I only managed to catch the last 7 acts, but what I saw was probably a good representation of the whole event. There was a huge variety of music types, from a female signer and male guitarist who took on pop greats such as Rhianna and Katy Perry in their own style (Kate and Matt). On to a female singer and guitarist who performed all her own things and had an established and mature sound to her voice (Louise Brent). Quite a unique sound, the only thing I can compare her to was perhaps a more mellow Belinda Carlisle.
By far the two stand out performances from what I saw were Maxi Rai, a female singer and guitarist with long dreads and an informal stage presence. She did a very good cover of Portishead’s Glory Box, as well as playing some of her own songs which were both lively suited her style. She has a strong gravelly voice, and was a refreshing change from the prior acts I had seen. A bit like Florence Welch but with a bit more conviction and pain behind it.
Second to last, and I wish he had been last to end the night on a high, was Milegamax. A male guitarist and singer. Again a style and sound all his own. Mostly played his own songs which had story, and were just mesmerising. He has a soft, bluesy voice that I could have listened to all night. His songs were polished and not a wrong or sour note. Milegamax finished his 30 minute set with a fantastic version of Sinatra’s ‘That’s Life’, which no one can deny is a classic. I think that anyone listening, even if they didn’t like the original (is that possible?!) would like his version, with his smooth as honey voice.
The Fleece as a venue is a bit dingy and sad. Of the light fittings not a single one had all the bulbs working. The chairs and tables, although not a permanent feature, were shabby and cheap. Having come in from a nice light and actually relatively warm June evening, I was struck by just how dark it was in there.
I am more than happy to support and listen to artists and mix of performers, however I did feel that the order of the performers should have had a little more thought behind it.
Having said that at £5 per ticket in advance it was still excellent value for money.