We were tipped off quite late doors about the Try Colour gig at the Galleon last Thursday evening. So, not wanting to miss one, I hastily re-arranged my schedule and quickly recruited the help of altblackpool Photo Editor Claire Griffiths to join me to grab a few snaps for this review. Funnily enough, Claire had the same idea to go along too, so it was an instinctive choice. I had heard a whisper that we were in for a bit of a treat, so had no hesitation at all in venturing out on a cold night and into the warm atmosphere and welcoming surroundings of the quirky Galleon Bar on Abingdon Street.
This place oozes character and is a perfect small venue for these type of intimate performers who enjoy an appreciative audience, close up and personal. Its a bustling and friendly place finely draped in musical memorabilia and although it can get very busy, it lends itself nicely for showcasing what the area has to offer musically, but probably more suited to acoustic acts.
Being inquisitive, I’d already had a sneaky listen to a couple of Try Colour tunes the night before on their Soundcloud page online and was impressed enough to want to go and actually check them out, to see if they could replicate it in a live environment. They certainly didn’t disappoint and in fact I left the Galleon more than impressed and excited about what I had heard.
Studying B-tec Music at Blackpool & The Fylde college at the Palatine Road campus, which they currently attend, duo Mary & Olivia kind of came together by accident. After being paired together in a study group in college, they hit it off straight away and decided that they were destined to work together and began writing their own music and performing it in earnest. Now it’s hard to believe that these two young ladies, only 18, have only been performing live together for around two months, but have been writing together for a little while longer. To bring that relatively little experience to a venue such as the Galleon is a brave but confident step and shows a belief in their own ability. I think its fair to say that these girls are very much in the infancy of their career, so naturally a few signs of nerves and a little shyness are bound to show, but there is a definite chemistry between them and plenty to build on.
So, I sat on my comfy (ish) stool towards the back of the Galleon while the girls tuned up for their first set of the evening and Claire was at the ready with her camera. Looking around, there was a healthy crowd building up and another eager photographer in attendance poised to do his stuff! It certainly gave me the impression that Try Colour are drawing attention already, which is always a very good sign for any budding musicians.
They started their half hour first set wonderfully well and immediately for an acoustic act, were thinking outside of the box in terms of song choice. I admire that, because it shows a willingness to be different and take on songs which are a challenge and should in the long term set them apart from other similar type performers. The first thing that struck me as they began, was that Mary is a left handed guitarist and a very competent player too. Her picking is excellent, with a good technique and style. In kicking off the evening with a rendition of the Joy Division classic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, it set a tone for the rest of the set and took me a little by surprise. With Olivia’s vocal sounding a tad similar to that of Kate Nash or Lily Allen, with her southern twang, I just didn’t expect this song to be in their locker. I really liked the way they put their own stamp on this particular version and it added a totally different flavour from the many cover versions of that song that I’d heard previously. This perhaps gave us a little clue of the content for the remainder of the set.
Well, the surprises didn’t stop with the first song and rolled on nicely with ‘Teenage Kicks’ by The Undertones, a brilliant version of The 1975 song ‘Sex’ and covers in the form of Madness’ ‘It Must Be Love’, followed by further tunes by The Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines. Certainly an eclectic mix and shows the versatility that Try Colour are capable of producing and gave us an insight of what the girls listen to when drawing on influences. They definitely aren’t just happy going along with the flow in choosing songs that are obviously and automatically tagged with their current genre and perhaps that would be the easy route to take, but they refuse to do that, so they deserve much credit for being creative and imaginative.
Something began to tell me that both Mary & Olivia are really ‘rock chicks’ in disguise and when I caught a word with them later they both confessed as much. Their musical heroes are in fact The Stone Roses and The Arctic Monkeys. This tells us a lot really when they come to choosing songs to perform live. So what does this say about the future direction of Try Colour? Well, they told me they intend to put together a full band eventually, but at this moment in time they are just quite happy to get out there and perform the songs acoustically and obviously have exciting future plans in the pipeline. Good stuff!
Back to their set and it didn’t escape my attention that when Mary added some weight with an additional harmony backing, it gave yet another positive dimension to the songs and she complimented Olivia’s lead vocal very well. The girls remarked later that they had been given a lot of good feedback about the harmonies and were working towards incorporating more into their songs. A good move and will no doubt give them a more fuller sound, in my opinion.
Far from being a one trick pony, Try Colour also pen their own songs, which again is a hugely positive aspect of the work they do. Not happy just to plod along with solely cover versions, they also showcase the skills they have learned in the time working together. ‘Stay Awake’ provides us with some thought provoking lyrics, written well by Olivia and backed beautifully by the guitar companionship provided by Mary. It is essential that they continue to work on their own material and incorporate it into their performances. It is difficult enough grabbing the full attention of a busy venue with a lively audience performing songs which are familiar, but to hold that attention performing your own material is even more of a difficult task. But Try Colour managed it very well and the warm applause endorsed that their own work was appreciated and enjoyed by all.
For more information about Try Colour like them on Facebook. Try Colour Galleon images courtesy of CJGriffiths Photography.
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