Review – Glastonbudget audition, 30th November 2018

with Jacki Bartram, OTÈGA and Picto Mexico

Tonight’s show was organised by Glastonbudget Music Festival.

Reviewed by Aleksandra Brzezicka

The Soundhouse was packed on another Friday evening as it hosted the next round of Glastonbudget 2019 auditions. Tonight’s show featured solo artist Jacki Bartram, soul band, OTÈGA and rocky cover group, Picto Mexico. Spoiler alert: in case you missed it, buy tickets to Glatonbudget now – all of them got in!

Jacki Bartram opened the night in the daring 80s vibe with the cover of Nena‘s 99 Red Balloons. Perfect interpretation of the song, on the acoustic guitar, showed the audience what Jacki can do with her impressive vocals. Her original songs, though lyrically simpler, took the audience on memory lane through the stories of everyday life fighting from the survivor’s point of view.

Especially Papier-mâché Heart, dedicated to everyone struggling with mental health issues and I’m Alive, deserve a plus for authenticity. Back to covers, while Bartram’s interpretation of Katy Perry’s Roar surprisingly worked very well, Kings of Leon Use Somebody was OK. However, Jacki’s talent, originality and Bob Dylan/Patti Smith attitude touched deeply.

Jacki Bartram Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Next one is up-and-coming, four-piece Leicester based band, OTÈGA. Started with a few psychedelic tones and chill vibe of Circles, the group quickly became an energetic mixture of funky soul. After quite a big crowd of cheering fans, they got warmed-up, the group performed their first single, Running Away. The song, released with Somewhere Records, is more R&B influenced, easy-going and fun to listen to though not banal. The melodiousness of it blends in well with Kelechi Ilo’s vocal, a bit mellow and playful, creating a sense of harmony and wholeness. Though the entire set was not as diverse as it could get, there’s always a space to evolve.

Special comment goes to Breathe, standing out with originality and a kind of freshness as the best track of the set. The band finished with a cover, quality equalling the original, of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy. The boys from OTÈGA put on a skilfully played performance, leaving the audience with an appetite for more.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of OTÈGA performing at this gig.

OTÈGA Photo: Kevin Gaughan

At last, from rural Melton Mowbray, the stage was blown away by the rock & roll force, known as Picto Mexico, a covers band performing everything from 60s classics to contemporary indie. The first notes of Play that Funky Music got the audience swaying along with the charismatic vocalist. Picto Mexico proved to be not only a very decent band being able to cover Little Richard as well as Stevie Wonder but a bunch of professionals, enjoying a bit of the showmanship. The excellent version of iconic Johnny B. Good and great guitar solos are worth pointing out.

Get down to the Soundhouse on December 14 for another round of Glastonbudget 2019 auditions.

Picto Mexico Photo: Kevin Gaughan