Blue and green record exploding into shards

Chantelle Pike
Live (Terayn / The Rockin Relics)

I’m sure you’ve all seen the advert for the boring practical Volvo, which takes the piss out of all those older types going through a midlife crisis. Well, if you haven’t it’s a simple theme – shut up, be quiet and do something sensible because you are far too over the hill to try anything vaguely exciting and, besides, all your peers will disown you and your kids will be embarrassed (p.s. buying a Volvo will rid you of these urges and society will accept you again).

Watching the Rockin’ Relics set up I couldn’t help but play this advert through my mind time and time again. But then again who made the rule that if you’re over 40 you can’t rock? Christ, I mean The Who, Bowie, Clapton and The Stones may all have one foot in the grave, but the other is firmly planted on the monitor and I bet their kids aren’t embarrassed by them (Jagger excluded naturally)!

So with a nerve-tingling feeling in the air, the Rockin Relics (or 461, being the sum total of their ages, as they liked to be called) launched into a rather decent version of ‘Stand by Me’. In fact, far from being a car crash of a gig (of course people in Volvo’s don’t crash, it’s the rest of us) the seven-piece positively bounced through the number, leaving enough breaks for the harmonica, violin and keyboards to all have a spot in the limelight, before Anita Emm’s rather excellent vocals came back in.

However, bouncy happy little numbers this was not. After the opener, all bar four were left on stage and a two-song sonic assault began with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, played with both passion and power. Following swiftly was a self-penned number, by singer/guitarist Nick Brown, straight out of the The Fall meets the Pistols stable which got even more applause than the erstwhile cover.

Finishing up with REM’s ‘The One I Love’ it was clear by the audience reaction that, regardless of age, they’d pulled off a cracking little set, proving you don’t have to be a Rolling Stone to keep rocking past your 40’s. A big shout also has to go to Pyeshoppe’s Colin Holton and Route 36’s Bob Spry who, I suspect, felt like proud parents seeing their kids come of age, given their organisation, direction and sheer encouragement both put into making those teenage/middle age dreams come true.

Apologies go out to Marlboro County Fair who, due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed however, getting back to my pint in the beer garden, conversations were stopped midstream when an angelic, almost operatic female voice wafted out of the bar. It was just Chantelle Pike just warming up but, in that one moment she managed to turn enough heads for half of the beer garden to up sticks and get back inside – and it was certainly worth it.

Minus her band because “my German drummer got offered another gig for more money” Chantelle should have looked a lonely figure clutching only her acoustic guitar for company. But she didn’t. We were all with her from the word go and I kind of think she knew that given that this Oxford-based songstress is still a Wiltshire girl at heart.

Mind you it probably didn’t matter given the voice she possesses. Warm, rich, deep and moving she used it to great effect strolling through songs like ‘Isabella’ and ‘Ain’t it Just a Cigarette’ and filling the room with her observational, earthy lyrics.

By the end of the set, she had the audience firmly ensnared in her musical world, ensuring everyone was not going to forget her name and selling a few EPs to boot.

Finishing off the evening were Terayn, one DJ and a singer pumping out hard chill ballads with a housey beat and trancey undertones. Unfortunately, the musical volume was immediately jacked up, having the effect of drowning Tizzi’s vocals and clearing some of the room, given most were still in the gentler, acoustic guitar groove.

Probably better suited to a nightclub, Terayn carried on nonetheless and, within three tracks got the audience back on their side, due to no small measure of having quite a few decent tunes in their catalogue combined with Tizzi’s powerful, emotional voice. A tour around the UK’s club scene and a stint in Ibiza could easily see these two getting audiences punching the air in a sweat-filled, loving frenzy.

All in all a diverse and thoroughly entertaining night.

Written by Habert on

Pete Habert was sub-editor for The Mag and co-ordinated submissions from the swarm of writers that contributed articles from their local music scenes.

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