The Foxlowe Arts Centre In Great Situation

Local Music Promoters The Situation Continue Dedicated Work

Leah Hamer || September 5th

Before she stepped on to The Situation Foxlowe Arts Centre stage on Friday night, Emily Jones warns me to lower my expectations when I expressed my excitement over finally watching her live. And as she left the stage, half an hour later, I felt like giving her a right old slap. Emily was a joy. Her voice was delicate, her lyrics are relatable, and her presence was powerful. She thoughtfully explains each song's meaning, most of which are inspired by teenage angst and a pinch of man-hate, and she has the crowd in stiches with her endearing honesty and jokes. There are no gimmicks or smoke and mirrors with Emily, she is brutally real and overwhelmingly sweet. I’m happy that I did not listen to her advice, I expected a lot, and I got even more.

John Dhali is this optimistic fireball, filled with the deepest understanding for life. His songs are prayers, mantras, lessons to be learnt. I watch him in immovable awe, my cheeks physically aching from my whopping great grin. He is such a pleasure to watch live, giggling as he announces his songs about imaginary men and comments on the lighting, ‘I feel like a packet of wine gums up here.’ Ballad of a Holy Man, This Little Dance - they inspire absolute jigging and jiving. Speaking to members of the crowd after the gig, someone said if everyone had a little bit of John Dhali’s spirit - then the world would be a better place. He needs to be bottled and sold to the mass market.

‘They sort of just got on stage, did their thing, no drama’…Little me didn’t rate Shimmer Trap all that much when they arrived on the scene earlier this year…I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong. Six months later they have a style, they have a sound, they have an identity. Seductive licks, pounding basslines and playful experiments with the soundboard make up the main elements of their cool psychedelic-indie fusion. Jamie Cartlidge is a stand-out frontman - easing in and out of laughing with the crowd to losing himself behind the microphone, as his eyes roll to the back of his head in passion. Shimmer Trap have a clever appreciation for different sounds, pitches and tempos- which makes them interesting and vibrant. Kemosabe and Take Me Away from their debut EP, stole the show at the end of the set… I’m happily eating my words.