Cheltenham underground put together a fantastic gig in aid of the Charity, Honour Village with local talent taking to the stage in great support.
A quiet murmur marked my entry into Slak, the lighting was soft and dark, tables and chairs were scattered aptly around the small stage. The mood struck me as one reminiscent of some small jazz bar, slight excitement and an air of a calm
First up was Mint, rock steady to reggae beats took the crowd in instantly. Offbeat covers of classics kept feet tapping and shoulders moving whilst the bands charisma enticed the crowd sparking off a few good reactions and some laughable banter between audience and band.
Ed Donovan and the wandering moles took the stage and silence reigned for a minute. Then a melodious note tinged the air, followed by more and more and soon the crowd had gained a gentle sway.
A soft voice edged by a raw truth and strengthened by gaunt eyes, cut through the crowd dropping the mood as the lyrics floated us all off to a inner world haunted by past memories. `Fell Like Snow` came to an end and after a few more sombre tunes, Donovan turned up the pace to resemble an early sixties rock melody, singing heart fully about a girl...Julie. The band left to a surprisingly loud round of applause given the size of the place, and Zen Elephant took the stage.
I have already spoken of the changing mood throughout the night, and here we find yet another shift to the more upbeat. â€˜My way` was received well, a couple near the back even having a drunken stumble round to it. The band continued well on form all night, an integral blend of folk singing mixed with two tone guitar and a bit of scat kept the crowd happy and moving throughout. The singer`s quick shift to French in its self incited scattered applause, an applause that was tripled by the end of the set.
Midnight Mile`s Andy Oliveri put a good finish on the night. A blend of folk guitar and soft soulful singing swept over the club echoing of a time long gone and a love long lost. The guitar/vocalist kept obvious influence from midnight mile. Whilst putting a personal and slightly more upbeat twist on the original creating a mellisonant and passionate set that wrapped the audience in a world of their own. All in all a good Friday night.