effortlessly mix the style with hints of funk, and reggae, particularly on her cover of Bob Marley's 'Is this love' and her own song 'people'. Which is about people who hold themselves back. Over all their set was smooth jazzy and soulful, and everyone got their chance to shine. While I have seen countless bands over the years I've never seen anything like Dorcha. (8) Who are Gothic in more of a theatrical sense than stylistic one (they covered Siouxsie & and the Banshees 'Into The Light'). They use keyboards, synths, guitar and shrieking violin to haunting effect. They reminded me a bit of early Arcade Fire, late Joy Division or Bjork, but they don't really sound like any other those bands. Their songs are minimalistic yet grandiose, with a loose and almost jazzy sense of rhythm. If any band was made for the perfect acoustics of the Town Hall it was them. Their final song was a self confessed 'bit of a mad one' which mixed staggered guitar strumming, and screaming to terrifying effect. Dorcha make the soundtracks to your surreal nightmares.
Butternut (7.2) are the Neo-Soul Project of Stuart Barker. While he claims to be taking a break from jazz with this band. Butternut are definitely very jazzy. Stuart is dryly funny on stage, yet thankfully the band are far better than his crap jokes. They were able to cover Jimi Hendrix (if 6 were 9) with ease and play interpolations of Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Scott Heron and, erm, Skee-lo. Another highlight was 'the pinback'. A dirty slice of Jazz-Funk which was inspired by Stuart's dad having his ears pinned back. Karl Monroe (7.6) are actually a four piece brummie psychedelic rock band rather than just some guy called Karl. They are everything you'd expect from a modern day psych band. From the reverb drowned guitars, inaudible vocals, pounding drums, and shoegazy effects. Karl Monroe, are definitely in the same mould as Tame impala. Yet with a modern take on retro sounds, which reminded me of The Arctic Monkeys are their weirdest. There was a summery, surf-rock style to their guitar work which reminded me of the late great Dick Dale's classic 'Miserlou'**. I'm happy to see that Birmingham is still in no way short of great bands.
Kemi Suloa www.youtube.com/
Karl Monroe www.karlmonroe.co.uk
* Not bragging, but I've been listening to her for years now. You lot were slow to catch on.