Review: Glass Foundations at The 1865 (20/11/2014)

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Pop-punk/rock outfit Glass Foundations – comprised of Jamie Ralph (vocals), Jake Berridge (lead guitar), Henry Wacey (rhythm guitar), JJ Brixton (bass guitar) and Tom Remington (drums) – headlined an evening of local rock talent at The 1865, one of Southampton’s premier up-and-coming small venues. Three of the bands that appeared on stage were formed at Southampton Solent from students studying music production and music performance so, despite these being minor groups in the grand scheme of the rock genre, the night went off in a very professional manner, something which was refreshing to see amongst an ever-growing crop of lacklustre small-time bands.

Starting the evening were acoustic 3-piece The Rabsons, the first of three bands from Southampton Solent. Their set comprised a mixture of original material and covers of well-known rock anthems – a particular favourite was a beautiful rendition of Linkin Park’s ‘In The End’, adapted to suit The Rabsons’ acoustic style. The band were very tight as a musical unit, performing exquisite three way vocal harmonies over catchy acoustic guitar. Particular praise should be given to the band’s excellent showmanship, they performed with a humble yet confident air which only made their set all the more enjoyable. A chilled but anticipatory start to the show.

Up next were Death Of The Author, a 3-piece rock band from nearby Portsmouth. The band’s start to their set was less than auspicious, first track ‘Whisper’ having to be started again due to the lead guitarist leaving his tuner on. The perfunctory blasts of in-your-face, racy alt rock tones were a good change from the preceding acoustic set, but at times it seemed a little generic. Performance was less than jaw-dropping, fiddling around with pedal boards in between songs made things a stop-and-start affair rather than a fluid set. Additionally, the reverbed vocals from lead guitar were difficult to hear at times. With work, this could become a very good band; they just need to find their creative drive and gain a little more experience on stage.

A short while later and main support act Groove Room came on stage to a much busier hall. They launched into their set with great confidence, performing a blend of smooth blues rock/funk featuring some interesting technical work on bass guitar and drums. Vocalist Florentia Georgiou displayed good stage presence, carrying herself well and with good reason – her vocals were absolutely on point. The band managed to slip in some reggae vibes as well making for a good mix of different styles which worked very well together. The last track of the set, ‘Don’t’, was an absolute killer, starting slow with a focus on Georgiou’s powerful vocals then moving into a bouncy funk-style verse and chorus with blistering rock n’ roll vibes to finish.

Headliners Glass Foundations made a great open to their set, performing an original blend of pop-punk and rock styles. Their cover of Deaf Havana’s ‘I’m A Bore, Mostly’ went down a treat, showing off the talents of lead guitarist Jake Berridge as he blitzed the opening. The band worked incredibly well as a unit, maintaining a tight performance throughout and giving off an air of self-surety which made their set all the more pleasurable to watch. ‘Circles’ was a good track as well, adding a little bounce with it’s funk tones, and as the set progressed both the band and the crowd got more energetic as they connected with the music, consisting of original material and popular pop-punk/rock covers. Glass Foundations paid tribute to the venue and to all the preceding bands, finishing off the evening in great style.

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MA English student at the University of Southampton and alternative music correspondent for The Edge.

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