I had been looking forward to this event for quite a while. Given the involvement of Alan McGee, a personal hero, I expected the acts to be of a high quality. Arriving at the club on a decidedly chilly night I was rewarded by a glimpse of the man himself, a sure sign that things were on track for a great evening. I had arrived a little early as I was unsure of the band timings and did not want to miss the excellent The Black Delta Movement. Standing shivering outside whilst the bands finished the sound checks, I was fortunate enough to meet the charming Moxy, from the band Mz Moxy, who was kind enough to put us on the guest list and put up with my frozen chatter, which made my wait far less arduous than it might have been. If only all the gigs I went to were as good as this before I had even got inside the venue.
As I was already a fan of The Black Delta Movement, I knew the standard of music was going to be very high from the start. The brilliant garage-rock, psychedelic vibe was there from the beginning, which is what this Hull-based band do so well. I love the slightly echoing 60,s vibe guitars and the whole, cool ethos of the music. They didn’t disappoint. It was an excellent set. Having only caught half of what they had to offer at Liverpool Calling last year, it was great to see their full performance. The new single ‘The Trip’ was a brilliant version of the original Kim Fowley version, and a fitting tribute to the recently deceased master of sixties cool. Many thanks to Colin Burr, their manager, for providing me with the vinyl version to complement my digital download. It is a work of art in itself. I look forward to seeing them again in the very near future.
Not known for my love of acoustic acts, I was pleasantly surprised by the set by Adriana Spina. The songs by this Scottish singer had more backbone to them than a lot of the acoustic acts I’ve seen. The tempo was upbeat and the voice crystal clear and note perfect. I thought her songs were full of emotion and expression, and I really enjoyed the music provided by this lively, warm singer- songwriter.
Mz Moxy were the next act. I was really impressed by the pop-indie sound they produced. A lady with a great stage presence, Moxy had a voice that put me in mind of Courtney Love without the harsh edge, far sweeter, but with a classic indie vibe to it. Ably abetted by her accomplished band, Moxy brought some great tracks to the District stage, such as ‘Always Something’ and ‘Shiver’, the latter being fairly apt in the rather chilly venue. The music brought to mind some of the best bands I saw in the 90’s without sounding dated. I was glad they had made the trip from London. Having been provided with their latest cd attached to a huge lollypop, I can only recommend that you take the chance to ‘suck it and see’. You won’t be disappointed.
Shakedown Stockholm are a band where you get double for your money. The strong rock vocals are delivered by identical twin sisters, giving the music instant visual appeal. There were rock and blues elements to the music this Winsford band produced, with some very tasty slide guitar coming in to the fray in a number of the tracks. Some of the slower numbers brought the guitar and lyrical content fully to the fore, layering lush texture to the paired down base of the rhythm section, making the music distinctive and soulful. All in all a very accomplished act indeed.
On a final note, I would just like to add that, in addition to the array of musical talent the night offered us, something I took away from the experience was the friendly vibe of the whole evening. I managed to speak to all of the acts for varying lengths of time and they were all great. I can’t think of an evening where the whole experience has been so positive. I loved it. Roll on the next. I can’t wait!