Just to explain my current mood : disappointed because of the very low turnout at this gig – only 20 people there, although they all seemed to enjoy it. I just think bands like these two should be playing to larger audiences.
I had seen Quecia before, supporting Panic Room in Wolverhampton, and had been worried that the illness which had forced them to cancel a recent support slot with Breathing Space would also see them have to pull out of this one. But they pulled through, and there was no hint of them being under the weather, which is testament to their professionalism. This was an acoustic set, two guitars, two stunning voices – Kirsty’s voice is very reminicent of All About Eve, and, frankly, Hayley’s vocals are too good to be just backing vocals. Very strong melodic rock, and the new songs sound like they are taking the band up another level. They are playing with Breathing Space at Barnsley on 27 November, and I expect they will go down very well with that audience.
This was Mangrove’s final date on their two-date inaugral UK tour. I think at the very most 60 people will have seen them, and it is a shame it is such a low number. Their new material sounds very strong – Beyond Reality almost has a touch of the Scorpions at their ballady best within it, but they have their roots very firmly in 70s Genesis – think Trick of the Tail. They are clearly enjoying themselves on stage, and while Chris Jonker was not in the tin foil suit he was wearing on Saturday, Roland van der Horst made up for this by wearing a metallic blue dress shirt – its all about fun and a bit of theatre. And the music is good – yes, there is pomp; yes, there are some self-indulgent parts, but when they are played this well I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. It certainly wasn’t seen as being a bad thing back in the 70s. The gig had an excellent tempo, lots of dynamic moments, really good melodies and fine solos. I hope they come back to the UK again, and I hope they get bigger audiences next time around.