Assorted Records - Acoustic Night Press and Pictures
Posted on Saturday 26th November 2011 by
We had a great night last Saturday at the Assorted Records Acoustic Night, held at Number 15 in Stafford. Here is a review by Steve Boniface from the Labelled Independant Podcast with a few pictures from the evening!
It’s sometimes hard to know what to expect from nights of acoustic music in venues not specifically designed for live performance. Often they consist of mediocre local artists playing to an apathetic crowd of people who would rather have a quiet drink than listen to what’s happening on stage. I should know, I have been one of those mediocre artists all too often. Thanks to the promotional skills of Assorted Records and their collection of decent live artists though, this particular evening was something of an exception.
The venue in this case was a coffee/cocktail bar in Stafford, and those in attendance had all come to support those putting on a free show. Over the course of this particular evening, put together by the hard working folk from the Staffordshire based indie label, three varied acts all took to the stage and all had reasons for recommendation.
Act One: The Rumour
First to take to the stage were three piece ‘The Rumour’, who quickly explained that this was their first gig as a group, and that usually they would play with a fourth member on drums. On this occasion though, the stripped back nature of the set came across well. Comprising a combination of one acoustic, one electric and one bass guitar behind vocalist Andy Goddard, they played 5 tracks over 20 minutes of tight tunes.
The commercial indie pop sound had an Ed Sheeran-esque feel, a la ‘The A-Team’, and the vocals were delivered with quality and confidence. It would be fun to see how the inclusion of a drummer adds to the sound, as I’m sure it would add to the solid musicianship on show. In general, these songs were well within the comfort zone of the three lads performing, who are doubtless capable of more – I would be interested to hear what they could do if they stretched themselves a bit more, but in the meantime they are well worth catching.
Strongest track: ‘Tiny, Unfixable Pieces’, a gem of a 6/8 ballad. Nice.
Act Two: Sophie Bohanan
Coming off the recent single release of her track ‘Six And Sevens’, Sophie Bohanan is currently doing plenty of gigging and promotion for her upcoming EP Eyeline (including recording the first ever Labelled Independent Live with indiemusicmag.com’s partner podcast – more info below).
In this case her half hour set was a mixture of tracks from the new EP and covers from artists as diverse as Lady Gaga and The Calling via Kings of Leon. She was joined by guitarist Josh, who ably accompanied Sophie’s fantastic voice – one I can well recommend getting your ears around. The pair usually play as part of a full band, so it was interesting to hear how the two of them worked together, and I’m pleased to report their performance of their own original material outshone the more well known songs they selected.
Act Three: High House
Rounding off the evening perfectly were High House, a six piece folk outfit revelling in four part harmonies and backed by (at various points) acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion, banjo, keyboards, violin, electric guitar, accordion and glockenspiel.
The musicianship and vocal control on display here were excellent, and their brand of slow, contemplative, rootsy music was greeted eagerly by those listening. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they injected a bit more pace into their material, but in the meantime their mix of versatility and complexity is definitely something to see live.
High House played for around 45 minutes and were the most polished act of the night, no mean feat given what had gone before and the number of people cramped on the small stage. It would be great to see what they can do with a larger venue, and I’m hoping to find out in the not too distant future.
Strongest track: ‘Cold Hearts, Machine Parts’, an excellently constructed track with a strong traditional folk influence, bringing in accordion and glockenspiel to add an extra folky touch