Last week I wrote a small blog post on PROJECT RED which was an event run by some dear friends of mine for their coursework and in support of the charity Mind. The event was last night and I went to it. I did a little note taking, a bit of helping out and a lot of listening to amazing artists. If you were lucky enough to go then you will agree with me when I say the entire event was flawless. From the people in the audience, to the way it was organised and the perfect performances the only thing that could have been better was if there was a dancefloor. Now if you didn’t have the chance to go then start playing the playlist at the bottom and immerse yourself in the words because I did a live review;
To kick the whole event off all the performers did an ensemble of I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons. It was sung with really intense passion and power which was helped along by Kieran and Tom’s bass and guitar playing. They made the whole performance come together seaming and add a real kick to it all with their solos. The way that Heather, Kat and Tyler sung was haunting but with a raw and twangy twist that gives it that well known Mumford & Sons spin. It couldn’t have been a better song to start out with and it really suited the whole group even though later on I found out how different all their styles where.
Once that enchanting ensemble was over Heather, a star performer since she was young, did a little introduction as to what the whole event was for and about. She talked about all the effort that had gone into the event and then invited a representative from Mind to come up on the stage and talk about all the things they do to help people with mental health problems. She talked about the fact that they have ‘support groups’ and how their main aim is to ‘empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem’. She was a lovely lady and thanked everyone for putting on the event in support of the charity. Heather then came back on to introduce the first act who was, Kieran.
Kieran White has played the guitar for 4 years and is one of many members of a band called Hanger 18. Check them out because they are incredible! Kieran started off his act with Raining Blood by Slayer and before he started he said ‘Your ether going to love it or hate it’. It was safe to say that I really loved it. It was everything I know Kieran to love playing and performing! It was heavy and power hungry; Full of insane guitar playing. His hands where incredible and so fast and smooth. The way he played was just super mesmerising and that goes for all of the songs he played. The next one he performed was Supermassive Black Hole by Muse. Or in his words ‘That song that was in Twilight once’. This, again was played with immense skill and had an insane solo in it. if I had to pick a favourite it had to be this sing as he played it as if it was nothing too him. The final song he performed by himself was a complete spin on the two previous songs he has played; I Feel Good by James Brown. This was something so fresh feeling after the previous songs, it really rounded off his performance and showed off his insane talent. It was so classy and classic feeling. It really made you want to get up and dance!
Once Kieran tied up his performance with a classy rock an’ roll bow Tom and Tyler came on stage to perform America by Razorlight. This is an absolute classic song and one of those ones that you don’t think you know until you hear it. Tyler and Tom where doing the smooth vocals and Kieran was on bass and Tom was also on guitar. The way this song was performed was heavenly. The way the smooth vocals just seemed to roll off the tongue as the notes were held was just amazing. It all worked super well together. Completely faultless in its performance.
UP NEXT was Kat Tape. Now Kat is ‘new to performing as a singer’ as she is more of a dancer. I completely disagree with this as she sung with the voice of someone who knows the ins and outs of performing live! She started out with Angel by Sarah McLachlan and let me just tell you this, beauty is not a powerful enough word to use to describe her performance. It was deep and passionate and had the crowd fixated! The way she sung was purely angelic and every word she sung came from the heart. It was incredible! Then she completely changed the tone by singing a song a really love, See You Again by Carrie Underwood. I was singing along the whole way through. It was a real kick in the face performance as she walked all over the stage which add and emphasized the power she has in her voice. The way it was sung added a little extra to the song as it was as if she had her own spin on it. Then to round her whole performance off she sung Battlefield by Jordin Sparks which, again, was a complete change of tone! It was amazing and so passionately sung. She for me has made this type of love song cool again with her power to make you feel emotions right in your core. I have little idea why but she really reminded me of Avril Lavigne. I think it’s down to her ability to show what she had in such a small amount of time.
Once Kat had sung her last note there was a small 20-minute interval in which I went round and spoke to a few people of what they thought. Everyone said they were really loving it all and the ensembles where by far the best parts so far. I agreed as it really made the whole event like a group effort! The 20-minutes flew by as before I knew it, I was sat back down listening to Kat and Heather perform what they perform best. Carrie Underwood. This Carrie Underwood song was Something Bad and I absolutely loved it. The way they seemingly bounced off of once another was so effortless and smooth. It was an insane duet, as it suited both of their personal singing styles and enabled them to work together in an upbeat, kick off and make a fuss type of song. I have never heard ether of them sing like that before. Super in tune.
