Gig Review Friday 12th November 2010 â€“ @ Slaks, Cheltenham
Natalie Ross, The Hotsy Totsy Hoofer with Joe Summers.
Friday night saw me donning 50`s garb and popping back to Slaks for another gig. This time a totally different vibe was in the club. There were little tables everywhere, great lighting and a tiny little stage for the acts of the evening, the decor was reminiscent of a rock and roll bar and it worked. Me and 50`s garbed friends took a seat near the front and awaited the acts while listening to a great collection of tracks from bygone eras, singing to the oldies and having a right old laugh.
When Joe Summers took the stage, just him and his guitar, a skinny beanie-clad soul, it was like we had just been smacked in the face with something pretty special. The crowd went silent as soon as he sang his first melody. This guy created a slow, strong, melodic sound with honest lyrics and chords that made you want to laugh and cry all at the same time. Along with the rest of the female population, I dribbled slightly into my glass â€˜o vino and sat spell-bound as his voice floated out and around us. Great crowd interaction too, I`m pretty sure a few people swooned. If I had to sum him up in a phrase, it would be â€˜beardy greatness`. Modern and yet had the grounding in music that told a tale of generations of musical talent in him. He had the gift of creating a huge, emotive sound out of just his guitar and his voice. The crowd tapped their feet unconsciously and smiled constantly. Think Bright Eyes, David Grey and a hint of Damian Rice. He got an encore too! Definitely one to watch, though be careful ladies!
Main act, Natalie Ross was a character! The whole evening was themed around her style, which was an amazing modern twist on the 40/50`s musical style. It added an element of fun to her act.
This girl was bubbly, funny, blonde and dressed to kill, she definitely had the â€˜wow` factor. Her voice was beautiful. Strong and yet sultry, she created a beautiful sound. Her bags of personality showed through her music with lyrics that made you laugh and listen and take notice. She kept perfect time to her own beat! Just her wonderful voice, an electric acoustic and a brilliant voice machine (the technology escapes me) that repeated any 4 bar melody she sang into it. She`s the kind of singer we all want to be like as she had so much fun with it all! The harmonies she created were layered progressively through the set, she weaved them in and out of her songs; at some points she even played without the guitar 100% a`capella with her â€˜band` formed out of the layers of melody and harmony she recorded and played back live. Fan-dab-oo-lous!! She got an encore too, the crowd really responded to her and her interaction with them was brilliant. It`s always so nice to meet artists who care about the people they are playing too. Cheltenham gig-goers a sensitive bunch and we certainly liked this woman. She drew in a fantastic crowd for Slaks and we all had a terrific evening. Plus, I won the competition for â€˜best dressed` person in the world...who happened to be in Slaks at that time...approximately 11.30pm...on a Friday! Woo!
Check her out!!