Even before Acoustic Rooms kicked off last night there was excitement in the air as not only were we joined by ITV’s The Voice who were going to be filming the performers throughout the night, Deaf Havana made a surprise visit ahead of their Rock City show tonight.
The music kicked off with Omari who performed his usual jazz-rap style of spoken word to a chilled out backing track, keeping the atmosphere mellowed out while the audience settled down with their drinks. He started with a new song which he had only finished that day, but it got a good reception from the crowd despite a few mistakes at the beginning.
Following Omari was Tippy vs Humanity who is also a regular performer at Acoustic Rooms and again demonstrated his flawless ability to rap with speed and precision, not tripping up once during his set. Jimmy Evans went next who performed a more traditional style of acoustic set, singing along with is guitar and performing a cover of Mario’s ‘Let Me Love You’ which got the crowd moving and singing along to the well-known classic but with Jimmy’s own sound to it.
Next up was another traditional acoustic act, Ollie Hensby, who opened with is own song which started off slow but progressed into an upbeat cheerful tune. His second song ‘Neon’ included a funkier sound to it again the crowd were moving along to the music. An act new to Acoustic Rooms went up next, Venus Milone and Rockstar, who performed their latest song ‘Tell Me’ which they’ve been advertising a lot on their Instagram accounts. Venus had a strong and soulful voice and Rockstar accompanied with backing vocals and his own rap section during the song which gave it extra dynamics and textures. By the end, the audience were clapping along and seemed to really enjoy the song.
It was then time for the special guests of the night and first up was VEDA from Birmingham who came with the main act Y!KES to support. VEDA played his electric guitar alongside a backing track and his vocals added to the mix to create a sound similar to that of The Smiths or The Cure, with a couple of songs including a Strokes vibe too. He ended with his new song which was released last week and got the audience excited for Y!KES who were up next.
Y!KES are a four-piece alternative rock band from Birmingham and after Acoustic Rooms last night are going on to play a homecoming show at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on Thursday and then a London show at The Fiddlers Elbow on Sunday. They played one of their songs for the first time acoustically and lead singer Joby Fitzgerald told the audience that he had “a feeling this one is going to sound dead Spanish” which it did but it got everyone moving and dancing around and drummer TJ even stood up with his Cajon and walked around getting people hyped up.
The band had a lot of energy and a good sense of humour between their songs and they ended their set with a brand-new song ‘Matchstick Empires’ which had energy and power to it. After they had finished, TJ came round the audience and introduced himself to everybody and told us all about their latest music video due to be released on April 5th which is a parody of The X Factor- titled The Y Factor which he admitted was slightly awkward with the crew from The Voice in the room. The band gave a good performance and it would be good to have more music out there for fans to listen too in the future as currently they only have the one song on Spotify.
Continuing on the Acoustic Rooms night were returning regulars Gino and Jalle who started with their song ‘Painkillers and Menthols’ before Jalle took over and did a couple of solo songs including a new one which demonstrated his use of flow and range his voice can cover. Fizz and Aya who had been at Acoustic Rooms a couple of weeks ago went up next and performed a couple of songs together including a cover of ‘Wicked Game’ which lowered the pace of the evening and gave everybody a chance to calm down and relax after the action-packed guest performances previously.
Following Fizz and Aya was James, the more mature gentleman from the last couple of weeks who has been performing with his guitar and harmonica. This week however, he didn’t use his harmonica for his set and instead used only his guitar and his voice to perform a few blues songs for the crowd. Next up was another artist who was accompanied by just his acoustic guitar, maintaining the conventional acoustic rooms set up. He had a punk feel to his music and covered ‘New England’ by Billy Bragg with attitude and following this was another unfamiliar face who did some hip-hop songs which included one with an incredible bass line that ended up shaking the seats in the venue.
Another unfamiliar face took to the stage next, a rapper who went by the name of Bee Tone. Bee Tone was able to rap incredibly quickly and accurately and sounded like Professor Green and Devlin combined. He was then joined by Alex Nix from Derby and another guitarist/ rapper and the three gave a great performance incorporating a variety of styles to cover well known songs such as ‘No Diggity’ and ‘So Sick’ by Ne-Yo. The three worked well together and complimented each other’s styles well.
Following this was the penultimate performance for the night, a four-piece band who did a couple of covers including ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ and ‘Hey Ya’. Both were good performances and increased the energy in the room, and because the songs were well known the audience were able to sing along and get involved too so their performance was overall enjoyed.
The last act of the night was Myles Knight who has performed at Acoustic Rooms in the past. He began his set with a cover of Paolo Nutini and apologised before hand that he couldn’t sing it as well as him, but in all honesty, he made the performance his own and did a very good job of matching the quality of the original song. He then finished with his own song which had an essence of Alex Turner to his lyrics, and he was accompanied by James from earlier this time with his harmonica which ended the night on a high.
Acoustic Rooms has developed a lot since our weekly round ups began and it’s great to see such a wide variety of performances and acts from different backgrounds taking the stage each week. If you’re interested in performing in the coming weeks then get in touch with either Laurie Illingworth who runs the night, message Acoustic Rooms on Facebook, or head down at 7:30 to sign up on the night!