Review: The Idolins – Bunkers Hill – 15 February 2014

// The atmosphere tonight was buzzing, with a mix of the usual Saturday drinkers gathering alongside the musios, keen to hear The Idolins perform. Walking into the Bunker Hill venue, you […]">

The atmosphere tonight was buzzing, with a mix of the usual Saturday drinkers gathering alongside the musios, keen to hear The Idolins perform. Walking into the Bunker Hill venue, you might initially wonder about the scope of this event. With walls adorned with Ice hockey-inspired objects and Panthers’ signed memorabilia you might, at first, find this an unusual venue for live music. The bar area offers a small and intimate place for drinking and catching up with friends. However, Bunkers Hill also offers an excellent location for music events, particularly specialising in folk-music.

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Upstairs, above the main bar, there is a large but cosy music venue, which offered the perfect place for The Idolins’ to perform. The night was specifically set up to promote their new album and an exclusive preview of their latest music video. Whilst these promotional intentions could have left you with a clinical feel, the evening instead offered a friendlier, celebratory atmosphere. This was driven by this band’s performance. Technical difficulties with the projector(s) also made for a more honest and laid-back feel to the night.

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The night offered a real flavour for what this band delivers, performing a mix of old tracks from their 2012 album ‘You Said’, alongside fresh music from their new album, ‘Live at Paper Stone 2013’. Playing a total of eight tracks throughout the 1 hour set, all of the six members offered a pleasing performance. The set started with mellow vibes initially from tracks, like ‘Old Times’ and ‘Abandoned’, to deeper and intense songs, like ‘The Dancer’ and ‘Choices’, to close. Karen Smalley, the principle songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, went above-and-beyond. She made for a significant show throughout, even though not feeling 100% and joking that she had taken “every throat lozenge under the sun” before the show started. Her Katie Melua-ish tones offered a deep and soothing base to the music.

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As part of the RedRox event, this night was a true inspiration for fresh music. This evening showed how a band, like The Idolins, can provide a well developed sound but also evolving style to their music. We look forward to hearing more from these guys in the future.

Review and photos by Chris Marsh