Audio Jam – Part 1 – 14th January 2014
As part of a new night hosted at the Square Club, Audio Jam is run by Bristol management company Audio Bay Management. Set up in order to give exciting and memorable acts from around the area a chance to showcase their talents, the cosy and intimate mid-week night is one to put in the diary. Taking place every third Wednesday of the month, Audio Jam presents talented and charismatic acts who are breaking through the Bristol music scene.
After a brief introduction from the Audio Bay Management team, Mini Attack step on stage. A galloping bass riff and drums followed by the lyrics “Oh my god that’s some funky shit” tell the audience that they’re in for a real treat tonight.
The pint-sized eleven-year-olds launch into their tongue-in-cheek cover with no looking back. They are clearly born entertainers. With Molly singing, Raul on drums and cajon, and Jacob rocking the bass, everyone was watching wide-eyed.
The punchy baseline helped them steam through their funky renditions – Jacob is clearly very, very talented. Mini Attack have the audience captured before the end of their first song.
They weren’t letting up either as they carried on with their soul and funk infused covers. Raul switched from drums to cajon halfway through indicating that the band clearly knew how to mix things up.
Molly’s interesting voice control really took ownership of ‘Word Up’ as they put the Mini Attack stamp on the song. Other personal favourites include their cover of ‘Feel Good Inc’ by Gorillaz which was very well put-together. ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ made audience participation a must as everyone found themselves clapping along.
All three sang in harmony showcasing the broad spectrum of their collective talents, and what is made evident is how rhythmic and musically educated the youngsters are.
Their own song ‘Standing In The Rain’ was infectious and catchy, and it didn’t take the trio long to bring the tempo back up to speed with a rendition of ‘Song 2’ by Blur. Before they finished they even made time for bass and drum solos to leave us wanting more.
Mini Attack merely wet the appetite for what’s to come. What they lack in terms of another member, they wholeheartedly make up for with their stage presence and Jacob’s bass skills. Add a lead guitarist into the mix, and Mini Attack’s future could be, you guessed it, massive.
Be sure to check out the band’s YouTube to see them in action all over Bristol, from Broadmeads to The Fleece.
Next up, admitting early on that he had a stinking cold but hated cancelling gigs was Sennen Timcke. This Bristol runaway left the city in order to pursue his music career, managed to find his way back, and record his first EP ‘From Now On’.
His story and vulnerability helped take the audience on a stripped back acoustic journey. Sennen’s music was raw and heartfelt, showcasing his superior songwriting skills and fragile but enchanting vocals. ‘All The Way Back Home’ a song about leaving Bristol to pursue his dreams, and ‘On The Other Side’ were both great performances, even through a cold.
‘Nightwalls’ – about stalking girls on Facebook, Sennen admitted – was up tempo and catchy, and his talk throughout the set was both funny and revealing about his down-to-earth personality and love for what he does. ‘Just Wondering’ was thought provoking and captivating too (see YouTube for his recording of this).
Sennen’s plea to have a band behind him was a worthy request. A female singer and support would really take him to the next level. Take a look at his unique recording skills as he finds locations with interesting acoustics in and around Bristol to sing in.
Sennen is definitely one to watch, and if you know a band looking for a front man, he’s the man. A talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, even with a cold.
The Sebastian Hawley Band
Fronted by Seb Hawley this is the most exciting, toe-tapping, finger-snapping, bum-wiggling trio to emerge in Bristol to date. The three-piece have somehow managed to harness an eclectic blend of rock, soul, jazz and blues which mixes into one hell of a musical cocktail. This is a band that makes you want to dance.
Straight off the back of recording their first EP (not yet released), the band are exceedingly tight and professional in their set. ‘Hunger for Life’ was anchored by it’s swing and funk foundation, but mixed with Seb’s soft and caressing vocals creates a beautiful contrast through its ups and downs.
Seb’s casual admittance: “I acquired this band last year, and it’s done me a lot of good”, really shows with the support that Mike Thompson (drums) and Martin Harvey (double bass) provide for his performance. The irony in the name of the act always makes me smile as Seb needs them as much as they need him.
‘Mountains’ took the tempo down, yet was bursting with different layers and melodies. Seb’s combination of soaring highs and earthy vocals really sets him apart through his rare and eclectic sound.
‘Waiting In Vain’ showcases a more vulnerable side of the band, and if not done so already, ‘Roads’ invites you to join the dance floor as Seb’s vocals get grittier and dirtier as he reaches the chorus. The ease that the band maintain their identity while cruising into well known lyrics mid-song is one of their many talents. Their lyrical take-overs are used so smoothly that it takes a keen ear to guess straight away.
The band’s change of tempo is a musical masterpiece, and the visual fact that they are simply doing what they love on stage is evident throughout the whole performance. Their last song, closed with lyrics from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had everyone singing along, and the band’s final cover, always announced as something a bit silly, will never get old and had me singing it all the way home.
A great way to end the launch of Audio Bay’s new night, The Sebastian Hawley Band are on the road to greatness. Watch this space for their EP’s launch details, and get to their next gig as soon as you can!
Never before have I seen such an energetic band with unadulterated appeal and groove who will always have you coming back for more.