review: The Cheap Date Showcase, Cathedral Quarter, 5th May

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The Cheap Date Showcase, Cathedral Quarter, 5th May
Due to other commitments I only got to one of these; the Saturday afternoon mixed bag of John D'Arcy, the Greeters, Julip's debut performance and the Jane Bradfords.
John D'Arcy played a set of fine easy listening songs, well written and played and showing a maturity well beyond his years. He is doing his A-levels at the moment, so it's very early days but I reckon a lot of people will be filing him under promising.
The Greeters were next, and I stayed for the first funky instrumental then went to the Oh Yeah building open day around the corner. They're not for me I'm afraid, although Oh Yeah was impressive in its ambition, but that's another story.
Julip (or Barry Peak and Niall Harden as they were billed in the brochure) are making their debut today. They have a played a show or two under the solo names but now the line-up is settled as those two plus three-quarters of Tracer AMC, hence the new name. They are immediately impressive, new songs stand out and are fleshed out by the fuller line-up. They are the only band today without a travelling army of supporters in the crowd and they win a lot of people over. It was also good that NVTV recorded this, as they should keep it for posterity.
They are a hard act to follow, and the Jane Bradfords just aren't up to it. An unfortunate sound problem gets them off on the wrong foot and they cope pretty well considering, but I found their overall sound a bit cluttered and confusing. They would be better stripping the line-up down and concentrating on the songs a bit more as I felt something got lost in the mix.

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