After recently attending and enjoying the output of a number of incredible acts hosted by Paradise London Live at the Hard Rock Cafe in the heart of London, I was looking forward to tonight’s event where Talentbanq, a London based company who represent a carefully curated selection of the UK’s best independent artists to deliver outstanding live performances were showcasing three of their acts.
Opening up was Cambridge based singer songwriter Woodley Taylor. His set was chock full of catchy numbers with more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box. He effortlessly fused country, blues, rock with his soulful vocals to showcase his talents to the audience who had chosen wisely, deciding to get off the couch and come and support live music! With nods to the greats of yesteryear (Gilmour/Young) he put on a tremendous set with the aid of his backing band who did a sterling job of laying a solid foundation for him to produce his art. With his debut album Breathe a Little Deeper recently released, you’d be a fool not to check it out, keep an eye on Woodley Taylor as I’m sure you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more of him soon!
Up next were the force of nature that is London based five piece The Second Sons, who, from the off set a blazing pace which I thought they’d struggle to keep up throughout their set, how wrong was I? Full of bravado with a swagger that would knock you dead at twenty paces, I would define them as a cross between the bastard love children of The Rolling Stones, James Brown and Iggy and the Stooges. The frontman didn’t stand still for one minute, prancing about the stage, engaging with the room with ease, looking every part the young Mr Jagger whilst the guitarists did a tremendous job of channelling the spirits of ‘Keef’ and ‘Ron’ into their performances. They all played their roles well and the audience instantly warmed to their high octane, beat driven rhythm and blues, which had everyone rockin’ and a rollin’ in no time at all. If you want a band to believe in, a band that can revitalise what I feel is a bit of a fledgling music scene at the moment, get along to one of their shows, you can thank me later….
Ray Jones (founding director and CEO at Talentbanq) warned me about the next act, he personally guaranteed that I’d have the time of my life watching their 30 minute performance and afterwards, I had to agree with him, it was amazing! The seven headed, fourteen-legged beast which was South London based Coffeepot Drive dug deep and rolled out a delectably honest blend of funk, rock and blues that was SO dirty, I had to have TWO showers when I got home! Their songs were catchy, their onstage chemistry was immense, seeing the bass player and guitarist stood shoulder to shoulder at the back of the stage, allowing space for the lead singer and her two backing singers was refreshing to see! They all looked like they were having so much fun on stage and, as hard as it was to single out one star from the band, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the bass player did it for me (I used to play bass myself), this guy was something else, his effortless, elastic lines were enhanced when he and the guitarist joined forces to deliver some super sweet melodies for the rest of the band to layer their sounds on top of. If you’re looking for a band to kick star your day/weekend/party, go look up Coffeepot Drive and see if they’re available to perform, I personally guarantee that you’ll have the time of your life!
Sadly, there are no more music events planned at the Hard Rock Cafe in London until the Autumn but, after speaking to the Senior Sales and Marketing Manager Sarah Handy, she said that there are exciting things in the pipeline..... roll on Autumn!
Words and Pictures by Steve Muscutt