Opening up for a band in a new country will always be a pretty daunting task. Thousands of miles from home and its comforts, unfamiliar sites, and fans of someone else who have probably never heard your music before. So how do you deal with that? There are two ways it usually goes: firstly and quite commonly, it is for a band or artist to stand timidly on stage and just get through it; and secondly it’s when caution is thrown to wind and they just give it their all. Jule Vera, opening for As It Is at The 1865 in Southampton on Saturday, certainly went with the latter approach.
The Alabama four-piece played a short, eight-track set which went some way to showing the potential that this young band have. Opening with instrumental track ‘1896’, they then moved swiftly into ‘Chemical Machine’, a wonderfully bouncy number that perfectly set the tone for the remaining half a dozen songs.
There are certainly not enough female-fronted bands in the industry at the moment. However I have no doubt that with Ansley Newman at the helm, Jule Vera will be able to contribute heavily to this current niche. ‘One Little String’ certainly showed similarities in her vocals to Paramore’s main lady Hayley Williams, as did the following track, ‘Friendly Enemies’. The former track also provided the band with a chance to check in with the crowd, inviting them to clap along to the breakdown, to which virtually everyone in attendance happily obliged, showing how this band had clearly managed to intrigue and create new bonds with new fans instantly.
‘Scarlet Letter’ followed, which was a chance for Jule Vera to show their versatility. The track is a beautiful acoustic number, with just a piano accompanying Ansley’s charming vocals; her breathy tones in a live setting were almost reminiscent of former X Factor sweetheart Janet Devlin. ‘Light The Night’ was then able to get the crowd bopping and jumping once again, before ‘You Can’t Mess It Up’ drove the set to a new, anthemic level. The group then closed with ‘Outro’, where Ansley joined drummer Kyle Horvath for an intense, drum-orientated finale.
Jule Vera are most certainly ones to watch. Their unique and versatile sound will definitely set them up nicely to breakthrough to the mainstream at some point in the very near future. Those of you who are fans of other female-led groups like Paramore or Evanescence will fall in love with this band in a heartbeat. They only have one EP to their name so far, but a full debut record will not be too far away. And when it does come, be sure to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.