Stephen Evens/Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something/Vonhorn/Sgt Duke- Windmill-20/11/2019.

On a fairly cold November evening went to the Windmill in Brixton town to see what turned out to be a fairly eclectic group of bands.

I was there ostensibly to see “Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic something” who I have seen a couple of times before. They remind me of a slightly less heavy version of “Turbowolf”. Led inevitably by Jemma her alter ego takes the stage for a bit for of gender blurring, including some guitar antics that are possibly a little tongue in cheek. Great energy and commitment to the performance I was also impressed by the amount of pedals that appeared out of a rolled up towel/small carpet. One of those bands who should be bigger but also nice for the fans to keep them accessible. A dilemma of course.

First band on stage were “Sgt Duke” who are a group of guys who were literally suited and booted. Two guitarists shared vocal duties (two quite different styles) but are the next generation of guitar led bands looking to offer something a little left field and quirky. They reminded me of” XTC” at times but are very much of now and seem to be gaining a following. Not sure about the name but I’m sure there is a story there that I’m not aware of.

Second band on stage were “Vonhorn” who are a classy three piece who had a good range of tunes and delivered immaculately. Slightly self-deprecating they are competing in a tough musical space but they were really good and I would pay money to see them again. Very clean, note perfect and clearly enjoying their 30 minutes in the spotlight.

Headlining was Stephen Evans. Never heard of this guy before he was billed as a kind of Ivor Cutler figure. That’s not how he came across leading a really competent and powerful band who knew their stagecraft. Stephen cuts an interesting figure, dressed in a three piece suit but with an enviable amount of wild hair, for someone who is arguably over 40(?). Not trying to be ageist but they are for the more discerning audience who can appreciate the irony of songs about household objects and manual labour. I really enjoyed them and again would make an effort to see them again, although I think they are a little elusive and this was a relatively novel event.

Great night and wish them all the success they are looking for.

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