Support: Clean Cut Kid
@The Bodega Nottingham
I hadn't planned to go to this gig, hence, the absence of an official ticket on the gig listing page. (the other gig with no ticket - I accidentally threw it away!) My sister was visiting me for this week and I wanted to show her around Nottingham. The best way to show her Nottingham's musical culture was of course to go to a gig. So off we went. Walking down Pelham Street, the Bodega was the most obvious choice (has now become my favorite venue).
As the support band Clean Cut Kid stepped on the stage to begin the gig, we ordered our soft drinks and stood by the left side of the stage. The audience didn't seem to give much attention to the support artists. I wasn't much impressed by them either. They looked like nice lads but nothing too exciting to hook you.
The lead singer's voice was interesting; it did not match his appearance at all. As you can see in the picture he is a bearded fellow with an electric guitar, stereo-typically you would think (see I'm dumping the blame on you!), rephrasing, I thought he would sing with a deeper voice. To my surprise, he has quite a high pitched voice (the same surprise you have of George Ezra's appearance-voice mismatch!) My first reaction was: this guy sounds like Passenger.
After they sang all their set list, it was time for Fickle Friends to take the stage. Half the audience went wild - I think you can guess which half? The younger half. The band seemed very approachable. My sister commented that the lead singer was too casually dressed for a gig. She was wearing a jumper and black pants. Although I understand her point, I appreciated the lead singer's apparel because of my Kitty, Daisy and Lewis's gig experience.
Fickle Friends went on to sing their songs. All teenagers knew all lyrics and sang along. Most danced to the songs too. They seemed to have a good time. My sister and I noticed a girl, right across us, that had came along with her mother. She was a sweet looking girl, she knew all the lyrics and danced a bit while taking pictures with her phone and probably chatting with friends on her mobile. We also noticed a group of kids, girls and boys, behind us that were dancing like crazy. Some of the girls had glitter on their faces and were dressed quite retro-stylish - seemed like 'the cool kids'. My sister and I thought that it wasn't worth us standing in the front row and we told them to come in front to enjoy watching the band closer. They got excited and thanked us. Now they were right in the front watching the band and merrily dancing the night away.
Our initial happiness of letting the kids enjoy the band up close was shadowed by the look of the girl across from us. Once she saw the 'cool kids' dancing and having a good time she got sad. She stopped dancing and you could see it in her face that she felt bad she was alone while those kids had gone as a group. Maybe they were in the same school? I don't know. But I felt so bad. High school is such a bad experience if you are not a 'cool kid'. I wanted to go up to her and say things get better. 'Cool kids' momentum is during high school - yours is later in life. Just hang in there.
She did try to ignore their presence and started singing along to the next song but her eyes still wandered to the group. Unfortunately, her mother didn't seem to realize any of this. At this point, my sister and I decided this was too much of a teenage gig for us and thought it was time for us to depart. This is the first gig I genuinely felt sad. Had nothing to with the band. The band seems to be doing really good with its targeted audience but it didn't hook the older crowd including us.
I still wonder about that girl. I wish the future is bright for her and she has her momentum in a glorious way.
Fickle Friends' social media links:
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Support: Bang Bang Romeo
@The Bodega Nottingham
I have known about this sibling trio for quite some time. I first heard them sing in the movie 'Last Chance Harvey' the very catchy 'Mean son of a gun' and I was impressed of their voices and their energy. Looked them up on youtube and followed them on facebook. Hence, I was delighted to find out they would have a gig in Nottingham.
This was the second gig I would be going since my move to this city; so I bought me a ticket and was ready to rock-a-billy 'n'roll.
It was a workday but I made sure I got home from work on time and walked my dog before I made my way to the venue. Got there on time, my usual soft drink was purchased and my feet were planted at my usual left side of the stage. All was set for a good night. The supporting artist was Bang Bang Romeo with a female lead singer with a strong voice and personality. She sang a few songs, and welcomed the crowd. Interestingly enough, the crowd was standing away from the stage. She must have felt like we teachers feel when we enter a classroom and all pupils are sitting at the back seats with all the front rows empty! She actually commented on it! 'Come closer, this is f***** awkward'! The crowd obeyed (Very effective but I'm pretty sure this approach would not be appropriate for a classroom!)
By the time Bang Bang Romeo finished their part and we had a short break for the stage set up, the venue got filled. The audience was people over 30-35, with the majority over 50s. I can understand that, as I always regarded Kitty, Daisy and Lewis a retro-vintage band singing mostly country/folk/rock 50s/60s inspired songs. (I know, for somebody reviewing gigs, I suck at categorizing bands!)
