As the gig of the year approaches (Sounds Against Slavery at Rough Trade Nottingham on 14th March, in case you hadn’t heard), Impact Music looks back at some of our favourite gigs of the last week. We ventured to London, but (of course) we still had time to check out our beloved Notts venues too…

Jay Prince, Koko, London (03/03/17)

East London rapper and producer Jay Prince has been working. Since his humble beginnings on Bandcamp and YouTube, he moved to LA to find success in his music career, and returns as one of London’s finest.

Boasting one million plays on Soundcloud for his single ‘Polaroids’ and recently going on tour with Grammy-winner Chance The Rapper, Jay Prince has a lot to say for himself. As a massive fan of his work, I jumped at the opportunity to go and see him perform at Camden Town’s KOKO, where at he was headlining his own show amongst supporting acts Yxng Bane, Remz and more.

After biding my time waiting for the supporting acts to finish, my favourite rapper finally came on stage. Jay Prince came through, playing songs from his older classics to cuts from his newly released Smile Good mixtape. This was very exciting. He has so many different sounds, making his performance was extremely diverse. From bangers like ‘Father, Father’ to ‘Polaroids’, the crowd went from a hyped mob to an intimate soul train.

Genuinely, I didn’t just feel happy to be there, I felt happy for him being there himself. I read an article prior to the show, where Jay was saying how he dreamed of this moment – I think that really showed here. Jay is going to be performing every weekend throughout March with different supporting acts each time. Don’t miss out!

Tyrell Peters

Seafret, Bodega (08/03/17)

Seafret brought their soulful vocal power to Nottingham on a Wednesday night. As we sheltered from the cold and Trent students off to Ocean, Seafret created a bubble of peace and immaculate music, as the gig seemed to blend into one beautiful collective of Sedman’s never-failing voice.

Seafret lead Jack Sedman’s effortlessly emotive voice, rich in vocal range alongside Harry Draper’s immense instrumental capability moving from guitar, piano to drum with ease, even fixing a snapped guitar string under a minute on stage. Seafret created a show of palpable talent.

Their debut album Tell Me It’s Real is full of hits, the gig performed in a laid back setting, with merely a light box. Seafret’s awesome vocal and instrumental power stole the show. They played well known crowd pleasers ‘Ocean’ and ‘Atlantis’ and new songs like ‘Be There’. The drawing power of Seafret was clear: the crowd included people from the US, Portugal and Spain, all of whom had travelled to Nottingham to see them. They did not disappoint.

Sedman and Draper’s capability meant the performance could have come from a full piece band. At some points it seemed like multiple people were singing at once. Their obvious talent, alongside their banter and conversation with the crowd created a sense of inclusion and mirth. They were graceful and humble; repeatedly speaking of their happiness to be performing for us.

The audience demanded an encore, and the band ended on ‘Atlantis’ with the crowd heartily singing along. The pair left the stage in an embrace, summarising the unity and peace they had brought to Bodega with their music.  

Hollie Freeman

The Pigeon Detectives, Rescue Rooms (09/03/2017)

The Pigeon Detectives played to a sold out Rescue Rooms on the Nottingham leg of their current tour last week. After two impressive support acts, Auto Pilot and Franklin – who were particularly exciting, and whose song ‘Blind Love’ could easily be in the charts – the stars of the evening came on stage late to wild screams.

When the band finally appeared, they looked oddly mismatched. Frontman Matt Bowman wore skinny jeans and red converse, whilst the other members wore a hodgepodge of camel coats, shirts smartly buttoned to the top and an all-white jeans and jacket combo. However, despite this visual disjointedness, as soon as the band began to play everything worked.

Musically, they sounded faultless. Led by Bowman, the undoubted star of the show and a dazzling performer, it was difficult not to become totally absorbed in the performance. He was a fireball of energy on stage, climbing on things, hanging from the overhead speakers, knocking over mic stands and generally giving the tech guys a difficult time.

At times his ego seemed so inflated that it revealed a bad attitude, as at one point he sarcastically asked an innocent worker running on stage to clean up his mess ‘excuse me, do you work for us?’ This arrogance was, however, somewhat unsurprising considering the effect that he had on the crowd. Like some kind of icon, his mere presence caused hysterical excitement, with teenage boys desperate to touch his hand or catch his water bottle.

In terms of the set list, the band played a mix of new and old songs side-by-side. Whilst the crowd did seem to know the lyrics to the new songs, this method worked very successfully as any lulls that occurred when the newer music was playing were replaced by manic excitement when an older hit followed.

Overall, the Pigeon Detectives put on a very polished and entertaining performance. Despite frontman Matt Bowman’s occasional arrogance at times colouring the show, the band are clearly popular and attract hordes of people, young and old, for a reason: they create good music, have high energy, and are very fun to watch onstage.

Kinneret Livne

Image courtesy of “Drew De F Fawkes” via Flickr (CC Search). License here.

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