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2017: Lookin’ Good

We’re almost half way through the year, and it looks like 2017 is turning out to be a good one for music in our area.

It’s proving to be especially fruitful for Bessie Turner, whose debut single Big Sleep was given a fervent reception from large parts of the internet (12,000 views of the video on her first day), radio stations (6 Music, Radio 1 and us dudes) and good ol’ fashioned real life people (her gig at the Swan saw dozens of people singing her words back at her). It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone create such a stir so early on, but there’s a lot to admire. Big Sleep isn’t a one off, and people who heard her session for us or have seen her live will know that Bessie has already got a solid arsenal of songs at her disposal. Abseil, especially, would already be a top five hit in a parallel universe.

But then she’s also got something else – a star quality and charisma that would blow the minds of judges on X Factor. But hopefully, based on the encouragement she’s received early on, that’s not a path that she’ll have to follow.

Our live room has been so busy over the past few weeks that we’re considering installing a revolving door*. I spent an especially enjoyable evening watching Fishclaw jamming out a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend doing so. They play a twisted mix of folk and electronica, and have sprawling songs which go in a million** different directions before reaching their climax. They’re an absolute joy to watch and offer something different each time you see them. The structure of their songs is loose and you can watch the members of the band gesturing with a slight nod of the head or twitch of the eyes as to which direction to go. It’s captivating stuff.

Tundra were also in the live room. I’d been a fan of theirs even before I’d heard any of their songs, and before they were announced as winners of this year’s BurySOUND. “They do a song about Pokemon Go”, I’d been told, and that was enough for me. Who else is writing about Pokemon Go? No-one I know. Thankfully PG, as the song is called, made up part of their session for us and it turns out it’s a song in favour of the game. I’d hoped it would be.

Anyway, they were good and all three members were wearing T-shirts bearing the names of other local bands – SuperGlu, Horse Party and Claws. Nice touch, I thought. Bury St Edmunds continues to be a shining light for how a supportive music community can be.

Other mentions need to go out to Orange, a new band who are getting people very excited; Gerry Read, whose new track Man on the Moon Came Down Too Soon offers a tantalising glimpse of his soon-to-be-released album; Piers James, who I was really impressed with when I saw him at the Ipswich May Day Festival and continues to send us banger after banger; and Rad Pitt, who have a new album out soon and continue to be the mutt’s nutts.

Happy summer!

*we’re not
** not literally