Some of the tracks the team are enjoying most today.
The Cheltenham Underground have a reputation for putting on interesting music nights. Not having any preconceptions or limitations as to style or genre, you are never quite sure what to expect on one of their shows except that it will be a good night with some great music.
And so, after a summer break the Cheltenham Underground returned, and where else could they put on the show but their spiritual home of Slak in Cheltenham?
First on to the stage, or at least the area of floor designated as the stage, was Johnny5thWheel. A mixture of traditional folk with more modern stylings, Johnny often plays with his roving band TheCowards but this evening he treated us to a solo set. A quirky sound with an odd lyrical and vocal style – something akin to The Decemberists deciding to play Monty Python songs – led to an interesting if uninspiring set. When the most memorable part of the performance is the singer’s moustache (which was so impressive a Victorian villain would be proud) it’s not a good sign.
After a summer-long hiatus to recharge the batteries, Gloucestershire based music promotion team The Cheltenham Underground return with a new show to tantalise the taste buds.
Returning to their spiritual home of Slak on Friday 17th September, Cheltenham Underground once again present us with an exciting and eclectic mix of music.
The line up for the evening consists of the following:
Johnny5thWheel&TheCowards. With The Ark Magazine describing their music as ‘transporting you to a tavern in the 17th Century with a tankard of ale in hand’, this upbeat folk band sounds like a great way to start the evening.
Next up, Stressechoes. Having played the taverns of Cheltenham as a two-piece performing mainly covers for the last couple of years, they have now expanded into a four piece and are concentrating on producing their own material. The addition of drums and bass has seen Stressechoes go from strength to strength.
Finally, headlining are The Wilderness of Manitoba. This five piece Canadian folk outfit choose not to rely on electric instruments, but rather the strength of their melodies and vocals which include intricately weaved three and four piece harmonies wrapped around traditional folk elements.
Spotisfaction writer Ben Hawling is not one to blow his own trumpet (and believe me he has tried) but he does have other talents. When not spewing forth intriguing and in-depth prose that stimulates intellectual debate, our Ben creates culinary masterpieces such as chocolate pizza and has also been known to occasionally hit things with sticks.
Luckily the things he hits are drums, and in a random set of circumstances that I am led to believe involved baked beans, a deer, some sellotape, the complete written works of Enid Blyton and a Commonwealth Games silver medal, Ben has recently ended up as the drummer for Cheltenham-based band Stressechoes.
After a successful appearance at Cheltenham Underground’s Decent Days and Nights weekender, Stressechoes, complete with new drummer, have gone on to play at other events in Cheltenham to such crowd approval that they decided to record a few tracks for a demo.
And so it was that last week the four Stressechoes found themselves in a recording studio for a day and out of this session a four track demo was created. Visitors to the band’s MySpace site can now check out the tracks and I would highly recommend that you do so now so that in future you can claim to all your friends that you knew about them before they became popular.