Did you know there’s a place that up and coming musicians can go and play to their heart’s content? That place is the rejuvenated Water Rats based not far from London’s Kings Cross station.
Cool to Rock have put together an event, that not only features a huge surprise as the headline act, but a night to enjoy, of not one, not two, but five musicians, yeah five that are plying their trade in the world of music as we know it.
Up first we have Belle and the Busker an acoustic session of alternative folk, which allows you time to drift off into a state of relaxation. The duo have featured on Janice Long’s radio show with their single ‘It Takes Two’.
Opening her set with ‘Thought it was Love’, Sharlette works the room with a song full of passion, expression and feeling, every word coming from deep within her soul.
Her warmth is astounding, her closeness to her family and throughout the night she treated everyone with real respect and gratitude. This is a songstress that has the talent and personality to really fuck with the DNA of the music scene.
Her set continues with debut single ‘Far Away’, which would fit perfectly on the theatrical stage, such as Wizard of Oz/Wicked, it truly is a wonderful, thought provoking ballad. ‘Shot me down’ is next; we see a nice bit of attitude coming from her, proving she has a sassy side to her almost shy persona.
A mash-up of ‘Too Close’, a track written by Alex Clare who’s a tough act to follow, is intertwined with Labrinth’s ‘Earthquake’ proving that Sharlette isn’t afraid to show off her skills and try something a little different.
Next up is a song about leaving stress behind and getting back on track with what brings you love and joy, ‘Get Away’ shows us that there is so much more is to be revealed buy this talented and spirited young lady.
The final track of the night is a Martha and the Vandella’s tune, ‘Heat Wave’, which is a good upbeat number to close off the set, a nice sign of respect to a true old skool classic.
Thought It was Love
Shot me Down
Too Close/ Earthquake- Cover of Alex Clare
Heat Wave (cover of Martha and the Vendellas)
In a world where it’s not how good you are but who you know, the job of a venue like The Water Rats is to keep people loving unsigned music and keep us in the loop at the same time in respect of who and what we should be checking out. Tonight we have seen an eclectic mix of talent, from an acoustic folk duo to a soul singer, a heavier folk rock singer called Rich Stephenson with backup from a double bass and a violin. Any guitarist who plays alongside these instruments is always worth a listen.
Luna Wilson, a tattooed rock chick is backed up by her band, who she has lovingly called ‘The Beards’, but not the beards who have tunes such as ‘If Your Dad Doesn’t Have a Beard, Then You’ve Got Two Mums’ and ‘You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man.’ It is in fact not these guys, but a great back up for Luna to perform her tracks such as the catchy LO.V.E which I highly recommend you check out.
The headline was a real surprise.
To play a few tracks from their debut album ‘Midnight Twilight’ we have Mandala who performed on 18th June at 93 Feet East. These guys formed in 1997 and in 2006 they went on hiatus, now, in 2015, they reformed and finally released ‘that’ album. Prog Rock is very much still alive; their melody coincides with a heavy drum sound from Will Spurling, the man with awesome sideburns and a pleasure to witness. A trio of talented individuals who play with smiles on their faces is what you really need to top off a night of pure bliss!
Cool to Rock really nailed it when they booked these guys, and they gave the audience a nice surprise.
Overall a nice eclectic mix of music with the added surprise of the returning Mandala, if you’re in London, check out Cool 2 Rock, it really is THE place to be to check out new music.
Review by Mark Wincott