Live Review: Felicity Groom and The Black, Black Smoke

Felicity Groom and The Black, Black Smoke
Rosemount
Friday 17th August 2007
Review By Leo Abbs

It was only a matter of time before Felicity Groom would form a band to compliment her soulful Indie/folk tunes. One of the most promising acts in Perth at the moment, it says a lot about Felicity as a solo artist, that she could such a formidable band to play with her on stage tonight.

After an extended sound check, the band rolled into a casual, but fantastic sounding intro, with Felicity introducing her band, which consisted of Andrew Ryan (Adam Said Galore/Fall Electric, Alex Archer (Kill Devil Hills), Vanessa Thornton (Jebediah), and Ian Chater (The Bank Holidays).

Then she picked up her acoustic guitar and their career as a band together began. Unfortunately the vocals were inaudible for the first song – the band drowning out their vocalist, who was more used to singing over a single steel string guitar.

Adjustments were made to the mix, and you could hear her voice during the next two songs, then the rest of the band disappeared leaving Groom with Archer on lead guitar. The subtle addition to the song was well done, but The Kill Devil Hills fans in the crowd (err.. me) must have been hoping for his violin playing.

Andrew Ryan came back to the stage to join Groom in a duet, the male/female vocals sounding fantastic, with great variety between both and the pair working well together. Groom also took time to play perhaps her most well known tune to date, ‘Take You Home’ breaking a few hearts in the process.

The entire band rejoined their vocalist on stage for the run home, and as the set ended, you felt that they were closer to reach the stage, where they would gel in a sense of being a true band. It still need some work, but the second last song (the one with that mini harp) was the closest they got all night to perfecting the sound that would suit as the music behind Groom’s voice.

With such talent on display tonight, it made for an impressive debut gig.

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