Anyway, all instruments were in place and the sibling trio along with a pair of supporting musicians, their parents, took their places on the stage.
Once on stage, they started straight away on their gig and straight away I must admit it - I didn't like it! They played a string of songs I didn't recognize, but that wasn't the problem, the problem was they didn't sound interesting enough for me to care for them! Yes, they are great musicians with all siblings being skillful at all instruments - they even rotated on the instruments. I wondered was that to show off or just logistics of sibling sharing the work!? They even have interesting voices, I have average Joe gig goer ears and their voices sounded good. Just the whole thing together for some reason didn't work.
It wasn't just me, the whole audience was numb too. You might think I was under the impression that the crowd was numb because I wasn't having a good time, but no I tell you they were and I have proof. It wasn't until Jamaican trumpet player Eddie Thorton 'Tan Tan' made an entrance that rejuvenated the crowd. He even commented on the crowds numbness 'Are you asleep?' he playfully asked! (this is my proof) The crowd finally woke up with his trumpet playing and engaged really well with him.
Lewis was well dressed, but the girls... one was dressed with a checkered (green, white and red) tight jumpsuit - which frankly reminded me of the Joker on a deck of cards and the other of what reminded me of a 70's tennis attire.
You may think, so what about what they wear? True, but the attire combined with the behavior was not my cup of tea. Miss Joker ( I don't know which one is Kitty and which Daisy and at this point, I really don't care to google it) was singing her tune and strumming her guitar and kind of grinding on the guitar (unless I was so disappointed at that point that started seeing things!). It wasn't even appropriate/complimentary/suitable for the song sung.
Miss Tennis on the other hand, with her very short shorts/skirt was sitting with her legs wide open playing the keyboard. I don't play keyboard so I don't know if for functionality reasons you must be seated with legs open. If you do, then maybe wear something more appropriate. You will tell me now, well it was shorts don't be such a prude. Well, first thing first, her bum was hanging out and secondly, the sight of her bum and her wide open legs got me shoved by three men in order to get in front of me to picture it. I don't know whether she realized her bum stole the bands thunder (whatever thunder they may have had) or not but she did make a comment about her bum. I don't remember the exact 'joke' but the punch line was that old men should not pinch young girls bums!
At that point I had had enough and decided it was time for me to go. I was very disappointed of the band. Lewis did a great job. On his solo song he engaged the audience. If I had an advice to give him, I would say drop the girls and go solo. They are dragging you down. I'm sorry to say this as I want to always support female artists as I think we don't have enough, but this is not an occasion I feel I should support them. I wonder what their parents thought of the show!
After that show, I unfollowed them on facebook but if you are interested in them and see if I am right or not, here are their social media links:
Website Twitter Facebook
Support: Misty Miller
@The Bodega Nottingham
I have known the Crookes since I stumbled upon their 'Yes, yes, we're magicians' Burberry session on youtube. They immediately caught my attention and after listening to a few more of their songs I was hooked; so much so that they became my new favorite new band! So as you can imagine I was thrilled to find out that they would be gigging in Notts. Without trying to sound like I fangirled... I bought my ticket straight away!
On the evening of the gig, I arrived on time - exactly when the door opened that is. Bought me my soft drink and settled on the right side of the venue with a great view of the stage. Might I add that I went straight after work - so I was in my work attire, not quite the gig going look. Once the venue slowly filled my 'style' started more and more to stand out. The crowd were young adults - them college kids. Looked at those around me to make sure I didn't recognize any - thankfully nope (n.b. months later, I did spot one of the girls on the hopper bus!).
If I recall correctly the song was about how nobody likes someone on drugs. (I looked up youtube but couldn't find the song :/). After the song ended, I was left with the question: are the lyrics true and if so which one of them took drugs? Drugs are bad..bad...people waste their youth, their lives on it - not worth it. If indeed true, I'm glad they are clean now.
Once Misty Miller was off the stage and after a good few minutes to prepare the stage, the Crookes made their appearance. Vibrant, full of energy, in a single word: Awesome! To be fair, I had high expectations as I did name them my 'new favorite new band' and boy, did they live up to my expectations! They were great! It wasn't just me (the fangirl) having a great time but also them college kids in the front row. They were dancing and jumping around. They created a 'jumping wave' pushing one another to and fro, screaming the Crookes band name. One handsome lad even reached out and shook hands with the lead singer.
But how could they take it 'slow' for a bit when all the songs are quite upbeat! Well they found a way. The slowest part of the gig was the duet they had with Misty Miller 'Ex Lovers'. Lovely song and very nicely sung. Their voices really blended well.
Just your average gig going creative writer. Expect these reviews to be highly subjective and completely unprofessional but hopefully entertaining and informative.