AMONG the many things to applaud coming out of Alcester’s music scene are four pupils from Alcester Academy who call themselves King Rae and who found themselves as the support act at Stratford Folk Club’s first concert night of the new year.
Many musicians would be forgiven for having a few butterflies before going on stage but these four girls, aged between 15 and 16, delivered a performance to be proud of at their very first big gig in Stratford; they’ve played The Lord Nelson pub in Alcester, previously.
They were booked to support folk headliner Louise Hamilton of Flaming June and certainly relished their chance to shine with a string of well-known hits delivered in perfect harmony and accompanied by keyboard, guitars and a cajon percussion box.
While the audience could relax and enjoy covers of Rhianna and Katy Perry, two songs made a big impression on this reviewer. First up was the girls’ version of The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood followed shortly after by Breakeven by The Script, but in truth there was so much to enjoy.
A quick search on the internet for King Rae turned up nothing and that’s because he doesn’t exist. The band take its name from the two front singers, Leoni King and Emily Rae, who also plays lead guitar. Chloe Russell and Kiera Spires complete the line-up with a deft display in multi musicianship from percussion to keyboards and guitar.
“They’re four really good friends who go to school together and love making music,“ said Liam Hall, head of music at Alcester Academy who went along to support the girls.
The performance by King Rae is testament to the ever growing and positive vibe coming out of the Academy’s music scene which includes two rock academies, a regular season of concerts and plenty of encouragement for pupils to further explore instruments and their musical careers on BTEC courses in Stratford or Birmingham.
And as Tori Rushton, the folk night’s organiser and compere said when the girls finished their set: “It’s good to see the future of folk is in safe hands!”
Headlining the same gig was Louise Hamilton who hammered out an endless supply of thought provoking songs with lyrics which carved right into the audience psyche.
If there is such a thing that goes deeper than passion then perhaps its intense passion and Louise performs all her work with emotion and conviction in fact her song entitled Rumpelstiltskin embodies all that is evil and controlling about domestic violence and abuse.
“You won’t take what’s precious to me
You won’t take my world from me
I won’t play your games ….. Rumpelstiltskin
I’ll watch you break in two…..Rumpelstiltskin.”
Louise Hamilton may be vigorous on stage but her rapport between songs is charming and engaging, and anyone who can write and perform a song about the neurochemical biological basis of love called Dopamine Oxytocin deserves the round of applause that inevitably followed and “yes” I did have to look it up!
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