PRIMAL / The Maze, Nottingham | 27th of March

PRIMAL / The Maze, Nottingham | 27th of March

On Tuesday 27th March, The Maze’s Notts in a Nutshell hosted four local artists who each displayed raw talent and provided great entertainment for those who came. Performing were PRIMAL: a blues rock power trio, Frank: a local guitar-heavy Indie Rock band, Black Cabinet: a blues-inspired rock n roll trio and Tom Shawcroft: an indie singer-songwriter.

Kicking off the night, albeit delayed due to general soundchecks, was 20-year-old singer-songwriter Tom Shawcroft, who created a unique indie sound with deep, rich vocals impressive for someone so young and an electronic synthesizer, showing his knack for multitasking. Shawcroft’s ability to integrate these impressive vocals with an electric beat and drum-and-bass breaks really impressed the audience. This may have been best heard in his track Attitude, which incorporated a slow, steady electronic beat throughout that perfectly complimented Shawcroft’s vocals and the sudden drum-and-bass instrumental pause showed Shawcroft’s mixing talents, as I forgot my gripes of tardiness and thought how well this would fit in a club.

The event then took a loud and exciting turn with Black Cabinet. During their warmup, the audience was warned that they weren’t for the faint-hearted by the lead singer and guitarist Gary Jobling’s electric strumming. In their first gig, the band really impressed through a combination of slower blues numbers with Dan Wicks’ humming bass and Martin Trimble’s gentle drumming echoing around the room and heavier classic rock n roll songs with fast, talented instrumentals, simple and effective vocals and beautiful guitar solos; a highlight of the evening. Black Cabinet’s infectious energy, from Wick’s bobbing as he jammed to Jobling’s concentrated look as he played each solo, ensured a enjoyably unique experience and a strong first gig.

Penultimately, indie band Frank performed and I cannot stress “performed” enough. Larger-than-life lead singer Craig Wheeldon’s antics, including every cheeky “cheers” after each song and bantering his audience was an expert touch to make Frank unique. Like Black Cabinet, Frank really had fun on the stage, particularly Wheeldon, who really involved the crowd and excited them with every sway of his body and every successful harmony with his guitarists. Frank’s inspiration by the likes of Oasis is greatly seen throughout their catchy guitar rhythms, elegant drum beats and relatable, humorous lyrics, including Only For Tonight, a brilliant, memorable indie rock song based around pulling on a night out.

However, it was blues rock band PRIMAL who stole the show with intoxicating instrumentals and powerful vocals. Lead singer Rory Wilson, guitarist Danny Bigland and drummer Greg McAndry all showed their potential, but it is almost impossible to separate one as the group’s star, as they work so well together. Wilson’s vocal range, from booming high to smooth low is astounding and the Derbyshire band really deliver on their promise of “howling lyrics, groovy riffs and pounding drums”. Their single, Mystery Man, displayed everything the band show promise in, from Wilson’s electrifying voice to Bigland’s addictive riffs to McAndry’s expert control of even the most intricate beat. From this small dose, I am eager to see where this talented trio will go next and I believe, as with the other three artists, they will prospectively continue to advance in the music industry.

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