Carla J. Easton / The Castle Hotel, Manchester | 31st of January

Carla J. Easton / The Castle Hotel, Manchester | 31st of January

The small stage at The Castle Hotel had every inch filled by the seven band mates that Carla J. Easton is made up of, as the eclectic bunch squeezed around their instruments, which were spilling off the stage. Carla herself, amiable and barefoot, talked easily to the crowd whilst the rest of the band set up their equipment. Swigging a glass of wine sporadically, Carla regaled us with anecdotes of the band’s familiarity with close proximity, as the trans-Atlantic group (from Glasgow and Canada) have spent the last few months camping out and rehearsing together in close quarters.

The band are then ready and waste no time in bursting into a pop-y uplifting melody, as Carla’s distinct voice soared through the room easily. Her voice is youthful and clear-cut, reaching the high notes with confidence and perceived ease. There is a Glaswegian tone to her voice that often seeps into her verses, which adds extra definition to her voice. When the chorus picks up, Carla’s voice almost verges towards folk and pop-country as her colloquial twang is prevalent in the upbeat lyrics. Her counterpart, on backing vocals and keys, harmonizes skillfully next to her with subtle and unobtrusive tones, as both of them energetically play the keys. They are both happy to be centre stage, as they twist and dance in time to the lyrics as they sing with great energy and exuberance. There is something quite wholesome about the classic pop vibe, as each song proves to be a feel-good, foot-tapping hit. The drums kick in towards the chorus in typical pop anthem fashion, loudly and deliberately, creating an energetic beat resonating throughout the song.

Despite their pop vibe, the band are undoubtedly quirky and not without individuality. Dressed in a range of sequins, blazers and metallic silver jackets and trousers, the band seem to exude a space-like futuristic vibe which ties into their electronica sound. The synthesizer appeared to have a motion sensor, as the player elaborately swished and hovered his hand over the synth throughout the set. This futuristic performance was entirely enjoyable to watch, as the band surprised and entertained, using methods of performance I have never seen before. Each member of the band appeared to be lost in the music and to be genuinely enjoying their performance, which ultimately made the gig in itself an enjoyable experience for everyone attending. The set came to an end after a heartfelt song named Impossible, as Carla described it’s origins came from the bands seemingly impossible ambition to make the band work between two continents. The song was sung with sincerity and a touch of defiance, as emphasis was loaded within each syllable. The gig wrapped up, all of the band congratulated each other with a high five, as they exuded genuine friendship- and it seemed like it wouldn’t be impossible at all for this band to become a hit in the near future.

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