A DOZEN young musicians from the new Bromsgrove Rock School played to a packed audience
at The Swan Inn, Upton Warren, when they took to the stage for their first live gig on Friday
FOSI opened the show, displaying an accomplished harmony of talent from the junior
quartet. Ten year old Isabelle, on vocals, gave a quiet, unaffected delivery of ‘Jeff the
Chicken’ to the tune of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars. Her confidence and sense of enjoyment
grew in their second number reflected in stronger vocals for a rendition of ‘Seven Nation
Guitarists Oscar and Frank competently led the group and Sam on drums was awesome in
the background, clearly very comfortable playing before an audience.
Band B followed with the stunning redhead teenager Margaux leading the band on vocals
for ‘Can’t Stop’ and ‘Creep’. Brothers Jack and Matt made the most awesome drum and
bass rhythm section on these tunes. Can’t Stop in particular showed off Jack’s impressive
slap-funk skills on the bass. The band were joined by Harry on guitar who had stepped in to
help them out for this performance.
Band C changed the tone of the evening with a grandad pleasing ‘Jonny Be Good’ and the
restrained and down-tempo ‘Smile Like You Mean It’. Both were well delivered by the
strong teenage band, with vocals well supported by relaxed guitarists Jack and Jake and the
skilful drummer Harry.
When McFreylan took to the stage the band oozed cool. Freya’s soprano performance
mixed with the fourteen year old alto of Dylan was mature beyond their years. Boater hat
wearing Acoustic guitarist Jack was the cherry on the cake for a Balearic sound. The
omission of a drummer only heightened the summer vibe as they cruised effortlessly
through ‘Cake By the Ocean’.
‘Galway Girl’ was a real showcase for this talented trio with impromptu rapping from Dylan
blending with an almost lullaby quality from Freya.
Dylan then briefly de-camped from McFreylan, joining Jake and Harry. His astonishing
variety of styles from rap to punk rant was evident in the stylishly discordant ‘Isambard
Kingdom Brunel’ which he learned just 2 weeks before. The solid performance from all three
musicians earned rapturous applause from the audience.
Band B returned for their second set and in ‘Are You Mine’ Margaux audibly sounded like
Arctic Monkeys’ Alex had sauntered into the room. Accompanied by the note perfect Jack
on bass, Matt on drums and Harry on guitar this band showed real potential.
Their final number, Out of the Black, was a suitably dark and heavy thunder of a
performance with a heavy offbeat drum and bass throb. Margaux excelled in this darker
grimier material as did Matt on drums who just let rip.
The final song of the night started with a stylised parade to the stage, where the fully
acoustic trio of Dylan, Freya and Jack, dressed all in black, delivered a comfortable harmony
of vocals for ‘My Demons’. Without microphones the impact was actually greater than all
previous plugged acts and mesmerised the crowd at the Swan Inn.
A fabulous evening was topped off with an unplanned encore of FOSI’s ‘Jeff the Chicken’.
Some genuine musical talent was displayed throughout the gig and opportunity may soon
be knocking for some of the young performers.
Bromsgrove Rock School is run by Brian Hoggard from Dragon Music. For information about
joining call 07720 211002.