Sophia Ben Yousef is a singer-songwriter based in Liverpool and this is a rare outing to Manchester for her. For now, it's just her and a keyboard, but you can see how her songs could work with a band. You're immediately drawn to her voice and its fabulous range, demonstrated on both the four songs of her own that she plays and on Beyonce's Crazy In Love and a Drake cover.
She's still clearly at the early stages of her career, noticeably nervous and still learning her craft and developing a stage presence. Her own material suggests though that she'll soon be able to drop those covers, particularly the latest song she's released to Soundcloud and set-closer, All I Need, which shuts up most of the chatting and promises great things ahead for her.
The Night And Day isn't an ideal venue for the fragile nature of her songs, partly due to the next band's fans having a shouting match six feet from the stage, but even she impresses enough to make us want to have another listen.
We're delighted to discover that it wasn't just a one-off. If anything, they're even more fluid and loose than they were last time, but rather than being a mess, it works magnificently. There's ska, folk, reggae and soul in the first song alone. Mixing the vocalists up with the others providing harmonies, as they do throughout the set, just adds to the versatility of the band as they act as another instrument to back up the guitar, bass, keys and drums. Highlights are opening Dinner Hour and Doo Be Dum (Good Time Girl).
The three tracks off their debut EP, which is available as a free download, Control, Escapology and Shades Of Grey encapsulate their sound perfectly - short, sharp bursts that grab you by the ears and make you listen. They don't seem to make any pretence to be anything more than they are, and at this stage they're still forming an identity, but this isn't a bad thing as too many bands try to be something different and unique before they've settled as a band and fail.
The room fills up as they come on which suggests they're building themselves a decent audience already and people are already singing along with the EP tracks. Lead track, Control, with its spiralling repetitive guitar riff, and set-closer We Could Go Dancing, which Gary mentions is about escaping McDonalds, are already fine markers for their future, belying the callow nature of the band. The future looks bright for them if they keep developing at this pace.
Sophia Ben Yousef is on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
My Igloo are on Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter
The Reveurs' official website can be found here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter. Their debut EP can be downloaded free from their Soundcloud site.
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