On Saturday night three acts took to the stage at The Fermain Tavern to help raise funds for The Ivy Trust charity. The Crowman & The Fiddling Pixie, The OK and Clameur De Haro spanned genres from folk to blues rock to garage rock but all came with a real sense of fun.
First up was The Crowman & The Fiddling Pixie and they treated us to their rough and ready, self-styled, “garage folk” just as we’ve come to expect. Tonight the balance between The Crowman’s jagged, harsh instrumentation and vocals and the Pixie’s violin and vocals worked very well and made for a real extra depth to Crowman’s songs of blues, heartache and booze.
Crowman was in fine, charismatic frontman, form tonight and had the audience laughing between songs and keeping rhythm when he got fed up with his own stomp box and everyone in the Tav seemed willing to get involved.
Rounding off the set with a few songs featuring The John Wesley Stone’s Tinshack on harmonica finished things on a high with the crowd still eager to hear more.
Having been together for a couple of years now The OK took to the stage with a set, mixing covers and originals, that we have become used to. While the four-piece may have stuck to the same repertoire its safe to say they seemed to have stepped up a level in terms of the tightness and fluidity of their performance, with Dave Wratten in particular really coming across well on guitar.
The OK looked to have some talent and real potential but their overall performance remained somewhat stilted and soulless (though the audience seemed to be having fun) and frontman Joe Le Page still came across like he was genuinely terrified at first – though he did seem to have relaxed a bit by the end.
With a genre spanning set of songs it was on the more blues rock and garage rock flavoured numbers that The OK really seemed to come to life and rounding off their set in that style meant they ended on a high with a few of the audience having made their way onto the dancefloor.
As they approach their first birthday at the start of July, Clameur De Haro have had a very impressive first year which has seen them win over a large number of fans, and, it seemed even more were added here.
Their brand of folk rock may have a thick layer of fun and ‘novelty’ but underneath are some great performances amongst the seven-strong outfit that really cuts through to give them a wide appeal, and they displayed that well.
Their set was great fun throughout and they had people dancing after a couple of songs, eventually nicely filling the dancefloor with folked up covers of Kiss and Van Halen really going down a storm.
The one slightly off moment came in the form of a new ballad that, while still a great song, dropped the energy of the performance possibly a little too much, but it wasn’t long before ‘The Clams’ recovered and by the end of the set the audience was calling for more.
Highlights came in the form of originals Happy Little Mr Sunshine and Chinese Burn and despite an encore they left the crowd wanting more ending an enjoyably fun night of live music on a high and helping raise more than £300 for the event’s chosen charity.