Solitude - The Cross Keys, Redgrave
The band are preparing themselves while the crowd wait in near silence. The anticipation we saw last week seems timid compared to this. There is definitely more pressure on Solitude due to the high expectations of their audience. The last 3 bands at ‘the Keys’ have been roaring successes and crowd sizes are growing every week. Solitude have right to be nervous. All eyes are on the band and I sit praying that they pick a good opener to break the ice; and they do. It’s Jet’s first hit ‘Are you gonna be my girl’ which is one of the best openers imaginable as it lets all instruments come in on their own making a brilliant impact. Starting with a bass line that has your foot tapping before your head is bobbing to the drum beat which all leads to the recognizable guitar riff that sets the band explode and lets smiles loose as many happy spectators exchange glances to say “oh look it’s that song”. It’s an impressive start.
For a change the crowd get into the music straight away. Normally bands have to get well into their second half for people to actually get really into it but this time it’s different. Everyone is happy and there is a real feeling that people have actually come to see the music instead of turning up coincidently.
As the band hit the half way point I’m fairly impressed. There are no fancy band
logos around or hopeless amounts of unneeded equipment, just a good old-fashioned covers band that play a varied set of rock and pop classics. Not once did I see the room without a single soul singing along. It shows that you don’t always need to be amazingly perfect, just a good set and some nice playing can go a lot further.
Songs like ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ pushes the band, something that at times they seem a bit scared to do. Lead vocalist Nikki Wilcockson has a good voice but at times seems afraid to belt out the long notes that she is capable of. Some mind- blowing guitar solos also shine, each solo never differing from the original which shows great skill.
Second set brings much of the same. ‘Teenage Kicks’ cleverly blends into a great cover of ‘Ballroom Blitz’ which the whole band really get into. It may be near the end but the band’s concentration is immaculate, I don’t think both guitarists ever took their eyes off their guitars. Set closer ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ sees every string played louder and every cymbal bashed to give themselves a proper send off. A hefty applause thanks the band and shouts for more brings the band back to play crowd favourite ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and Guns ‘n’ Roses hit ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ which sees so many people dancing that if anymore tried to get in we’d have ourselves a mosh pit. Will the quality of music at the Cross Keys ever stop?
Author: Danny Kelly. My rating: