The University of Nottingham’s Amnesty International Society excelled themselves on Sunday 22nd March. The society is known for its awareness raising, petitioning, protesting, writing of letters to politicians, bringing international issues to light and, finally, fundraising. And how better to fundraise than with the joyous sounds of music?
Tony Strain and Ania Strugglin
This pair was a fantastic opening act, with a lively guitar intro which became accompaniment to Ania’s soulful voice. The harmonies were on point, and the contrasting voice timbres complemented each other perfectly; as Tony took over the solo we were exposed to his slightly softer voice. The pair clearly enjoyed themselves, which made their performance more enjoyable for the audience, and their musical chemistry (combined with some beautifully rich high notes) give the sought after goosebumps effect.
The Here and There Musical Collective displayed impressive instrumental solos coupled with beautifully lyrical singing. The saxophone in the band was sadly neglected – it only featured in the first piece, and was unfortunately inaudible from my position in the room. However, the ensemble worked really well together to create a lovely sound, and their clear mutual enjoyment sparked mutual enjoyment in the audience.
“Am I the only one who automatically falls in love with anyone who can play a musical instrument?” my friend asks as George takes to the stage. He’s a guy pretty easy to fall for, if not when he first appears, when he opens his mouth. Vocals ranged from soft and timidly passionate to deep country-style tones (and a speed of strumming his guitar which leaves you worrying his fingers might drop off).
This pair performed an original take on ‘Uptown Funk’; transforming it into a lyrical piece with gorgeous harmonies. The girls turned the ‘chill out’ button up on classic rock tracks successfully; even with Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’! A very impressive set.
The band opened with a striking piano solo, followed by soaring notes and a lively, up-tempo style which did not cease until they left the stage. The group come across like a striking teenage rock bands which you just know are going to make it big in the future. Their set, again, was made of contrasting and complementing pieces, which kept the audience interested.
Cheshire and the Cat
A more full band appeared on stage at this point; complete with saxophone and trumpet. The catchy riffs between these two instruments had the audience foot-tapping for the whole set, and certain solos had us worried that lips would be going numb before the first piece was finished. It’s hard to put a finger on this band’s genre; at times it seemed to take a country tone, at others it seemed a jazz band. Whatever the genre, this was certainly the night’s most explosive stage presence.
Neuken in the Keuken
The night closed with three chilled-out duets; finishing with the famous ‘Valerie’, which had everyone singing along. The musical chemistry between the pair was clear, and their genuine happiness to be playing at the event and supporting Amnesty International was palpable.
Please give whatever you can to Amnesty International and, should you wish to join, the society meets Wednesdays at 1pm if you would like to attend.
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