It’s a bit of a mixed bill tonight for Keep Colchester Cool’s showcase night at Three Wise Monkeys. I arrive shortly after a Widdershins solo set, as Vera Lones take to the stage. Vera Lones, clearly a young group, have seemingly brought out everyone they knew for the occasion, a crowd whooping and occasionally screaming along for them. It’s hard not to be dragged into the excitement, their music is, for the most part, fairly energetic and technically they’re on point; everything working well together on stage. It’s the kind of thing you could easily dance to, if you dance.
The crowd seems to have kept a lot of momentum for James Burrage and his band, which is likely to do with the upbeat nature of their music. His band play music which is technically impressive for people so young; while the bass and the drums are solid and consistent, the keyboard player absolutely shreds his way through the tracks. Matched with James’ voice and some power-rock-esque guitar playing, the five piece are certainly impressive. As far as the music goes I’ll admit it’s not really for me but I’m still impressed by their abilities. In a few years time this band will likely be unstoppable.
Tonight’s headliner, Warm Winters, sound, on paper at least, right up my street. I was gutted to see that their Colchester Arts Centre date was to clash with this month’s Paper Champion show so was thrilled to see they’d be headlining Three Wise Monkeys for this show. They list their influences as Belle & Sebastian, The Pixies and Los Campesinos which sounds like something a bit unique locally. They were certainly impressive, their songs at times sounding a bit twee, at other times more rocky – there were some excellent moments which sounded like Idlewild at their strongest. I was intrigued by their decision to have female vocals for only half the set – they sounded excellent alongside the contrasting vocals, albeit while wearing their influences on their sleeves, and would have been a welcome addition to the rest of the set.
While there was obviously a lot of talent on show this evening, Warm Winters were definitely the most to my taste. Their style of music was perfect for Friday night and I hope to hear much more from them in the near future. I was a bit disappointed that the crowds from earlier didn’t seem to stick around for them as they deserved to be heard.