Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Week 6: hmv Next Big Thing festival

Last week was the hmv Next Big Thing festival which  I was working on, so sticking to my resolution was especially easy.  I dropped into various gigs during the week.

Highlights were:
- The Phoenix Foundation, Upstairs at the Garage as part of the Memphis Industries Night.  I've heard a few of their songs on the radio since, and quite like them.

- Morning Parade at Heaven, supporting the Airborne Toxic Event - great band, these guys sound very polished and I can see them cracking the charts - they've got the right sound to appeal to the masses, kind of Killers-esque rock with a great vocalist and they give a great live performance.  Sure we'll be hearing more from this lot in 2011.

- Sissy & The Blisters - I'm mentioning these guys merely because they were a very sweet and polite bunch who deserve to do well.  They've only been gigging for 6 months and by their own admission they tend to split the audience with their music, but they sounded great and I'm sure they'll find their niche.

- Josh Weller at the Jazz Cafe - Josh is a good showman who likes interacting with the crowd.  The audience seemed to react well to his music which was good, but not great.  It's quite simple poppy music and it's hard to see how it'll make him big.

- The Airborne Toxic Event - I really don't get the following for this lot.  They were a lovely bunch, but their music didn't really grab me.  Still, this was the largest of the hmv Next Big Thing gigs and was sold out, so they're obviously doing something right for some people...

- The Chapman Family and Mazes at The Garage - again, not my cup of tea.  Sadly we left before The Young Knives in order to scoot over to the Jazz Cafe to see Josh Weller. 

- Banjo or Freakout and Dutch Uncles at the Memphis Industries Night - sadly neither of these bands lived up to my expectations.  We ended up leaving after a couple of Dutch Uncles songs.  The Phoenix Foundation should definitely have headlined this night.

- Heart Kill Giant, Upstairs at the Garage - I'd listened to this lot online before popping upstairs to see them, but from the outset they were out of tune and the songs just didn't sound right live.  A band who sound good in the studio but need a lot more practice in the live sphere.

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