Scarlette Fever @ The Bedford 20th March 2012

South Yorkshire born Stephen Ridley kick started the evening in spectacular fashion with a short set consisting of songs taken from début album Butterfly In A Hurricane. Ridley basically was on the keyboard though out his performance. His vocals were smooth and slightly husky. I could pick up on a folk/ blues/ jazz vibe and the first artist that sprang to mind was Marcus Mumford. The final song of Ridley’s slot was a taken on Rihanna’s We Found Love which was rather impressive. Considering Stephen has been doing this for a couple of months I was left captivated through out this short set.

Once Stephen’s set was over there was a short changeover then it was onto the 2nd act of this evening. This being the talented Elissa Franceschi. Even though I had never witnessed Elissa play before, I did know of her. This is due to the fact her brother is Josh Franceschi from You Me At Six. Elissa already has EP Touch and 2 full lengths I Hold My Breath and Into The Light to her name. This short but sweet set showcased how amazing she actually was. Only 8 songs were sung but this was basically a taster of material from the brand new album Into The Light. The genre to Elissa’s music is pop and opening up this phenomenal set was the opening track to Into The Light and this being the rip roaring First Week Of June. I found its melody to be very catchy and the bridge was literally amazing. This was the a full band gig and literally I was blown away. At only 23, Franceschi has an extremely distinctive powerful vocals. “My name is Elissa Franceschi and I will be playing you some songs from Into The Light which is out now. Hope you enjoy” she then said to the audience after having introduced her wonderful band. It was then onto Becoming The Enemy. I found this number to be rather upbeat and it was delivered faultlessly. “This is the first time all 7 of us have been on stage. We’ve had one rehearsal before this” Franceschi said before Salt. This song was rather gentle and soothing. It’s lyrics were beautiful. The album version of this song features Elissa’s brother Josh. “Well, this next song is about several different people but one of them had a more interesting name. So I decided to give him credit for it. But it’s not actually about him at all” Franceschi said before delving into Elliot. This song began as a duet then Elissa took over the reins and sung this sublime song. This song oozed plenty of energy and I can imagine that at a standing gig this one could get people worked up. “Is everyone having fun tonight? This is were I’m kind of used to playing” Franceschi said before playing Rainbow On Fire. This song Elissa played on keyboard and it sounded rather solid. The vocal performance did send a chill up my spine. Rainbow On Fire captivated me from its very beginning. The band then left the stage leaving Elissa and Cello player Vanessa all alone. It was then onto a song Franceschi said was the most depressing song she has ever written. “There is a cheeky little music video coming out for this song at some point. So that will be fun” Elissa told the audience before Rocks & Tears. I actually found the lyrics to this song very moving. “You have me all to yourself. I only have a couple songs left. I wanted to do one that I like doing by myself. This is my favourite song to do live” Franceschi said before the majestic Below. The said song featured on the debut EP Touch and it was a wonderful song which had tinges of sadness. The fact it was just Elissa playing the piano made it extremely mesmerising. “So this is the last song. It’s been a blast” Franceschi said before plugging her show at The Regal Rooms. For Into The Light she took to the microphone looking considerably shorter because she had taken off her heels. This song also is the title track of the current album. The harmonising was spot on and there were some impressive guitar riffs.

All in all fantastic set. Franceschi’s vocals were a complete powerhouse and I was drawn in the moment she sang the first song First Week Of June. I most definitely will see her again in the future. The acoustic show at The Regal Room is looking extremely tempting. Elissa Franceschi is someone I advise everyone to check out.

SET LIST

First Week Of June
Becoming The Enemy
Salt
Elliot
Rainbow On Fire
Rocks & Tears
Below
Into The Light

After another short changeover it was then onto Scarlette Fever. I first started to listen to this band early last year as I got a copy of Medication Time sent to me in the post. After hearing it I was instantly hooked. This 5 piece band is fronted by the talented Karen Louise Barrow. “Thankyou very much guys and for sticking around. I had to have a nap to make sure I could stay up this late” Barrow told the intimate audience. Black & White kicked things off and this was a power pop song which sounded superb. Once over it was then onto the steady paced Single White Female. The verses were perfect but it was the upbeat chorus which was my favourite part of this excellent song. Barrow was on her acoustic guitar for this number. It was then onto something extremely beautiful. “This is a song I wrote a few years ago” Karen said before starting to play the whimsical Elated. This ballad was a song about growing up and it was both gentle and soothing. The keyboard melody gelled to the lyrics to create something truly entrancing. “This is a cover hopefully you may know. I first heard this when I discovered Eva Cassidy” Barrow mentioned to the audience before tackling People Get Ready which was originally sung by Eva Cassidy. This version of the song was simply outstanding. I could pick up on plenty of passion that went into their take on this wonderful track. “This was a single of mine that was released almost this time last year. It was played and B listed on BBC Radio 2. I myself became an avid listener since then” Karen said before Crash & Burn. This was a power pop anthem which is highly addictive. My favourite part of this song had to be the powerful chorus. The lyrics were fantastic and also infectious as well. It was then onto yet another cover and this being a take of Lady Gaga’s You & I. For this number Karen was on her guitar and it was delivered brilliantly. Barrow made this song completely her own. It was then straight into the forthcoming single Hour Of Sunshine which is set to feature on The Great Expectations EP next month. This upbeat song has a country feel to it. I consider this number to be a feel good song. “It’s this time in the evening I’m kind of regretting wearing leather trousers. But we will progress and I think we’ve got 1 more song for you guys” Barrow said before capping off the evening with Looking Glass. This was a powerful song. This number was a mixture of pop and rock which worked wonders.

SET LIST

Black & White
Single White Female
Elated
People Get Ready
Crash & Burn
You & I
Hour Of Sunshine
Looking Glass

OVERALL: This was a brilliant evening which featured 3 extremely talented artists. Stephen Ridley had something rather special. Elissa Franceschi literally blew me away and I relish seeing her live again. As for Scarlette Fever, it was a pleasure hearing a longer set. Plus the Lady Gaga and Eva Cassidy covers were faultless. I look forward to The Great Expectations EP and the repackaged version of Medication Time.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. So will you be joining us down at The MixTape Sessions at Regal Room on Thursday??

    1. Planet Music says:

      An acoustic Elissa. How can I refuse 😀

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