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LIVE: Nottingham Rocks!

19 September 13 words: Tom Hadfield
Nottingham's best up and coming talent play alongside a 14-piece orchestra
Georgie Rose

Georgie Rose - photo by Laura Patterson

What a night! Nottingham Rocks was a “show off” evening for the city. A chance to boast some of the unbelievable talent this town has to offer in the sexy surroundings of the Theatre Royal.

The audience was spoiled for sound as each act was accompanied by The Limelight Orchestra – a 14 headed musical masterpiece that provided luscious backdrop to the show. Set in the luxurious setting of the Theatre Royal the whole evening had a touch of class to it.

For starters on the gourmet feast of talent was young Georgie Rose. This girl has a sound and song writing ability mature way beyond her years and supported by her band this performance was breath taking from start to finish. Georgie’s influences stem from the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and her poetic lyrics have a countrified story-teller blues sound. Throughout Georgie’s short set the audience are not only treated to Georgie’s sweet voice and string work but also the bluesy harmonica (becoming a Georgie trademark) and some luscious piano playing. Highlight of the performance was the soul stirring rendition of King Of Me in which Georgie’s voice builds and builds with haunting power.

Up second is Amber. When a band is playing only its 6th ever gig on a stage like the Theatre Royal you know they can’t be half bad. When you find out that their 4th and 5th ever gigs were at Reading and Leeds Festival this summer then you sit up and take note. Fronted by Joshua Keogh, this 5 piece create an emotional storm cloud of delicately soft indie sounds. Technically impeccable, Amber are a master class of musicianship. The songs are crafted in such a way that Joshua Keogh’s voice is the backbone to each track, the lantern guiding us through the dark and poignant vibrations. In parts the sound is very skeletal (similar to the minimalist style of The XX) with Joshua’s voice standing alone creating a beautifully fragile experience. There is also a definite whiff of Mumford & Sons, not just because of the crisp white shirts and floppy haircuts but because of the band building and building their noise to create an atmospheric tsunami of sound.

Harleighblu

Harleighblu with the Limelight Orchestra

With her debut album Forget Me Not out next month, these are exciting times for Nottingham’s sassiest artist Harleighblu. It is impossible not to smile as this girl bounds onstage (with her supercool looking band) glowing with infectious charisma. Harleighblu’s song writing ability is seriously impressive, with her coming album full of potential hits. Tonight the audience are treated to a sneak preview. Probably the act most enhanced with the backing of the orchestra - the bass heavy, almost funky vibes are stepped up a gear with the addition of the brass. Her voice sits somewhere inbetween Miss Dynamite and Duffy but possesses its own uniquely honey-coated deliciousness. The album is out October 14th but you can pre-order via iTunes.

Saint Raymond aka Callum Burrows is perhaps our city’s most promising young talent at the moment and there is a palpable air of anticipation moments before he walks on stage. After overcoming some initial sound problems: “It’s so distorted I feel like I’m playing a rock show. It’s cool!” Saint Raymond soon returns to his more familiar smooth indie sunshine sound. Melodically, this guy has the envious knack of creating tunes that are catchy as hell like his track Bonfire. A paradox of charming chirpy melodies with darker meanings lurking in the lyrics. Lyrically the young man is a pro, weaving together his simple collection of words with the end result thought provokingly profound: “Your house burnt down in this bonfire, cos this house is not a home when you’re alone.” Surely not long before this guy follows in the footsteps of Mr Bugg and becomes a household name up and down the country.

Nottingham does indeed rock at the moment.

Saint Raymond, Harleighblu, Amber and Georgie Rose played with the Limelight Orchestra at Theatre Royal on Saturday 14 September 2013.

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