Retune got underway in style at The Horn at The Half Moon in Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday 8th April 2018. The line-up was transatlantic duo LOZT, feel-good quintet Van Susans and The Voice UK Kids winner Jess Folley. What a night it was.
Retune founder Tom Ryder kicked things off by introducing the project. He explained how and why the initiative was set up and shared some personal stories about music and why it has been such a powerful force in his life. At these events, it is the audience’s job to tune in to the performances on stage and tune out from the world outside. Retune is more than a gig.
Jess Folley then joined Tom on stage and he accompanied her on guitar for her first two songs, which were Too Good At Goodbyes by Sam Smith and a beautiful original titled All I Need. Aged only 14, she is a truly phenomenal performer who has a commanding stage presence and a spectacular vocal. Her songwriting is also progressing very well. For her final two numbers Tom departed and Jess accompanied herself on piano. Several audience members left the venue room open-mouthed once they had witnessed her performance.
After a short interlude, Van Susans were the next act. Due to a car breakdown, they were missing violinist Holly, but nonetheless treated the crowd to a fine set of originals on acoustic guitar, bass, piano and drums. The band had recently returned from supporting Imagine Dragons, so it was a treat to see them in this intimate setting. Hooky songs abound from Van Susans, and by the second chorus you feel like you’ve known the tunes for a long time.
Headliner LOZT comprises Tom Ryder and American artist Lauren Scudder. This was the first time they had played with a full band: Max Lauder on drums, John Parker on double bass and Azzedine Loukil on keys and backing vocals. The band produced an enchanting and soothing sound, led by Tom and Lauren’s very well-matched vocal harmonies. LOZT played a selection of recently-penned original tracks as well as Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Complicated by Avril Lavigne, both intelligently arranged with their own unique stamp. A fitting end to an inspiring evening of music and community vibes.
You can read a full review of the show by Bishop’s Stortford Independent reporter Cat Barkley here: http://www.bishopsstortfordindependent.co.uk/retune-launches-in-bishop-s-stortford-with-lozt-van-susans-and-jess-folley-1-5469960