The Small Ballroom, Islington
Friday August 23, 2013 :
The Small Ballroom has seen some awesome live acts perform there in its relatively short lifespan, and tonight was no exception. I arrived in time to see the garage-rock stylings of Apes, and despite not being a fan of their tunes, their live show gives their music that extra urgency they need. Breakout tune, ‘Seven’, in particular gets transformed from pedestrian-rock to crowd-mover when the boys from Apes give it their all on stage.
And then it was time for the Findlay sisters, a.k.a. Stonefield, to strut their stuff, and boy do they do deliver. These girls all ooze talent and despite their youth (still in school!?!), they’ve obviously learnt a lot from their touring thus far. The band’s song-writing prowess is lacking when compared with their live show however, with the relatively simple arrangements being carried by the (awesome) vocals. Stonefield are once again showing their growth in this area however with their new material coming closer to realising the band’s potential.
It wouldn’t be fair to review this gig without devoting a paragraph to the unbelievable Amy Findlay. I was initially disappointed to see an extra member on stage drumming so drummer/vocalist Amy could go into “frontwoman” mode, but boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Amy’s a good drummer but she’s a SENSATIONAL singer, and giving her free reign onstage (instead of being trapped behind a drum riser,) it’s the best decision the band could’ve made.
About halfway through the set, the band saluted their formative years with Amy taking up the drums for a few songs. This was another highlight as the band smashed through an extended instrumental section which showed that Stonefield are much more than a one-woman show. The final few songs had Amy up front again, and new single ‘Put Your Curse On Me’ was undoubtedly the song of the night.
A performance this good deserves praise, but the fact that the Findlay sisters are so early in their career takes it to another level. Stonefield deserve to sell out venues twice the size of the Small Ballroom, and if their current trajectory holds true I expect that they will.
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