Folk Fest: Day 2 @ The Bedford 20th July 2012

Opening up the in the theatre were 5 piece group Indigo Earth. This London based band consist of Amy Wilson, Ben Nash, Matt Facy, Jess Sawers-Warren and Tom Smith. The majority set was a showcased tracks that appeared on the self titled Indigo Earth EP plus a couple of new ones were added in for good measure. They have something incredibly special and the style of music that they sing is entrancing folk music. Proceedings started with a brand spanking new song and this being Rose. The vocals were shared by both Nash and Wilson. Rose was very reminiscent to Mumford & Sons but with added female vocals. Indigo Earth are a close knitted band and the lyrics to Rose were brilliant. Folkness flowed from this energetic number. “It’s very nice to be back at The Bedford. We played here probably about a year ago maybe and we’ve done a lot since then” Amy said before Wise Man. Amy took the reins for this lovely song and the harmonising was extremely tight. I found Wise Man to be very uplifting and I loved the melody to it. This tune was rather gentle and mesmerizing at the same time. “We’re going to play a bit more of a upbeat one now” Wilson said before the next song. Ben Nash sang the majority of Light The World Up. I would actually say this song is a combination of folk/ rock and could be seen as an anthem. Light The World Up is packed with promise and it has to feature on another EP or album. I also found this number very up tempo/ up beat and infectious at the same time. For The Son was played straight after. I found this song to be rather gentle which had some fantastic lyrics. Wilson took lead for this power charged track and the rest of the band harmonised to perfection. “We would like to thank The Bedford and the London Folk Fest for having us” Nash then said before they showcased another brand new song and this being Forces Shatter. This was the 2nd time that they sang this song (well 3 or 4 if you count when they played it in sound check). The majority was sung by Ben Nash and Amy Wilson harmonised as well as showing of another talent and this being her playing the Clarinet. This tune was actually rather promising and my mouth waters at the prospect of a brand new Indigo Earth EP. Still this song was superbly delivered and they got through it without a hitch. The penultimate song was Makes Me Wonder. This song was simply stunning. Amy’s vocals were extremely distinctive and the harmonising made this number stronger. The band ended with Cold Light Of Day. The harmonising was spot on and this was a feel good song. This number was played at a steady pace and had superbly written lyrics

SET LIST

Rose
Wise Man
Light The World Up
For The Son
Forces Shatter
Makes Me Wonder
Cold Light Of Day

After having witnessed Indigo Earth play in the main theatre it was then off to the Tavistock to witness something extremely new. This coming in the form of Brighton based Jenna Bennett whom was joined by both Sam Black and Lisa Wadham. The set that was played was stripped back as it was just Jenna, her acoustic guitar, Sam and Lisa (who harmonised). Now I was completely bowled over and it left me captivated from beginning to end. The short 6 song set kicked off with To Be Free. This song was about moving to Brighton (which is where Jenna is now based). I liked this song and the harmonising by both Sam and Lisa was spot on. To Be Free was a well written song and the vocals were both distinctive and powerful. “I am Jenna Bennett and this is Lisa Wadham closest to me and Sam Black on the right there” Bennett then said before Black Eyes. What I liked about this song was the fact you could picture a music video to it. This tune was gentle, slightly pacey and energy flowed though it. “We’re going to do a little love song now. It’s an unrequited love song” Jenna told the intimate audience before If I Wait. This was played at a steady pace and the vocals were sublime. I adored this song as the lyrics were straight to the point. The harmonising by Sam and Lisa was outstanding. “It’s about suing people, which I don’t do much” Bennett said explaining what Men In Suits was about. It was in fact very upbeat and the vocal performance was rather luscious. Its lyrics were fantastic. “I’ve got men in suits and there coming for you”. Towards the end this tune got stronger and Jenna put everything into it. It was then onto something unique which won’t be repeated again. This being the title track of the new EP Behind My Eyelids but this was the birthday version. “This is a very sexy song” Bennett then said before getting stuck into this phenomenal tune. I found it to be rather pacey and the vocals were really strong. Everyone started clapping along when Jenna changed the lyrics to birthday as she was nervous. Still plenty of people were laughing along when she did this. Play With Fire ended this wonderful set. Plenty of reverb was put onto this song which made it slightly echoey.

