Gig review – Western Park Audition at The Soundhouse, Friday 24th March 2023

Hugh McManners. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

with Hugh McManners, Ro Jordan, Daz Lynch, The Bellatones and Code Switch Theory

Reviewed by Trevor Locke

Organised by Zander Events

This was the first of two sessions held at The Soundhouse to audition acts for this year’s Western Park Festival which is due to be held on Saturday 22nd July this year. To find out more about the festival see the link below.

 Hugh McManners began the evening. I noticed he sang a song by The Beatles, accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar, A Day In The Life, from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967. That formed part of a very enjoyable set of songs that were appreciated by the audience. Hugh is an artist with considerable presence and character.

Hugh McManners. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Ro Jordan, a singer with a very engaging voice and engaging stage manner. Her songs enchanted the audience. Clearly, an experienced artist she ably demonstrated her versatility. Presenting songs with feeling and passion. Her latest single was reviewed on Music in Leicester (read the review here). Ro played at the WPF in 2019 – see the review here.

Ro Jordan. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

 One artist took to the take who needs little introduction. Daz Lynch is a doyen of the local music staged. A stalwart of the rock scene in this city. His performance tonight reminded us of his considerable resources of character and the type of songs that brought back memories of the past. If you want to hear more from Daz, he has several videos on YouTube under ‘Daz Lynch Music.’

Daz Lynch. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

The Bellatones was a group that I had seen many times before. Four musicians most of whom provided the vocal lines. Quite a complex sound, I thought, from what I heard. Lacking their usual drummer tonight, their set provided funky songs that went down well with the crowd. As the band says on its website, ‘From folky beginnings as an acoustic duo in 2011, Bellatones have evolved in to a multi-instrumental 6-piece genre-defying band with a reputation for soaring melodies, driving rhythms and dramatic songs showcased in their energetic live performances.’ Something we can easily salute.

The Bellatones. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Code Switch Theory a band that says they play 21st century new wave, power pop, rock n roll. I heard punky vocals over a rocky background as they started with their set in a good deal of spirit. They have performed before at the Western Park festival. Songs pushed along by the lead singer, as with their track, Check On Two which can see seen and heard on the band’s Facebook page.

Code Switch Theory. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

One band did not play (who were billed to be there): Mysterious Blues.

 This was a good night out for me and, I am sure, for the many others who attended. A well-organised evening of high quality live music.

 To find out more about The WPF click here.

Reviewed by Trevor Locke

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