Live Music at Trowbridge Town Hall with Alice Mcneil
Young Bands Play in Trowbridge Town Hall
Alice McNeil Presents is a semi regular youth music night hosted at the Trowbridge Town Hall, the most recent of which happened on Friday the 20th of May. The neon Where Is Your Humanity? sign from an earlier event cast a soft red glow over the proceedings, and combined with rows of fairy lights and the last of the light reflected through the town halls windows created an atmosphere similar to that of a jazz club.
Alice McNeil is a singer songwriter from Holt and her music is indie and modern. Her style is strongly reminiscent of early work by Kate Nash or KT Tunstall and Alice's own songs cover every aspect of teenage life, from explorations of angst to one night stands. Her songs are also honest and heartfelt, drawing the audience's attention and maintaining it throughout her entire set. Above all, her confidence and stage presence were extremely impressive, especially at an age where most people feel at their most insecure.
As a person, Alice is friendly, helpful and organised. The fact she uses her talent to showcase that of her friends also shows a rare kind of generosity, and she dedicates many of her songs to her peers in the audience. It was also nice to see how supportive her father was, lending a hand to keep the evening moving along nicely and directing people to various parts of the building.
Following Alice on stage was another solo artist named Joel Francis. Joel's set consisted mainly of love songs, including a fantastic cover of Paolo Nutini's hit Last Request, a song which perfectly complimented his voice. With vocals as strong as his guitar playing he pulled off some impressively high notes with ease. Joel's confidence easily matched that of Alice's, and he changed his own singing style smoothly according to the nature of the songs he was singing.
As the audience moved down into the prison cells, they were treated to a change of style by the dread-locked Jordan Whatley. Performing a range of classic rock songs, the prison bars gave an added grit to his performance, and he wandered confidently around the room as he played, without missing a beat. Jordan wasn't originally cited to play, but gallantly stepped in to play to cover a cancellation. The lack of rehearsal time didn't impede his set in the slightest, and this change in genre lent an inspired touch to the evening.
The three piece band The Bespoke played back upstairs in the foyer and had all the dancers up on their feet within minutes. All three boys are talented musicians, and their enjoyment and enthusiasm for their music is clear to anyone who sees them. Opening with the classic Nina Simone track Feeling Good was a choice perfectly suited to the evening and reflected the high spirits of the event, however, the band played a variety of songs suited to all different musical tastes.
Overall the evening was a great success with a wonderful turn out. I would recommend any of the acts I saw on this evening to anyone, and it wouldn't surprise me if Alice McNeil had a successful music career ahead of her. Links to Alice's music and details of upcoming events can be found on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AliceMcNeilMusic/
Review by Adele Matterface