Monday, 15 February 2016


A Night of Pure Class 

Cara Beard is an exceptionally talented young lady, these days she is rapidly building herself an excellent and well-deserved reputation as a singer / songwriter, tonight was pure delight as her set was primarily made up of her own material with very few covers, however of the couple of covers she did play, her cover of a Justin Bieber song was fabulous which just goes to prove that old saying, “It’s the singer not the song” that can make it good! And this was just the start of what was already turning out to be an evening of pure class.

Cara Beard

What a pleasure it was to have St. Clair perform as the full band, previously I have only seen the solo and duo acoustic incarnations of St. Clair (The performances of which have always been exceptionally good) but the full band were a delight, whilst they have their own distinct indie / folk style and sound there were ‘flashes’ of early Radiohead and even Snow Patrol in some of their songs, ending with a song that encouraged a lot of audience participation they really got the evening buzzing and ready for the next class act.

St. Clair

Stuart O’Connor never ceases to amaze me, Stu is an exceptional artist and when he’s on top form and, as they say, ‘Up for it’ you will not see a better, inspiring, entertaining performance, ranging from the simple acoustic, even at times unaccompanied songs, to the full use of all those loops and effects where Stu creates soundscapes that even a full blown prog band would find hard to accomplish!
Tonight Stu was on astounding form, giving us a truly heartfelt performance that was absolutely spellbinding and gobsmacking at the same time, surely it couldn’t get any better than this?

Stuart O'Connor

That The October Game are an ‘established’ band is without question, each of their members are well enough known in their own right from their solo careers and / or their other projects, Luke Williams - Vocals / Guitar,  Nick Kozuch - Guitar , Owen Stephen - Bass / Vocals,  Ollie Taylor – Drums,  however, it seemed unreal that they had not played a gig as The October Game for something like getting on for two years, so a gig that was long overdue.
By now Club-85 had filled up, although the crowd had been steadily growing all evening it was obvious that there were many people there for one reason only and that was to support The October Game, evident by the mass sing along to almost every song!

The October Game
If classifications are strictly necessary I suppose you would have to class The October Game as an ‘Indie’ band, they are however, for myself and many others. So much more than that, truly inspirational song writing, fabulous musicianship, wonderful clear vocals, they are a band of pure class and tonight they gave us a performance that more than showcased just how good they are.
And finally, the deal of the year, if you bought The October Game’s album Balancing on double vinyl, it came with a CD version of the album, a digital download, a copy of the last album, Wild Blood and a collection of the previous CD EP’s and singles and ALL FOR A TENNER! The only thing missing was of course a copy of the band’s 1st album, Box of a Billion Lights, which is, somewhat unbelievably, ten years old but that’s OK as I have it in my collection anyway and I must say it’s one of those CD’s that’s been frequently played over the years.

The October game

All in all an evening of pure class, it cannot get much better than this, can it?

And now for something completely different, well no, actually, time for something on entirely the same theme!

A Night of Pure Class

The Fellowship was again somewhat reduced in number
For it was just myself and Chris who had arisen from our slumber
To descend yet once more upon Hitchin’s Club-85
North Hert’s premiere venue keeping live music alive

So while we all miss the Nightingale since its demise
It came as a really pleasant and welcome surprise
That Bar-85 had, on tap,  a jolly splendid real ale
And a good supping of  Lacons‘Jack Valentine’ did somewhat prevail

On a night of pure class, Cara Beard was first to grace the stage
For one so young, as a singer songwriter she has really come of age
Regaling and beguiling us with her excellent original songs
And the odd cover version here and there she just couldn’t go wrong

A lovely surprise was that St Clair appeared as the full electric band
They played an absolutely storming set both bold and grand
I wouldn’t mind betting that based upon their performance this night
They won over many new fans which would be fitting, just right

The amazing Stuart O’Connor was on his finest form
From who’s creative genius great songs were born
From stripped down acoustic to looping and electronic effects
As performances go, this was by far, one of the, very best

The October Game, were, to be fair, simply sublime
They played a set which was beyond doubt, stunningly divine
This was a night that really couldn’t be missed
Surely it cannot get any better than this

Such nights of good music stay with you and last
Especially when they are like this night, simply Pure Class.

Grant Meaby


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