This week’s event was our showcase for local talent; ‘Nightfish’, featuring ‘Onkaur’, ‘Holly Taylor-Gamble’ and ‘The Chase’. Oliver Cobbin was there to witness it all and here’s his take on the whole shebang!
Kicking things off was ‘Onkaur’, aka Shaan Kaur, with her set of smoothly sung songs – some covers, some originals. Although accompanied by an unnamed guitarist, mystery man if you will, the focal point was definitely Shaan herself. She didn’t need a full band behind her or over-elaborate arrangements, as the sparseness on display really suited her voice, which was resonant and emotive. Her cover of ‘Valerie’ was an early set highlight and presented a nice middle-ground between the slower tempo of ‘The Zutons’ version and the soulful twist that ‘Amy Winehouse’ brought to the song. Shaan’s R&B vocal-inflections worked well and were present on the Ben E. King classic ‘Stand By Me’ as well. It was a faithful rendition, which can sometimes result in a boring cover, but Shaan’s version luckily retained the familiarity of the old favourite whilst showcasing her talent as a vocalist. Her début EP, ‘First Run’, highlights her talent as a songwriter as well as a great singer. Opener ‘My Goodbye’ is a slice of reggae-infused pop and works well for Shaan’s vocal acrobatics. A mid-song rap only reinforces the notion that she’s a diverse performer and modern soul rears its ugly pretty little head on ‘Magic’, which sounds like if Stevie Wonder wrote a song for Leona Lewis to croon over. A fitting end to an EP, which is available to buy now and is definitely worth a listen for any neo-soul fan!
Second on the billing was local singer-songwriter, ‘Holly Taylor-Gamble’, accompanied by a few members of ‘The Chase’, who double as her backing band. She opened her set with a cover of the Britney Spears classic, ‘Toxic’. The drastic re-arrangement gave the song a darker feel and Holly’s voice was gritty, as opposed to Spears’ sweet tone. ‘I Killed a Man’ followed and was the highlight of the set for me. Despite it’s morose subject matter, the song brought a smile to my usual-sullen face. Holly performed a melismatic vocal intro before the band joined her for a waltz-like verse. It was the sound of an evil oompah band, with a squirt of alternative rock for good measure. Holly’s really come into her own as a performer since her spot at Rough Trade a few months back, and her wailing vocals on the chorus to ‘I Killed a Man’ could rival that of Anna Calvi. Her backing band are rhythmically tight and adept in providing accompaniment for her vocal workouts. This is a darker brand of alternative rock, gothic almost, if not for Holly’s red attire – it was election night after all! Her favourite brand of Doritos may be ‘Tangy Cheese’, but cheesy her set definitely isn’t. Holly’s upcoming plans are to continue gigging, however sporadic that might be and work on more material for a future EP.
Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall
Tame Impala – The Less I Know the Better
The Beatles – Real Love
Lana Del Rey – West Coast
Reverend & the Makers – Black Widow
Guilty Pleasure: Stormzy – Big For Your Boots
Last up at ‘Nightfish’ were ‘The Chase’. Luckily there wasn’t a Bradley Walsh cover in sight and, although ‘The Governess’ was due to perform a drum solo, she chickened out at the last minute. Richard Osman let out an audible sigh and the set began. Their brand of rock ‘n’ roll-infused indie was a joy to behold and had the remaining crowd enthralled – one bloke even got up on his chair to drunkenly sway along. The band were tightknit and featured clear vocals from singer/rhythm guitarist, Tyler Heaney. He’s accompanied by his brother, Dion, on drums, as well as their cousin Luke Childs on bass and the line-up is completed by keyboard player James Cahill. Having a combined age of 74, their songs present a youthful take on an old genre, whilst incorporating all the best ingredients along the way. Tyler’s guitar style takes its influences from Johnny Marr, whilst Luke’s basslines are as complex as some of McCartney’s finest, which are all key to a great singalong indie anthem. A cover of ‘Hey Bulldog’ by them Beatles, is a great penultimate song choice and the lads make it their own, with added crunch to this already classic rock song. They next pay their dues to George Harrison with ‘Odyssey’, which is a slice of raga-rock, full of Eastern melodies and drone-like basslines. It’s the title of their upcoming EP and luckily it’s great. There’s no set date yet, but once there is it’ll definitely be one to check out!
Immortal Technique – Obnoxious
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities
Reverend & the Makers – Heavyweight Champion of the World
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
Rodriguez – Searching for Sugarman
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