Catwalk Empire - Review
Posted by Guest Writer on Fri, 04 May 2012.
Catwalk Empire are a band from Market Harborough who made their Debut performance at the Soundhouse in Leicester on the 20th of April 2012. The band formed in late 2011 and since then have been rehearsing and recording, ready for their entrance into the live music scene. The band consists of vocalist Hermione Green, who has a history with musical theatre and currently teaches singing lessons in schools, guitarist David Gardiner who has been teaching guitar lessons in a local music shop, bass player Chris Ball, a shop worker and drummer Martin Abbott, a member of the police force.
The band's strong stage presence was not immediately established, as they made their introduction, but as soon as the opening riff to 'Blind To Love' began, there was a silence among the audience. Vocalist Hermione seemed nervous for her first performance with a band, but soon relaxed in to her role and began to move more freely around the stage while a six-foot-something Dave towered above the audience with a confident stance. Chris Ball seemed incredibly involved with his bass, playing particularly smoothly, tapping to the beat and looking out across the audience. It was clear from the first song that the band had a certain hold over the audience.
The third song in the set, 'Roses On My Car', particularly stood out. Bassist Chris took a seat on his amp at the side of the stage and Martin leaned away from his kit to catch a breath. Dave began a much different rhythm to before, using finger-picking and melodic chords and Hermione seemed to connect with him even more closely than before. As the song continued, the audience seemed to be struck with the sudden mood change and re-captivated. Hermione later explained that 'Roses On My Car' was a fairly personal song to her, a friend of her's had an admirer who would leave roses on her car every day and although she claimed to feel smothered by this, she would be disappointed if it was to stop. At the end of the song, the woman has a fatal car crash and wished that she had taken the opportunity to thank and appreciate the man who left roses on her car. Hermione herself recently had a very dangerous car crash and although thankfully unharmed, it made her realise all of the things that she takes for granted, just as her friend does. This feeling was truly portrayed through the music and the audience felt it. Towards the end of the song, Chris and Martin jumped back in for an incredibly dramatic and energy filled finish before continuing with a more upbeat performance of 'Runaway'- An almost punk-style song.
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'Me, Me, Me' was the only song composed solely of guitar and vocals, a very melodic piece with a very strong vocal presence. Hermione's musical theatre history is evident in the way she projects her voice to the audience, it had a very strong and powerful effect. By this point in the performance, most of the audience who were previously seated had walked to the front of the stage and were watching intently.
The set finished with a song called Intentions. Almost the entire audience were standing at this point, as all four band members performed to the best of their ability, creating a huge amount of energy and a sense of fun in the room, each of them had their own way of interacting with the audience, by reaching out, subtle smiles and winks and the occasional nod. There was an obvious connection between the band and their spectators as they closed the set with sincere appreciation and thanks to everybody who had come to see them.
Catwalk Empire certainly created a buzz with their debut performance, they succeeded in creating a variety of emotions within the audience throughout the set as well as an outstanding musical display. The band were incredibly fluid with an excellent on-stage relationship, creating a very solid hold over the audience. I'm sure many of the people who witnessed this concert will agree that Catwalk Empire are destined to succeed as long as they continue to put as much passion and energy into their writing as they have in the past six-months. One of the best things about this band was the sense of fun and excitement that they generated, as well as the clear musical ability. I would rate Catwalk Empire very highly and strongly suggest that any rock and indie-rock fans should take the opportunity to see them. Their next gig is in Camden's Fiddler's Elbow on the 26th of May, or catch them back at Leicester's Soundhouse in June.
Check them out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatwalkEmpire
Review by Lucy Siddons