Fieldhouse launch their new EP and a neo-soul band proves their piping hot. Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury reports from a packed Caledonia.
While it’s hard to deny this was four acts playing in a room above a boozer, it was about as far removed from a set of pub bands as you could possibly get.
Canadian singer-songwriter Robert Mulder, part of the current LIPA crop, started the night off with a handful of engaging acoustic shuffles, his inspiration gleaned from anywhere and everywhere; one track penned after an encounter with a homeless couple, another telling the tale of how his grandparents met.
Second on the bill were Sloe Panda fronted by Mark Jones, former bassist with Manchester indie rockers Air Cav.
Their swirling psychedelia took a tune or two to rumble into focus, but the soaring guitars, seamless dynamic shifts and yearning vocals on Winter Sun showed them to be more than capable of constructing an unbreakable, epic wall of sound. Fans of Tame Impala and Cymbals Eat Guitars would do well to keep an ear out for these guys.
Next up were the improbably named but impossibly talented Coffee and Cakes for Funerals. The beauty of their material is in its unique sound but broad accessibility. Any genre can introduce them, any listener will be instantly reeled in and rewarded.
Joe Hazlett‘s neo-soul vocal stylings are a constant, while Mike Blackburn‘s effortlessly natural fretwork sets the tone for each number; be it stuttering, one-note hip-hop riffing on I’m Fine, jazz and funk chops on Making Memories or spacious, searching chords on Next Lover – a track which is sure to top the charts and break some hearts.
Headliners Fieldhouse deal in big pop-rock that is capable of switching from earnest and tender to bold and raucous in seconds flat.
Run their positivity through the plethora of effects pedals at their feet and the end product is somewhere between a more upbeat Muscle Museum-era Muse and I Am Kloot in a wild-eyed, manic mood.
While their set is perhaps a killer hook or two short at present, their glistening guitar sound – evident at its best on tunes like Blitzkrieg and We’re Not in Love – is sure to be resounding further afield than this city in time to come.