Posts Tagged ‘southsea’

Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS.

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Lissie (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Removing electricity from rock to leave behind only the voices and guitars, beckons assumptions that only a raw, atmospheric gloom will remain. On her acoustic tour, Lissie backs this up at least to begin with, during the profane ‘Shameless’ – its erratic rhythm built from knocking on the wood of her guitar.

Her chaotic movement escalate from tapping to stomping during ‘Further Away’, and while ‘Sun Keeps Risin’’ might normally be peacefully layered, its lost volume is compensated for by impressive belting. It is all a great twist on the country singer’s repertoire.

However, the the mood quickly takes a turn. Proposing a toast, wine aloft, Lissie seems to be the friendliest soloist around. With a beaming grin, she tells fans how she holds the UK dear, having found her international break here. Now an independent musician, she feels that she has a “cozy old friendship” with everyone.

The fans clearly agree when they are drawn in to discuss roast dinner and Lissie’s nastiest tour story of her guitar smelling unusual. Brilliantly, tonight feels as much like a performance as it does a Sunday evening family get-together.


 

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Photo 391Now here is a blast from the past. From 2006-2009 I wrote the music column in South Downs College magazine. After I made a lecturer cry when I explained the illness related woes of school, after she asked whether I would write a column on how I got on with my life, it was decided that it would be music from then on. This was perhaps my first taster of music journalism. Pitched by myself, and entitled ‘South Downs Musical Showcase’ (a title that I’m still ashamed of), it was my job to profile and interview bands attached to the bands (read ‘comprised of students’). 

Today I stumbled upon the January 2008 issue. This was the entry profiling Fresh Legs.

If there is one musical act in the College to label ‘a big success story’, this band may just qualify. Fresh Legs is a Portsmouth-based rock foursome, who in their short existence, have gone a long way.

Lead singer Ella Sullivan takes us through their very brief history. “We all met at South Downs College. We were just doing covers as part of a music course. Then one day we just thought ‘Let’s start writing our own stuff.’ None of us had been in a proper band before, so it was all rather exciting.” The band’s material has been influenced by rock acts Kings of Leon and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, after extensive rehearsals of their music in the College studio.

Yet already, they have been recognised by many publications, most notably Portsmouth’s ‘The News’, who awarded the band with the prestigious Best Band title. At the ceremony, Fresh Legs performed to a monstrous crowd, filling Southsea’s Kings Theatre. “The Guide Awards was also something we are very proud of. It feels bizarre for us to be so warmly accepted! Playing at the Kings theatre was an amazing experience – a very bizarre and aesthetic set.”

The critical acclaim hasn’t stopped here either, with Fresh Legs receiving a nomination in NME’s BReaking Bands, after playing just four gigs. On top of this, Fresh Legs have attracted attention from several other bands, having been given the privilege of supporting the critically acclaimed The Maccabees. Ella says that this was the moment that they could be sparking a music sensation. “Being asked to be the main support for The Maccabees was probably the biggest achievement in our eyes. We had all been listening to them way before they were big, so were amazed when asked to support them.”

And the Fresh Legs snowball is rolling further, as Ella sets her sights on the future. “We have been approached by several labels with regards to single deals, and we have chosen the one we feel we are best suited to. All will be revealed after the New Year but a single should be expected around May time.”

Internet user reviews have praised everything from their genre-bending tunes (‘It does exactly what it says on the tin, fresh’ – MrPaul), to aural and visual onstage eroticism (‘filthy female fronted passionate, raw raucousness!’ – Chris1013). TFresh Legs have something for everyone, whether you enjoy your hard rock music, or simply ogling at the performers.

Taking note of the success that The Maccabees have had, we can expect to hear a lot more from the fresh four. “In the future, you can expect a warmer climate and some fresher legs!”

Should we have been discussing ‘eroticism’ at the time? Probably not. Oh well.

 

 

This is a review of Sonic Boom Six’s performance at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, written for GUITAR CAFE. They were supported by The Barebackers, Zegema Beach and Imperial Leisure.

Read the full review and much more at www.guitar-cafe.co.uk.

Manchester multi-genre rockers Sonic Boom Six brought their intense live show to Portsmouth.

Kicking off the festivities were The Barebackers with a “song about a hypothetical gay man”.  This was just the beginning of tonight’s eccentricities as they took off into an “anti-protest song” wringing out the heaviest music that they could possibly get out of their instrument collection, which included a ukelele, a flute and a melodica (which for those who don’t know, can be best described as a ‘wind keyboard thing that looks like a Fisher Price toy’).  Lead vocalist Huw Olesker ordered the audience to play along with their madness.  “Everyone come forward. There’s a rail for a reason!”.  Sure enough, the audience obliged.

Next up were reggae-rockers Zegema Beach who induced further insanity, but with a twist.  It was a rare thing to witness, as despite the chaos, and a frame of mind summed up by a less-than-charming cry of “this song goes out to fucking no one”, they sounded close to perfect.  The harmonies and the rhythms seemed flawless, something that needed to be seen to be believed.

Final support act, or “very special guests” as the posters describe them, Imperial Leisure then took to the stage, albeit with difficulty, as nine members squeezed onto the stage.  Just as with their precursors tonight, their great performance can be defined by a scream from the frontman, whose first words tonight were “this one is all about going fucking mental!”. Despite his lyrics being smothered by the huge band’s dense blanket of guitars and brass, it’s a safe bet that he was telling the truth.

Then finally the lights dropped and a rainbow-coloured laser show began, something usually reserved for venues far larger, set to the sounds of the opening monologue of Star Trek, though not as you might remember them. “These are the voyages of  Sonic Boom Six…”.  The curiously titled five-piece, led by the even more curiously titled Barney Boom and Laila K, wooed fans into moshing, crouching and jumping (replicating Slipknot’s infamous ‘jump the fuck up’ routine) for the next hour, with yet another peculiar cocktail of noises.

Tonight they went out to prove that it is possible to go from the anger of the guitar-heavy ‘Karma is a Bitch’ (“This is Nick Horne and this is his guitar… take me to heaven!”), to bringing out Imperial Leisure’s trumpeter and the aforementioned melodicas once again, and not sound disjointed.  They even found room to drop a sample of PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ into two of their tracks, and when that wasn’t enough, they let the tape run to do the infamous dance.  It’s bizarrely mischievous enough that it seemed to be less about making it work, and more about getting away with it.

Midway into the show, Barney asked “We are six songs in. Would you say we’re now friends?”.  A unanimous “yeah!” from the audience says that it worked out just fine.

7/10