Despite taking place after many students had left university for the summer, AIM’s final live music event of the academic year turned out to be one of the best and most profitable ever organised by the society. This was also the first ever Frequency to be streamed live on Surge, Southampton’s student radio station, a practice which will continue as a staple of Monday nights next year.
The final edition of SUSU’s top gig night took place in The Bridge on Monday 13th June 2011, and featured three of the best student bands in the city. First up were Cardinals, an ambient indie band from Solent University. Despite crafting an ethereal and rather depressing atmosphere in the packed bar, the musicianship and tightness of the four-piece unit was respected by those in the audience, with most looking on in awe at a band which could easily have been mistaken for the most professional band on a ‘cool’ indie record label. The group are clearly talented, and care a lot about their art, although perhaps it would have made more sense to place the band second on the bill in order to create a more balanced night with the other acts.
The ‘middle band’ in question was the always popular Frequency favourites The Fruit Cellar. The duo brought along quite a following to the gig, and their feel-good indie gems were hugely well-received by all in attendance, and executed to a high standard despite a good few months away from performing. Donning his signature all-white attire, frontman Dom Ellis put on a charismatic performance filled with cheeky banter and a stage presence to die for, while drummer Pete Williams provided the rhythm for the band with professionalism and energy. Together they created a non-stop wave of catchy lyrics and sweet, no-nonsense melodies. A particular highlight was the first performance of new song ‘Dancing on Your Birthday’, which seemed to display a shift away from the duo’s usual formula of simple chords and lyrics rhyming with a girl’s name. As usual Dom and Pete finished with ‘Redhead’, providing plenty of opportunities for the more-than-willing crowd to sing along. The highlight act of the night, at least in this writer’s opinion.
The final group of the night were The Hit-Ups, a heavy alternative band currently based between Bristol and London. The group completed the night perfectly with their mix of rock and roll melodies and hardcore vocals, ending the last Frequency with a massive impact. Singer Joshua Hughes-Games was particularly impressive, delivering an intense vocal performance amongst various journeys into the crowd, as well as moshing atop a speaker stack on a number of occasions. The eccentric frontman and the rest of the band injected the crowd with masses of electricity and synergy which made for an amazing night. Solid throughout were the instrumental members of the band, including guitarist Charlie Torrible (whom you may remember from the SUSU Sabbatical Elections) who somehow created a sound usually indicative of two guitars, mixing delicate melodies with breathtakingly energetic riffs and breaks. One of the most powerful bands ever to be seen at Frequency, and certainly one of the most thoroughly enjoyed by its attendees.
All in all, the final Frequency of the 2010/11 academic year was a huge success. The attendance was high, the acts were solid, the atmosphere was electric, all making for a very enjoyable and memorable evening. A massive congratulations and thanks must be extended to this year’s committee for all their hard work. There is no doubt that AIM will continue to raise the bar next year in terms of live music at SUSU, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be beaten any time soon.