The Soundhouse, Saturday 9th October 2021

with Out of the Blue, Factory Girls and Moose Knuckle

The long, narrow venue that is The Soundhouse is dark on entry and the bar is packed. But before long the lights will be flashing, the crowd will be dancing and the music will be blaring.

Glastonbudget is a popular three-day music festival that takes place in Wymeswold, Leicestershire. Auditions to make it onto the line-up are held at The Soundhouse in preparation for the festival which will take place from the 2nd to the 4th June 2022.

I was lucky enough to make it to the auditions at The Soundhouse over the weekend and I’m gutted for anyone that missed the varied evening of great tunes.

The night opened with the excitable and energetic cover band Out of the Blue. Opening their set with an acapella introduction to Bryan Adams’ Summer of ‘69, Out of the Blue instantly expressed their powerful vocals.

They followed this classic tune with more crowd-pleasers such as Kids in America, Mr Blue Sky, and Take on Me. They never dropped the pace once throughout their whole set, keeping the energy up within the band themselves and with the crowd.

Their stage presence can’t be faulted. The drummer, taking front and centre stage, was a particular stand-out for me, engaging the audience with his energetic jumping and dancing – I’ve truly never seen a drummer with so much energy. Throughout their set, Out of the Blue had the crowd singing and dancing along, creating a wonderful atmosphere.

A few notes fell flat in a few of their songs and, technically, they weren’t perfect with the instruments overwhelming the vocals on a few select tracks but their immaculate energy is unmatched, and you could tell they were having fun – and so was the audience. If they make it through, they would be a perfect fit for an entertaining set as Glastonbudget.

Out of the Blue. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Next up, with a significant tonal change from the previous act was Factory Girls who performed a mellowed out set of original songs.

After taking a moment to settle in, the immensely talented duo took the audience on an emotional journey through their songs. The more chilled out set was welcome following all the energy lost to Out of the Blue.

Factory Girls, performing as a duo, completely stunned me with their technical ability and their stunning harmonies. Their voices are truly something to be in awe of and blend seamlessly as they sing their way through stunning and meaningful originals.

Watching the two musicians feel the music is a show in itself. The passion they have for music is clear as they performed for a captivated and attentive audience.

My personal favourite performance of the night was one of theirs. Their song Shock Horror really got to me. As cliché as it sounds, the harmonies on this track are nothing less than angelic.

Though their stage presence wasn’t up to much, Factory Girls’ musical ability more than made up for it and their chilled-out set was a welcome break from the other more high-energy acts of the night.

Their vibe, to me, is comparable to some of Jake Bugg’s acoustic songs which I absolutely loved. If you’re a fan of Jake Bugg, I’d definitely recommend checking out Factory Girls for some similar heartfelt tracks with immense vocals.

As they are so much a tremendous musical talent, I have no doubt that Factory Girls will make it big, at Glastonbudget (should they be selected) and beyond.

Factory Girls. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

The final act of the night was Moose Knuckle, another cover band with a brilliant stage presence.

The band performed classic favourites such as Walk like an Egyptian and Are you Gonna be my Girl.

Their best performance, however, was arguably their rendition of Joan Jett’s I love Rock n Roll which really got the crowd going.

Similarly to Out of the Blue, their energy was incredible in a set filled with dance moves and gimmicks. The crowd seemed to love every second of Moose Knuckle’s set, singing and dancing along.

Their covers were pretty by-the-book, not adding much of their own flair to the tracks aside from their stage presence. But, really, who needs to add anything when you have enough musical talent to replicate the songs perfectly.

Moose Knuckle’s energy and technical ability never faltered throughout the whole set and when they closed their set, it was clear that the crowd wanted more – and I don’t blame them.

Karla, the frontwoman of the band, is perfect on the front line. Dancing along as she sings, she is completely mesmerising, her enthusiasm for the music completely unmatched.

Moose Knuckle, should they make it to Glastonbudget, are certainly one to look out for.

Moose Knuckle. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Reviewed by Nanci Rawsthorne

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