Francis Neve @ Monto Water Rats 3rd August 2011

Francis Neve is someone who has been on my radar for quite a while. I loved the debut EP The Second Time We First Met which was the perfect fusion between Folk and Pop. So the pospect of seeing him live was quite exciting. Now Francis Neve is not his real name it’s infact Steven Carr. He wrote all the songs on the debut EP and produced it as well which proves he is a talented songwriter. Francis was born and raised in Hornchurch, Essex, he started playing the guitar and writing songs at the age of 12. Neve was the second band to grace the stage. Now even though you would think Francis is a solo artist he has a band backing him. The set was short and sweet. 4 of the 6 songs featured were taken from the current EP and there was a couple of brand new tracks which sounded fantastic. It sounded as the songs were rocked up considering there were three electric guitars or that could be down to the fact I was standing close to the speakers. The set kicked off with Come Near and what followed after that song was the gentle Brian’s Drying Up. Both of which were delivered faultlessly. “You alright” Neve said to the intimate audience before launching into new song Dance Around The Fires. This song was upbeat and I look forward to hearing the mastered version. The fact there was a full band adds a different scope to the songs. We Were Ghosts was next and this was the first time I had heard this song played. I really liked this song the vocals were superb. The night ended with the last two singles. The first being Winterbury which was very special as it is completely different to the EP version. Now the studio version of Winterbury featured special guest vocalist, Lucy Randell, this song  was stripped down and was an introspective duet documenting the moment the cracks start to appear in a relationship. The night ended with I Won’t Make You Better. This song is excellent and the video too is superb. This is very soothing and upbeat as well. I Won’t Make You Better has gained plenty of interest within the industry earning “Record of the Day”, winning over the likes of Clash and John Kennedy at XFM and It was BBC 6 record of the week as well as earning radio play nationwide.

SET LIST

Come Near
Brian’s Drying Up
Dance Around The Fires
We Are Ghosts
Winterbury
I Won’t Make You Better

OVERALL: Francis is extremely talented. Mini album The Second Time We First Met is a right cracker and the songs that feature are fantastic. This night at Water Rats was brilliant and the songs that featured were sung to perfection. Any love of Folk music mst check out Neve because you won’t be disappointed. I will definately see him play again in the future as I am anticipating hearing more brand new material (I Won’t Make You Better is the final release from the mini album).

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