The next solo artist on was Tom Coller-Jones who has been playing the guitar for around 3 years and is also a member of Hanger 18. He started his set off by playing Folson Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, this song enabled him to show off his amazing range of vocals and musical talent. He sung with power but he added a light and airy feel to it which made his voice all guitar like and passionate. The way he played his guitar was feather like which made his performance all the more powerful and I thought train like. It had a light systematic sound to it which Tom made his own. He took the song and kept it the same but added his own sprinkle of talent all over it. He then followed that song on with Zella Days version of White Stripes Seven Nation Army which in his words ‘Sounds a little bit like this’. Beautiful. It was so smoothly played it was as if the guitar was a body part! The way his voice merged with his guitar playing worked so well as he was passionate about every note he played and sung. It was very handsomely performed. To wrap his set off he finished with one of his favourite songs to perform, Above The Clouds Of Pompeii by Bear’s Den. I’ve heard him play this song many times and it honestly gets to me every time. The angelic and free flowing way he sings and plucks his guitar had the entire audience fixated on him. He pronounced every word he sang with perfection and made it look so effortless as he did it. It’s a song with a simple meaning and a literal kick.
Next up was Heather Kerr. Heather has been performing since she was very young and has recently headlined at the local pub The Pilot. She kicked off her act with I Can’t Make You Love Me by George Michael. There is only one word that can cover how she sang this song and that is; Beautiful. She sung it with every emotion she had and she sung it right from the heart with immense passion and that really did hit the audience hard. It was amazing, there are no more words to describe that cover of that song! Next she followed that up with a complete change of tone but in no way a grey area for Heather; Carrie Underwood Before He Cheats. She was up and walking around the stage, no not walking, strutting. It was passionately sung with a sexy country twang to it. It was as if she wanted you to sit down and let her tell you something about love lost. It was incredible and the way she hit the high notes was talent that needs to be spread round like wild fire. It was by far my favourite song of Heathers! She rounded off her segment with Nothing Stops Another Day from Ghost the musical. I had never heard this song before and oh how I loved it! It was husky and smokey with a sprinkle of hauntingness to her voice. It really added to the performance as every not was held with hope and passion. She was just flawless.
Once Heather had put down her mic, Tom and Kieran took to the stage to perform Believe by Mumford & Sons. I love this song quite a hell of a lot, it’s so well written and put together and they only added to the whole thing. It was performed with such passion and hard feeling. It was so moving the way that Tom’s husky voice and tone merged with the guitars power. It was performed with such hope and heart. It hit every single member of the audience right in the emotions when I looked round at them. Especially when Tom sung the main part of the song. The entire song was a seamless merge of two amazing powerhouse instruments.
Right after the powerful performance from Kieran and Tom, Tyler Bartlett came on stage and completely changed the mood back to, in his words, ‘a mix of different things’. Which was very true! Tyler has been performing since he was young and loves doing theoretical songs and has been doing stagecoach since he was 8 years old. He is also a member of the fabulous Hanger 18 (Told you there where quite a few members). He kicked his act off with Suddenly Seymour form Little Shop of Horrors. He performed this song with every breath he had in his body. Every not he sung was rounded off with complete perfection and skill. It was literally as if I was there in Broadway or the West End watching the actual performance. He held all of his notes in this song like a professional! He then shook things up a bit and sung Love Yourself by Futuristic & Devvon Terrell. He said before he sung it he wasn’t sure about it but ‘We’ll see if you like it’. It was an incredible change as he went from musicals to rapping and Justin Bieber style singing. It was incredible and I didn’t realise how diverse he was when it came to singing until then! Purely amazing, I was blown away. He rapped up his set by going back to the musical side that he knows best, Razzle Dazzle from Chicago. This song just instantly put a smile on my face and made me want to go and watch every musical I could think of. It was smooth, classy and beautifully sung. His voice was seamless as he made every note his own. This song was my favourite of his.
To round off the entire night every performer came onto the stage and did one final ensemble, Don’t Stop Movin’ by S Club 7. This was the grooviest part of the song and really made everyone in the audience smile and every instrument worked so well together. it all merged to create a powerful and playful end to the night! It was such an entertaining evening with everyone performing at their best. The night overall was a big success with £200 raised for the Mind Charity and the Assembly Hall where it was held, had every table filled up. It was an insane and fabulous evening!
Check out the local paper about when the BTEC students gave the money to Mind: http://melkshamnews.com/2016/06/01/oak-students-concert-raises-200-for-wiltshire-mind/
All images photographed by Ashlea Forgacs.