Ok, so this is an extremely biased review as I programmed and helped organise the evening but it was too good not to write about! I would first like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who came along, it was a splendid evening and we sold out which I was so pleased about!
The three bands we had playing were Georgia Bruce, Roo Panes and Stokes William. Georgia Bruce first caught my ears when I reviewed her for the New Bands Panal on For Folk’s Sake. I was really taken back by her voice and maturity of songwriting for someone only 16. I featured her as my New Treat back in May and it was a great pleasure to ask her to play the night. She was absolutely stunning. Her early songs are quite new folk but I can see she is influenced by country music and that is reflected in some of the newer stuff, she also played a Dolly Parton cover which suited her voice wonderfully. The audience was completely silent, everyone so impressed which was fantastic and she really deserved it. She has got a great great future ahead of her.
Next up was Roo Panes who was also a New Treat of mine back in November. I first saw him support Stokes, William in the Troubadour, which is a great venue, last October and was blown away. His songwriting is really really good, and it was his melodies and songwriting which first caught my attention. Last time I saw him he played with a few members of Stokes William but this time he had his own band, a really great band too with a stunning string trio which fitted his voice perfectly. His set was beautiful, just perfect. He is playing Camden Proud on March 26th and I strongly recommend going along.
Stokes, William headlined the gig. I first heard about them as their song Zion was a clear highlight of the Communion record. After seeing them live at the Troubadour I simply fell in love with their sound and so jumped at the chance to get them to play the Roundhouse. They hadn’t played a gig since before Christmas before this gig so this was their big London come-back and boy did they make a come-back! They played better than I have ever seen them before. Some of their songs had a heavier, almost Arcade Fire feel about them, but still keeping the great folky spirit. The stage presence they have is brilliant, especially frontman Will, they can really get a crowd going. The audience wasn’t as good as in the Troubadour, where everyone was dancing like crazy, but they were very attentive and by the end everyone was really into it. A truly talented band and one which I’m sure one day will be filling much bigger venues. They are playing Camden Proud on March 24th and the Half Moon in Putney on April 13th.
The night was brilliant. All three bands feel so exciting and like they could all do such brilliant things with their talent and it was a great opportunity to showcase that talent. Folk music is definitely having a serge of popularity at the moment and with young bands like this appearing, it shows no signs of dying down. The future of music looks bright!