Monday saw the first Frequency of the year, and there seemed no better way to start off than to have a mixture of acoustic and rock, which is exactly what was supplied. With Jack Winter and Daniel Tovey playing their own solo acoustic sets, it set the stage to bring on the headliner of the event, Winterhours. Even SUSUtv came down to do some filming of the dancing crowd and interviewed some of the AIM committee. I was even asked to look like I was enjoying myself. Pfft. I have no words at this time, perhaps another time.
Jack Winter took to the stage first, playing solo acoustic guitar to the crowd composing of but a few first years, new to experience the variety of musical genres that Frequency offers. Jack Winter replaced Fat Cat – who had to pull out of playing due to internal difficulties – but Jack still managed to put together a fair setlist of acoustic music. He had a number of solid tracks which sounded tight and also managed to be musically tender at the same time. He had good interaction with the audience, not afraid to talk directly to them, and he brought them closer to the stage, which certainly did create a much more intimate experience. I’m told he is similar to a certain artist called Jake Bugg, but this reviewer has no idea. If anything the songs sounded all to similar, which is to be expected from a solo acoustic artist. And also the quality of the guitar sound could have been improved; only the guitar used can be to blame there. It was a decent performance, but not to my taste.
Next on stage, bringing with him his harmonica to add some interesting new sounds, was Daniel Tovey, an experienced performer. Once again he impressed the crowd with his wonderful guitar sounds and gentle vocal melodies. At one point, half the audience were sat down just chilling out listening to the great sound of his fantastic voice; I could have quite easily drifted off there and then if the speakers were a little quieter. ‘Getting Over You’ was a song performed by him which was preceded by a short introduction about the meaning of the song, and we found out that it was based on his ex-girlfriend. Now I’m probably not the best person to listen to this music, as I rarely listen to the lyrical content but from what I gathered from this song, he wasn’t really over her at all, at least at the time the song was written anyway. With a free EP out at the moment, he is one to keep an eye on and you can expect he will be performing at a venue near you at some point.
Finally, after a couple of acoustic acts, we got to the headline act who just oozed ‘rock’; it was Winterhours who seriously cranked up the noise. They kicked off with a cover of ‘A Real Hero,’ the song easily recognisable as “that one off of Drive”. They even admitted to it being the first time that they played the song live. This set the proverbial stage well for much of their set; gentle tempo yet hard rocking songs with a solid drum backing with crashing cymbals in most places. Being a front-man was made to look easy by rhythm guitarist and lead singer Alex Dunne, who had an excellent stage presence. The vocal harmonies worked really well together and the whole band definitely had an aura of experience about them, although it perhaps would have been nicer to see a bit more variety in the musical style of the band. But I would not be surprised to see them gracing the smaller stages at many festivals in the not too distant future, and I would seriously recommend that you check them out. And you’re in luck; if you want to catch Winterhours they will be playing at the Joiners on the 28th of October.
Frequency returns again on Monday the 12th of November.