Location: Gloucester Guild Hall
Date: 27 March 2010Stars: ****
One of Gloucestershire’s leading diverse bands, throwing out punk, heavy metal and funky bass lines with old school vocals. The room busied up when these lads kicked off their teasing intros and tempo turning tracks, all in aid of headlining the afternoon acts for 2010’s Exposure Music Awards. Vintage vocals made a return with no decor striking the chords, revealing a pure, charming tone on top of some admirable music.
Ellen and the Escapades
Location: The Conservatory Cafe
Date: 26 March 2010Stars: *** (and a half)
It was fresh to see some out of town talent who fit so perfectly in the red rooms of the Conservatory Cafe. Straight from Leeds, and the Glastonbury audition stages, the tender tunes from Ellen and the Escapades got quite a respected response from pub loungers and music listeners. With so many instruments accompanying them on stage, and the noise they could make with them, the quintet surprises you with something completely unexpected, charming, enchanting and alluringly delicate. It has to be said that some of the tracks were samey, but in the best way possible. Yours To Keep stood out among the melody of songs. Coming Back Home was another magnificent track which is to be their new single, due out in May. Their folk sound is nostalgic but by no means out of date, as identified by appearances in NME, and interest from Q editor Paul Rees.
A Genuine Freak Show
Location: Frog and Fiddle
Date: 4 March 2010
Despite sound problems from the outset A Genuine Freak Show was packed with powerful sound walls throwing out positive vibes. On tour from their hometown in Reading, this seemed to be their best Cheltenham performance after unknowingly playing a Christian festival, and then to only a handful of people last year at Subtone. What fools the people of Gloucestershire was to miss them first time around!
Playing some orchestrated rock, a blend of tranquil and heavy tracks, dominated by the use of the violin and cello throwing in a unique edge over other bands to have performed here lately. Songs from their soon to be debut album Oftentimes, due for release in later 2010, went down admiringly with the crowd. A worthy eight song set, all of which were a healthy length, included highlights Luckmoore Drive, I Can Feel His Heartbeats and finale She’s Got a Shooter.
They’ve got the sound to fill out an arena, and admittedly would need the sizable stage to suit the seven of them. Squeezing onto the Frog’s stage was visibly restricting them in their presence but this didn’t affect the music. We were lucky, lucky people to catch them rising to their peak. Club gigs might be a rare occasion in the future.