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Dot to Dot “On the Fringe”

It would appear three is the magic number…

Words - Beth Foster-Hunter

Another year of Dot to Dot, another year our fair city was filled with artists from near and far. 

Within the celebration you could find a myriad of musical flavours to savour. However, this year I chose to spend most of my day dotting around venues on the fringe, experiencing what our local talent had to offer. Not only did this turn out to be a cracking choice, full of impressive performances, but I noticed a little pattern on my travels… The pattern of three. Yes, almost every band I saw was composed of a glorious threesome! So, in keeping with the theme, I have selected three acts, made up of three members, from three different venues who left me wanting more…

Jahrel JP & The Future – The Carousel

Kicking us off with a hattrick of talent, we had Bobby on the drums - bearing both his chest and percussion prowess - as he delivered righteous rhythms. Dan’s guitar appeared, almost impossibly, to invite a soprano to the stage, as he danced between rock, blues, psychedelia, indie, post-punk and what I can only describe as spoken-word-rock-gospel? An aural feat indeed! Then we had our front man – Jahrel JP, presenting us his unique vocals and bass with the kind of unbridled joy and wit you pray for at a live performance.

They began with a call to ‘step inside the place’ a fizzy funk number that inspired everything from fulfilled head-bobs to unadulterated foot-stomping across the room. From here, we journeyed with them through a medley of soundscapes - leading us to church on Sunday! As Jahrel raised his arms high in the air and delivered an undulating rock gospel, culminating with the scream “we can kick the f**kin’ door, right?” so forcefully, I almost did. 

This is a band that enjoys themselves so naturally, they compel us to do the same. Catch them when you can.

The Basement Fruits – 31K

As we ambled up Hockley, another trio caught my ear from 31K. From faaaar downstreet, you could hear their tight and funk driven sound. 

Made up of relentless guitar, meticulous bass, and faultless drums, we were drawn into their auditory fruit bowl. Once in there, they delighted us with the dichotomous sounds of angelic vocals alongside funk-grunge melodies. The audience were gladly introduced to their impressive musical stylings as they moved between genres without jarring. 

Truly impressive musicianship and ones to watch as their performances ripen. 

Dusty 4 TrackI’m Not From London stage #1 @ The Angel (Downstairs)

As dusk settled on Dot to Dot, what better way to lead us into the evening than some good old classic blues folk? And in Nottingham, these guys just might be the holy trinity.

They remained bestooled throughout, treating us to their boppable guitar with ease and expertise. Will delighted us with some lesser-spotted foot tambourine choreo alongside his classic blues guitar, as Russ coolly strummed his bass like an old friend. Then there was Ben who, having finessed his voice on most external instruments, decided to gift us with his singing voice, and we were so glad he did. The song was ‘Stay’, which happened, as we were captivated by the classic blues-folk sound met with Ben’s delicate, heartfelt vocals. 

By the time they reached the end, demanding we ‘put on yer dancin’ shoes’, everyone already had. Watch out for these guys as they continue to play their souls out around Nottingham. Our editor tells us their new release "Get Down" will be released through our favourite label (I'm Not From London Records) on the 28th June, catch them play The Nottingham Waterfront Festival at The Canalhouse on July 6th!

Honourable Mention (from beyond “The Fringe” and beyond Notts)

Cosmorat  Bodega (Upstairs)

This post-punky-poppy-rocky three piece delivered something truly out of the ordinary. With the immediate, strong vocal stylings and exciting musical conjuring, we knew we were in for a treat…

As they bowed, contorted, and twisted (literally) to their own musical creation, we were invited to play with them. They gave a childlike darkness that you couldn’t quite put your finger on and seem to have reinvented No Doubt for a contemporary, punkier audience.

An energetic and exciting performance - I hope they bring Cosmorat back to our neck of the woods. 

As always, there was far too much to see for my eyes alone, but word has it that good times were had by all across the city. As a firm believer that music is therapy, it was wonderful to attend this yearly ‘group session’, delivered by sensational songbird therapists. I think I speak for all of us when I say much love and gratitude to all involved in organising and performing. Long live festivals and live music in these precarious times!

Review by Beth Foster-Hunter


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