Brandon Benson @ The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Another week another gig, this time it’s in Pompy, Mr Flowers current home town. The Wedgewood Rooms the venue, and we managed to find it without marching in circles. The venue itself was small and intimate which was really good, could only have been 50 Ft Sq including stage. First of the warmup acts were Psychid. These were poor, boring with ereie vocals and no catchy hooks or anything. The skinhead bass player sang like a chipmunk and the hippie lead singer was trying to act stoned when he clearly wasn’t. Back to the bar we headed 🙂
Onto a more cheerier note, Hal appeared to raise the spirits of the crowd. They had perfect pop hooks and melodies, with a great singer with a super voice, even managed a falsetto in there too. These 2 brothers from Ireland were very good and had the melodies and musical sound of their fellow countrymen The Thrills. Although these guys varied the formula and with the strong vocals, produced a super performance.
Finally the headliner Brandon Benson struts onto stage with his band in tow. Even though he is relatively new to my ears, it strikes you that he is an accomplised artist and get straight on with some perfectly crafted pop/rock tunes. The first half follows in this fashion with a strong but emotional voice the songs were met with rapturous applauses.
It was towards the end of the set when he really turned the screw and played some corkers from his new album, ‘Spit It Out’ being my personal favourite. These more upbeat and rocky numbers were excellent and had most singing and dancing along. He was very accomplished, after working with jack white i can see his experience counts for something. As far as an Indie Rock night went, it never got started. But in terms of feel good tunes, performance and smooth Rock/Pop hooks and riffs, it was faultless.