The compact venue of the Chameleon Arts Café catered perfectly to Blondes’ set, giving the gig a very personal and intimate atmosphere. This suited the friendly and supportive nature of the crowd and allowed for a real connection to be felt between us and the musicians.
The support acts of Oli Aston and The Avion set the tone of the evening well and built excitement for the headline act. Oli Aston started the evening off with an emotional, acoustic set which eased everyone comfortably into the gig, whilst The Avion brought the tempo up before the Blondes. A chilled out, chatty atmosphere was maintained between the acts due to the small, intimate nature of the venue but all three easily captivated the attention of the crowd whilst they were playing.
“The sound quality was really good, and wasn’t-overwhelming”
The Chameleon Arts Café normally functions as a small, indie/hipster style bar which offers fair prices for drinks. Their music venue leads off from the bar and is decorated really well, with low hanging over-sized light-bulbs above the stage and graffiti and tour posters on the walls. The crowd was able to get really close to the acts as the venue has no raised stage or barriers which again contributed to the personal nature of the gig. The sound quality was really good, and wasn’t-overwhelming given the small scale of the venue.
“I really loved all the music”
Blondes mixed professionalism with a casual, friendly tone to their headline set, allowing the crowd to feel from the first song that their set was going to be good fun but also technically strong. The five-piece Indie/Rock/Alternative group formed last year through the University of Nottingham Band Society and have been influenced by bands such as The Arctic Monkeys, The Smiths and Two Door Cinema Club; their unique sound combines different aspects of all of these bands really effectively and I really loved all the music.
“It was genuinely enjoyable to see how much they loved playing together”
The band’s confidence seemed to really grow as they settled into the set-list and it was genuinely enjoyable to see how much they loved playing together and the coordination they had as a group on stage. The mixture of originals and covers they used was effective in getting everyone singing and dancing along to songs they already knew, but also show-cased their musical and lyrical ability through their own music. I especially enjoyed ‘Low on the Comedown’ (original), which was the last song before the encore and really got everyone moving along to the beat and the skilful guitar/bass work laid down by Dan Stroud, Mark Turton and Alex Davison.
“The band as a whole commanded the stage and engaged the crowd well”
The band as a whole commanded the stage and engaged the crowd well, with lead singer Will Potter and bass player Alex Davison chatting comfortably to us between songs. The calm handling of a slight technical issue with the drum-kit by drummer Matt Edwards and the rest of the group was testament to their professionality and confidence in their abilities.
Blondes’ ability to create such a high demand for an encore, which included a cover of Circa Waves’ ‘T-Shirt Weather’ and ended on the band’s first ever original song ‘Daydream’, really made it clear how much everyone enjoyed their music. It was a nice, personal touch to start and end their set with original songs as it kept the focus on their development of their own music and left that as the lasting tune in my head.
This band is definitely one to watch for the future!
Featured Image courtesy of May Perrin