The Bohicas, Daisy Victoria, Real Life Charm at OPEN, Norwich, for BBC Introducing. 13 May 2015
One of the many events in the city ahead of Radio One’s Big Weekend at Earlham Park was a week long academy at OPEN with two live and free events on Wednesday and Thursday. I applied for my free tickets online for Wednesday’s gig, almost entirely on the basis of Daisy Victoria playing. Also on the bill were Real Life Charm playing only their third gig. I saw their first at Epic supporting Wooden Arms. Headliners were a band completely unknown to me, The Bohicas, from Essex.
The doors were advertised as opening at 7pm but there was obviously a delay and when I arrived just after 7:30pm I saw a queue which snaked along the entire length of Bank Plain, almost onto Castle Meadow but didn’t have to wait very long to get in.
I had a brief chat with the wonderful Gary Standley from BBC Introducing in Norfolk before we heard Sophie Little from the show on stage about to introduce the first act, Norwich’s Real Life Charm. Despite playing so rarely they have built themselves a strong reputation and garnered some national radio airplay. I did enjoy the first gig at Epic but wasn’t sure it quite lived up to the incredible buzz about them at that time. However, tonight at OPEN they totally convinced me and won me over, growing stronger throughout the set with the final three numbers in particular being formidably strong and for a band playing only their third gig at such a venue and occasion it really was quite astonishing. Definitely ones to look out for, a multitude of band members, instrumentation and wizardry. Although there is a slight “Hot Chip-ness” to single Desire, they are impossible to pigeonhole and categorise, which can only be another point in their favour on top of their professionalism, slickness and interesting songs. If they had any nerves they certainly didn’t show it … very impressive, they definitely have that “something”.
I have no camera photos this time, just a quick phone snap of each act.
It was generally a very young audience this evening and I suspect a great many were seeing Daisy Victoria for the first time but may well have heard her on the radio as she too has been getting some well-deserved airplay for her excellent singles Heart Full of Beef, and Nobody Dies.
I saw Daisy’s first gig some 18 months or so ago, where she played solo on that occasion, and have seen her a number of times since, sometimes solo and sometimes with band. Tonight she had her full band and they sounded magnificent, playing both singles and closing her set with an astonishing first performance of her upcoming single. Her sound has changed since I last saw her, and there is a great confidence and assurance too whilst never for a moment losing her charming modesty, friendliness and “niceness”, they really are such very lovely people as Sophie rightly said in her introduction.
I came here primarily to hear Daisy as we don’t get so many opportunities to hear her play live in Norwich as often as we used to … she and the band did not disappoint. Sounding powerful, the playing and vocals flawless, if it was going out live on radio it must have impressed people. Visually compelling she looked great too, in full length white dress, like she has just stepped out of a fairytale. Daisy Victoria is destined for great things, which are already happening what with Latitude last year and a series of gigs around the country. See her if you get a chance. Brother Sam on guitar and keys and various wizardry was also superb (as were all the band), and also provided some lovely chemistry and smiles with his sister. She has carved out her own sound and identity and comparisons are not necessary. She is Daisy Victoria. People may soon be comparing upcoming names with her.
Headliners for the night were The Bohicas. I’m so glad I stayed around to hear them, they were awesome. Loud and powerful, sounding happy to be there, and with some great hooks and tunes. They’d won me over before they’d finished their first song. They looked good, sounded tight and had variety in the songs to keep your attention for the entire set. I’d definitely make a point of seeing them again if they return to Norwich.
Very impressive sets from all three acts tonight, all of them sounding tight as anything, and enjoying playing in Open’s big room. I enjoyed them all immensely though I have to say, seeing Daisy Victoria was a real thrill. The time feels right for her and it is very exciting seeing the amazing development of this talent. Thursday night at Open sees Teen Brains, Montagues and Capulets, and Sundara Karma, again for BBC Introducing.
With none of the sets longer than 30 minutes the live music was over by about 10pm when Huw Stephens took over for a DJ set, with some great choices. Sophie too played a dj set between acts and it was great to hear Kill It Kid blasted out! We stayed for a little while for Huw’s set before heading across the road to Cuba for a brief visit and some of the swing music there provided by the always super Drink ‘n’ Jive DJs.
Many thanks to OPEN, BBC Introducing, Daisy Victoria, The Bohicas, Real Life Charm.
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2015