The Rising, Remember Monday, Hannah Paris, Emma Moore - The Water Rats
The Rising's UK tour finally checked into London, after a clutch of dates around the country, featuring a strong selection of UK talent as support they have played. Tonight was to be no exception with three supports acts providing a varied evening of entertainment.
Opening the evening was Emma Moore, on a rare outing to the Metropolis, with guitarist George Williams in tow on acoustic guitar. Dressed in a knotted Jack Daniels t shirt she filled her 7 song set with a selection of the choice cuts of her album debut "Pilot", mingled with some new tracks and a cover. Opening with the first track of her album, the slow blues country of "Before I Fall Asleep" she initially had to deal with a somewhat boisterous room that she tamed quite quickly. A spirited cover of Brandy Clark's "Stripes" showed George to be a valuable asset on the night chipping in with both a solo and backing vocals to make this a real team effort.
Of her new material, "Husbands and Kids" about her "disastrous love life" contained some fun lines but it was when she moved to the title track of her album that the set really took off. Tightly gripping the mic stand Emma delivered some considered concentrated vocals and with George once again putting in some great guitar work this was the stand out song of the set.
The background to the new song "Be Brave" with its meotional "I Was Waiting for You" refrain seemed to be classic country material and it brought the Water Rats crowd to complete silence. With the rocking single "Trouble" bringing the set to a close including an exceptionally fast guitar solo from the ever impressive George, the evening got off to a fine start.
The lack of an MC for the evening to introduce the bands meant for some awkward openings, none more so than for Hannah who had to start with a "Hello Hello" to announce she was there. As with Emma it took a little while to rein in the crowds focus and so "You You You" and "LA" had to battle to gain attention. Things really kicked off with "Halfway Home", with the crowd tamed, Hannah seemed to relax and ease into her vocals a bit more, and this slightly darker edgier song really suited her. There was only the second ever outing for "Lost In The Wind" which was followed a cover of Ed Sheerans "Castle On The Hill" which got a fair portion of the room singing along. Closing with the sassy "Just You Wait" with its snappy punchy chorus there were plenty of positives to take away from this support slot.
By a strange quirk of scheduling we are due to see Remember Monday twice within 5 days, sandwiched in between a performance on The Voice, that will either see the hype around them rise to new levels or will see them returned to the pool of people waiting for a break. In many way losing would not be the end of the world, the exposure has certainly already raised their profile, and surely did no harm when their submission was reviewed by the C2C team. Word of the trio had filtered back to #TEAMw21 towers some months ago and had marked them as ones to look out for so it was great to be able to see in the flesh what has got everybody so excited, and excited they were with fans posing for photos before they'd even played a note!!
Opening with "Your Kind Of Love" from their previous incarnation as Houston, Lauren Byrne, Holly-Anne Hull, and Charlotte Steele showed themselves to be individually great as singers but it is when they come together as a trio that the real magic happens. With just one guitar, three voices and a bongo player they manage to pack a powerful punch. Just to keep their feet on the ground, I wasn't entirely convinced that their slight reworking of Tom Petty's melody line to "Free Falling" worked but that would be a minor quibble in another blink and you'll miss it six and a bit song set. Their single "Drive" gave glimpses as to why they are highly thought of, and they did well to maintain their composure during some quite erratic lighting effects. A second cover in the shape pf Keith Urban's "Somebody Like You" will surely go down a storm at C2C if they play as well as they did tonight. their new material "Home To Me" and their own sassy song "Jailbreaker" both sounded promising and we'll report in more detail on them from the Green Note on Monday. For the latter song, they became multi instrumental breaking out the tambourine and shaker. There was quite a clamour for more on completion of their set but with time against them only room for an edited version of "Kiss For A Rose" their Voice audition take.
For the Rising it has been a two year journey to get back to London since their revised line up caught many by surprise at C2C 2017, a serious accident involving lead guitarist Chris Logan the major reason. Their initial debut single "Last First Kiss" has pointed at perhaps a poppy direction for the band but the album "Moving On" soon corrected that, and as they kicked off with amps set to 11 there was no need for an MC to tell us that The Rising were in the house!!
Opening with a reference to the previous line up coming in the opening song "Calling You" and Chantelle McAteer has by now stamped her own authority it to more than justify its retention in the set with guitarist Chris holding his guitar aloft clearly pleased to be back on stage.. Normally a trio, The Rising were boosted by a full on drummer and a little bit of technology to fill out the sound. Chantelle very much has the job of being the face and the voice for the band handling all of the introductions and selling the songs like "Just Another Name" with her hand gestures and sassy delivery.
Foe a Rising show, Chris's guitar was surprisingly muted with the drums being the dominant sound in the overall mix, it was certainly not for lack of effort as he was constantly beavering away on guitar lines. One of the highlights of the set, saw a song 10 years in the writing come to fruition in the shape of "Forgive And Not Forget" with its "looking for love" section powered by some "We Will Rock You" drumming followed by the single "Even The Stars Fall For You". It is the stand out track of the album and allows Chantelle to deliver a more tender vocal as the band are reigned in a bit on this ballad. She did a sterling job delivering the song tonight despite being filmed from about 3 feet away by someone who had not mastered the use of the zoom on her mobile phone.
In something of a change of style "Reasonable"delivered something of a rock n roll song, delivered to a fast thumping bass from Brian Mellors, including some bare faced showmanship from Chris with an over the head backwards guitar solo. The closing section saw another slower song in the shape of "Rebound", the pounding backbeat possibly to loud for the venue, meaning that Chantelle was having fight to get over the top of the overall sound, even so there was still room for a great guitar solo. Completing an evening of sassy songs was Chantelle with "Take a Hint" delivered while crouched down, and allowing herself a little smile to herself on its completion.
The evening closed with "Moving On", which got the audience clapping and delivered a thunderous finale. I'm sure the band will come out of this string of dates much the wiser in how they can reproduce their sound in a live format.
see them outside of their TV bubble.