SET LIST

To Be Free
Black Eyes
If I Wait
Men In Suits
Behind My Eyelids
Play With Fire

Headlining the theatre was Alessi Laurent-Marke. Now Alessi is the lead singer in Alessi’s Ark who also include Jamie and Georgia. The style of music that this wonderful band sing is folk pop. This outstanding 15 song set consisted of material from début album Notes From The Treehouse, its follow up Time Travel and the Soul Proprietor EP. Other than that she also sang a couple of new tunes which will most likely feature on the forthcoming album Young Colossus.

“I’m just glad I found the stage. It takes about 15 minutes to find this room. I opened every door but this one” Alessi said before they opened with The Wire. I found this shirt song very sweet and at the same time very mesmerising. The vocals were extremely soft and gentle. It was then straight onto The Bird Song which was an outstanding short song. I found this tune to be rather magical and enchanting as well. The lyrics were superb. “This is very nice. Very civilised. This song’s about fishing. Never been but yeah it’s a daft thing to write about” Laurent-Marke mentioned to the audience before Ribbon Lakes. Now this tune was very clear cut and from the lyrics you know it is about fishing. “Lets go fishing, Take me to the Ribbon Lakes”.  “This song is called Time Travel. It’s about quite a strange night that I had in Falmouth. I don’t know if you’ve had strange nights there too” Alessi then said. Now Time Travel was about repercussions of a gig she did in Falmouth. It was delivered superbly and this being a steady paced tune with excellent harmonising. It was then onto something brand new and this being Sans Balance which will no doubt feature on the forthcoming LP.  This steady paced gentle song was rather promising and I look forward to hearing the studio recording. Sans Balance also included French lyrics. “I’m going to do some songs in my own for a bit” Laurent-Marke said before Constellations. I found this tune to be rather dreamy and it’s one of my highlights from the debut album Notes From The Treehouse. “Perfect temperature as well apart from an incredibly hot forehead. Everything else is comfortable. Where are my family? I know they’re here but I can’t see any of them. They did make me. I do belong to people like Paddington or something” she then said before another new song and this being the short Big Chicken. I really liked this steady paced ditty. It was then back to a song from the début album and this being Woman. “This is another new one. With a scary middle bit. Scary for all of us” Alessi said before launching into another new song and this being The Corn Song. Its lyrics were up tempo and rather sublime. Must Have Grown was next on the night and this being steady paced and it also features on the sophomore LP Time Travel. Alessi blitzed though this short song at ease. “I’m going to try another new song” Laurent-Marke mentioned to the intimate audience before getting stuck into the introducing the next song as Tin Smithing. Mountains followed on and this song was extremely short and delivered to perfection at the same time. The Horse and this was the lead track on The Horse EP which was released in 2008. This number I found to be light and gentle. Also it was very spell binding. “This is the jolliest song in the set. It’s really jumpy in the other room” Alessi said before The Robot. I liked the lyrics to this brilliant song. It was delivered softly. “We will do 1 more song. The Dog or the Hummingbird? Why did I ever write The Dog?” Laurent-Marke then said giving us the chance to pick which tune ended the set. Hummingbird was the clear winner. This song ended what had been an incredible evening.

SET LIST

The Wire
The Bird Song
Ribbon Lakes
Time Travel
Sans Balance
Constellations
Big Chicken
Woman
The Corn Song
Must Have Grown
Tin Smithing
Mountains
The Horse
The Robot
Hummingbird

OVERALL: I may have played my 2nd day at Folk Fest safe but I did witness one artist who I want to see again and I will keep tabs on in the future.

My opinion on the 2nd day was a positive one. Indigo Earth are amazing as ever and they are a tight band with some fantastic tunes under their belt. Also the new songs Forces Shatter and Rose sounded fantastic. I am anticipating hearing the mastered versions of these brilliant numbers.

As for Alessi’s Ark I enjoyed every minute of the set. It had been about a year since I last saw her and I never really knew how much I missed seeing her play live. Each song played was a classic and the new ones were incredible. I especially liked The Corn Song. I really liked her sense of humour as well.

Finally what can I say about Jenna Bennett. This was the first time I had seen her play and I only went along to the Tavistock to see her set on a whim. I was hearing her music for the 1st time and I was hooked from start to finish. The one thing I liked about Jenna was the fact she had an infectious personality.

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