It’s hard to believe what one person can achieve on stage sometimes, particularly when working with live loops. The mind boggles with strange, mismatched sounds but somehow once they’re all in that melting pot together all you get are seriously cool tunes from the stage where D.D Dumbo worked magic. There’s blues fused with psych, a little tribal and maybe a dash of funk filled with a whole lot of soul. You can’t help but being swept up into grooving along with Tropical Oceans and those soaring vocals. This somewhat mysterious soundsmith has an EP out in a few days – already preordered of course (and the previews sound amazing).
Lester The Fierce – sounds like many, but was one, accompanied by a band. They performed, but she wrote the songs…I’m still confused but there was no denying that Anita Lester and her accompanying band were fiercely sassy. After opening with the powerful, velvety vocals of Bird, the poetic lyrics continued with ‘London’ and its New York connection, complete with soaring vocals and enveloping rhythm. There’s no shying away from the heartfelt and dark toned lyrics, but when it can be delivered as emotively as this it proves to be far more fascinating than depressing particularly when entwined with Volcano channelling an inner vixen and the more delicate January from the latest EP release.
Stonefield has always been incredible live and tonight was no exception, wasting no time in getting everyone rocking to Black Water Rising. Despite admitting nerves were at play, there was no evidence of any anxiety affecting performances. Finally having an album to their name, the set list predictably expanded to include the newer Love You Deserve and C’mon, a more refined but still recognisable sound before slowing things down as slow as they could get in Stonefield land with Over and Over.
A new album and accompanying drummer didn’t mean forgetting the days of old with Amy Findlay resuming her original position behind the drum kit for a raw and fiery Move Out of My Shadow, complete with shared vocals across the band. After To The Mountains, things took a change of pace with Diggin’ My Way Out with its sublime harmonies and flooring chorus before blowing everyone away with Put Your Curse on Me. A few older tracks (Ruby Skies and the incredible Bad Reality) were squeezed in before finishing on House of the Lonely.
And for encore? Through the Clover, roaring from the opening, “Walk me to the sea now” to the end. What better way to end a night than hearing the song that made you sit up and pay attention to the band in the first place.