Enjoyed another gig at Oxford's The Bullingdon last night - but firstly, I want to extend a massive thanks to anyone reading this (particularly if you read my posts regularly, the idea of which is pretty insane), I just reached 200 likes on the Facebook page for the blog (find it here) which you can like to stay up to date when I write a post. Last night was my 15th gig of the year, with Southampton lads Bel Esprit playing a headline gig with support from Elixir, homeplanetearth and Haze.
First up were Haze, who might need some pointers in choosing a setlist to fit 30 minutes as half way through, they noted that they'd played most of their set. They had quite a nice vibe to open the show with, and, noting down some thoughts on my phone during the set to feel like a proper music-journo, I look back now to find little more than 'dancy', which, while it isn't really a word and doesn't help me in writing about their set - does provide a nice summary of their music and the audience's response. Adding in a track to fill up the extra time, which I'm sure was called Bent, I felt a real Arctic Monkeys sound coming through - you can listen to some of their tunes here on Soundcloud, and catch them supporting ALXNDR at the O2 in Oxford on 16th April with the second support from last night, homeplanetearth.
Having been introduced to homeplanetearth through my placement at Tigmus, who they've played shows for, I was really keen to see them play live. I'd only heard the track Phat Phil (which I love and wrote about here) so I didn't really know what to expect from the set but any expectations I did have were totally surpassed, with Josephine singing some stunning lead vocals (usually takes a lot for female artists to impress me so that's probably quite a compliment!) Following on the trend Haze had set with slowing down time, they also found some extra time in their set for Josephine's brother Thomas to surprise the rest of the band with a track they hadn't planned to play. The track was a chance to hear Thomas's vocals more clearly as it opened with just his guitar and vocals, before the rest of the band joined later, and featured some beautiful harmonies with Josephine (his sister). The show's crowd were mostly friends of the four bands, and there was definitely a lot of love for homeplanetearth during their set!
The third support set came from Elixir, who kicked off their set as they meant to go on - loudly. It was interspersed with some nice guitar solos and while the style wasn't really for me, I can't knock the confidence that was oozing off stage!
Last up, and headlining the show, were Bel Esprit. I'd seen them before at one of the first shows I went to after starting university, when I was on the door for a venue at Oxjam Festival in Oxford at the end of 2014. Since then I've been to over 80 shows so couldn't really remember what the band's sound were like (and didn't get a chance to listen to them before the show) but I really enjoyed their set! Their performance was pretty tight and the crowd were loving it, singing back the choruses to tracks such as Island, Detox and Nowhere (available to listen to through Spotify on the Lose My Mind EP.) Compared to the shows I attended at the same venue last week, the crowd was pretty small, but this didn't phase the band who performed, in my opinion, just as they might to a sold out crowd - and the audience were loving every minute, dancing in the way I usually dance in my room but couldn't bring myself to do in public. They definitely brought some fun to Oxford on a school night - a great night of music!
If you like the shots I've embedded within the post, there's some more from the evening on my Flickr here.