Our November show was already looking special, with an unplugged set from Stortford favourites The Kazans preceded by indie singer/songwriter DIDI and piano-led Anna Wells. We then had some excellent news in the run-up to the show: Mozzy Green frontman and all-round outstanding performer Ben Sommers was going to treat us to a couple of songs to open the evening.
Ben is just phenomenal to watch and listen to. He is a musician that draws you in and keeps you enthralled, and there is very little you can do about it. He has not been playing live for some time, and oh how we’ve missed him. He sang two old songs of his – ‘Dark Clouds Of London’ and ‘Jesus Knife Fight’ and the audience were on the edge of their seats throughout. We can’t wait to have him back for our February 2019 show.
Anna Wells kicked off with a cover of Shotgun by George Ezra, which got the crowd on board right away. But it was her original compositions that really shone through; she has a very warm and welcoming vocal and a calming stage presence. It will be great to see where her songwriting takes her. She rounded off her set with You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King, and the Retune audience was in fine voice for the choruses.
DIDI brought something refreshingly different to Retune, playing solo with a Fender telecaster and showcasing her strong songwriting. She was also excellent in between songs, the sort of magnetic personality that makes you want to hear more. Even when her loop pedal let her down she shrugged it off with a smile, and it is easy to see why she has taken the plaudits both as an artist and as a producer. She explained the powerful effect music has had on her throughout her life very eloquently, and left a big impression on the night, calling up fellow songwriter and friend Kaity Rae to accompany her.
For The Kazans, it had been three years since their last originals gig (Woodfest 2015) and after a shaky sound check, the band headed into the storage cupboard for an intense final rehearsal! This clearly paid off, as they sounded super tight from the offset. Tom Ryder (vocals, guitar), Joe Hazell (guitar, vocals), Tom Casson (bass, vocals) and George Sydes (drums) have been playing together since their mid teens and have notched up an impressive array of original material. Joe’s playing while he been working with Curse Of Lono has gone from extremely good to sublime, and it is clear to see just how long the band have been performing together – they know each other so well. The Kazans have an Oasis tribute night coming up (Koasis), so as well as the original songs they played Slide Away by the Britpop icons. A welcome return for this popular local band, and this show ended up being one of our most well-attended yet.