It was an early start for Indie band, Pretty Babs’ debut headline show in Nottingham on Saturday as there were three support bands on the line-up. This was the first city gig for the Babs’ management, One Eye Shut Music Promotion, so everyone was on a mission.
Sam Jones, Brad Drury, Craig Tucker and Liam Bainbridge, 4 young men from North Nottinghamshire, make up one of the most talented and hard-working bands in the East Midlands. It’s hard to believe they’ve never headlined in the city before, so this was a Big One for them.
The Bodega was almost at capacity, drawing in Babs fans from far and wide, many wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the hashtag #upthebabs, bringing love and fandom for the band in mini-bus loads!
The programme for the evening was exceptional, kicking off with Warsop stalwarts, The Star Botherers, singing their original songs on matters as wild as what to do when your bass player dies and the problems of being a Star Wars bride! They quickly broke the ice and set the atmosphere bubbling.
Next up was festival favourite, Nick Parker, complete with full backing band. The False Alarms bring a full-on sound to a number of Parker’s familiar, self-penned songs. I’ve seen Nick as a solo artist many times, but I wasn’t prepared for the huge difference the band made to the presentation of his set; a versatile, exciting group of musicians joined, on this occasion, by Dave Burbidge of The Leylines fame, depping on drums as though he was a natural member of the band. A great set!
With entertainment of this calibre, it had to be a carefully-chosen act on third to maintain the ‘buzz’ before the headliners and the incredible Essex heavy rock duo, Ghosts of Men, were exactly the right pick! Loud, funny, impressive, Ads and Clegg gave a rollicking performance, engaging some of the more well-known members of the audience to help them with their unorthodox show.
By the time the headliners were ready, the audience was rhythmically chanting ‘Up the Babs’ as one voice, creating a tangible air of excitement.
Pretty Babs opened with The Fall, getting everyone on their side, then proceeded to deliver a well-considered set which included beautiful ballads such as The Storm. I was privileged to be working from the stage at the time and the sight of the audience waving their phone torches along with this song was breath taking and surely must have been a highlight in many peoples’ memories.
Lead singer, Sam Jones has the most exquisite Indie/Rock voice and plays guitar like a demon. Some of you may know hi as a solo artist on the Roots Music Circuit and this has been where has honed the confidence needed for being a strong front man. Either side of him are dynamic bass player, Liam Bainbridge and Craig Tucker who is a good match for Jones on guitar and vocals, adding to the sheer musical weight of the front line, each of them bringing their own exuberance to the stage. Behind them sits the powerhouse who drives the band, Brad Drury, a drummer of incredible stamina and experience, who is key to the synergy of the band. All the right ingredients for a tight, professional, impressive line-up.
By the time the band played their final songs, Road Runner and Don’t Step On The Moor, the audience was ignited, animated and desperate for the music to continue. Sadly there was a curfew,so the show really was over: however, Pretty Babs were showing Nottingham loud and clear that not only can they host a great programme of music, but that they have the capacity to fill The Bodega more successfully than some more well-known names!
You can call this one A Success, guys!
#upthebabs Proud of ya!