No two acts gracing the dimly-lit attic venue of The Chameleon are the same, and 24th January was no different. Opening the show was Hertfordshire multi-instrumentalist Sara for her latest performance with Sarpa Salpa. She has written a plethora of new tunes recently, and a large proportion of the set was as-yet-unreleased material - a fantastic bunch to look forward to. As she jumped between acoustic guitar, bass, ukelele and keyboards, band members Toby and Tom kept the delicate performance underpinned. Sara has a gift to be able to convey so much feeling in such a short period, but a mesmerising stage presence and heart-on-sleeve attitude combine to form almost a spiritual experience. Keep tabs and support her, she's on the verge of enormous things.
Nottingham quintet Near Mrs have been intensively honing their talent in the last few months, playing show after show around town. Even since their performances in early December, the band have progressed to another level. Frontman Ryan Webb and guitarist/vocalist Taig O'Shea have a fantastic chemistry on the mic, harmonising with voice and instrument impeccably. They are one of the strongest young live bands around, and their catchy tunes are sure to back up a rise to success. Their new single Catch of the Day premiered tonight (25th Jan) so check that out when it gets released soon.
Headliners Sarpa Salpa are quickly gaining notoriety with their groove-packed indue tunes and fantastic work ethic touring, but nothing anyone says can do justice to the quality of their performances. They take to the stage in the same way every time, oozing a cool calmness no matter the size or shape of the crowd before them. Marcus Marooth has one of the most distinctive, soulful indie voices in British music and the guitar capability to match. Combined with the rest of the band, pulsating rhythms and soaring choruses come almost effortlessly, filling the entire room with effect-laden guitars and synth shimmers. The recent addition of Meg Amirghiasvand on synths has added an extra layer to the performance, allowing more freedom to each member individually to shine.
Do not sleep on any of the artists on this bill - this is one of the rare occasions every single minute of music screamed these three all deserve the very biggest venues around the world.