Review: FlashFires at Lennons, Southampton (20/03/2015)

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Basingstoke five piece band played a single release show on Friday at Lennons with support from The Mocking Jays, Nudy Bronque and Pink Cigar.

Four piece Nottingham based The Mocking Jays proved once again that Nottingham is now a hot spot for brewing up talent. They have a tight net of instruments, but the main vocal managed to stay strong. The instrumental hook during ‘Fires’ was particularly intriguing. I found their melodies tend to lean to the pop side but there were versatilities in their set. When they develop a more definite style and tone, they have potentials to grow even stronger.

Wiltshire based Nudy Bronque were having their share of fun on stage. They were unusual and rowdy, the frontman was entangled in wires after rolling on the stage floor. Between shouty and falsetto vocals, there were interesting additions of xylophone and what looked like an accordion.

Pink Cigar had particularly striking visual element. They are definitely seasoned performers who knows what ticks in interactions with the audience at a close proximity. Ferocity was all over their set and their trademark. Their slick guitar brought their 70’s punk rock ‘n’ roll sound even further.

FlashFires headlined Lennons to release their single ‘Shy’, which was played as the second song in the set. With that fulfilled, they continued to play a mix of material including five new tracks. ‘Tell Me Twice’ and ‘You Never Said You Loved Her’ were personal favourites, along with an old one ‘Life’s Cruel Line’, which simply showcased the backbone of their interesting quality: frontman Alex Gonzato’s vocals. What took me unawares was drummer Toby Bartlet’s backing vocals; I was not expecting how compatible it was with Gonzato’s, which was a pleasant surprise. The fact that they played five new tracks of different styles seemed to be them testing water for expanding versatilities and of those I heard, it sounded like they are doing it right. On top of catchy toe tapping tracks, they also entertaining performers. Another thing I really enjoyed from their set was how they managed to mix and match between their five layers of quite skillful instruments. Different combinations of the layers varies their songs from melodic acoustic to strong rock.

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