Live Loud: uncovering Coventry's homegrown musical talent

Coventry’s music scene has been ramping up this year, encouraged by the likes of Live Loud and the 11th Godiva Festival to showcase the homegrown talent in a city that’s seen the successes of The Specials and The Enemy kick-start their careers in its streets.

With Coventry securing the City of Culture bid, this means there’s been more focus on our city and what it has to offer, including the opportunities available for young artists with a dream to make themselves known in the music industry.

The Ellipsis photographed by Sophie Nugent for ESMEDIA

Now that the Coventry music scene is in the wider public eye, there are higher expectations on the live music events that more frequently take place within the city, but it is clear the music culture is alive and growing.

Live Loud provides a platform for emerging local bands to play their music at local gigs, instead of Birmingham or surrounding venues. Live Loud’s most successful event to date headlined Coventry-made band Candid on the 24th November.

photo by Sophie Nugent for ESMEDIA

The first supporting act of the night, Second Hand Strings, took to the stage. The band appeared relaxed and excited to be on stage, easily getting through their first original song ‘Only Angel’ then launching into a well-received version of ‘I Found Out’. Second Hand String’s sound grew stronger with each song; flipping between originals and other covers that matched their indie-pop vibe. We had the chance to interview the band behind the scenes, where they admitted that they, “probably spent more time playing at gigs than rehearsing for them,” despite providing a confident performance on the Live Loud stage to their biggest audience yet.

The early crowd clearly agreed these boys had talent, happily swaying to ‘Bonfire’ by The Hunna and loudly singing to Catfish and the Bottlemen’s ‘Twice’ towards the end of their set.

Second Hand Strings photo by Sophie Allsop for ESMEDIA

The Ellipsis took to the stage minutes later, and it seemed they had reserved all of their energy for the set, and it translated to a dynamic stage performance filled with assurance and elevation. “What a f*cking drummer!” one audience member shouted when asked what he thought after, probably referring to the intense concentration of Alex Bonsor during his set.

A missing band member couldn’t stop their fun, borrowing Callum Ward from Free Galaxy instead as a last-minute replacement for their bassist.

The Ellipsis’ frontman, Henry Bristow, energetically performed barefoot across the stage singing mostly original songs, it was obvious there had been a lot of rehearsals behind the scenes of this perfected performance.

Callum Ward, bass guitarist for Free Galaxy, Photo by Esmé Spurling

Bristow revealed, “…most people just see us on stage having a good time, but it surprised me how much work goes in to it, especially releasing a song or a video…”

It did seem like they were having a good time, filling the room with their indie rock sound and vocals comparable to The Smiths’ Morrissey.

Anticipation seemed to build in the room throughout the night; the venue was packed by the time the boys finished the set, with some clad in T-shirts proclaiming their devotion for ‘Free Galaxy’ or ‘Candid’. Bizarrely a mannequin from the merch table was stolen just before the former took to the stage, sporting one of their shirts, and appeared again in the arms of a dancing girl in the crowd.

Free Galaxy’s undeniable Foo Fighters-like sound became known in the opening songs to their set. ‘Treadmill’ gained a few screams and fans singing passionately along. It was clear this wasn’t the band’s first time in front of a big crowd, if their confident and established stage presence was anything to go by.

Free Galaxy

Free Galaxy’s guitarist and vocalist, Luke Osmand, said he felt as though, “everything seems to be kicking off in Coventry… the [music] scene is going in a good direction,” referring to the crowds that this event and the Freshers Fest drew in to support Coventry’s independent music offerings. Live Loud are helping to grow the audience, especially with a sell-out crowd at their most recent event.

As the band sang and interacted with the crowd, there was a slightly nostalgic atmosphere; it felt like a look-back to before Free Galaxy became famous and began selling out bigger venues. The band’s talent and determination promised they’d be playing iconic stages soon.

The newest release for Free Galaxy bought a chance of pace to the whole evening, the room slowing to sway along to melodies reminiscent of Catfish and the Bottlemen’s ‘Hourglass’. They finished the set on a high with hit ‘Everlasting’, bringing back the buzzing party atmosphere.

The sell out crowd was thoroughly warmed up by the time Candid took to the stage, and they were eager for the headliners to appear. It seemed even Free Galaxy were big fans, cheering on their fellow Coventry-formed band from the side of the stage and loudly singing to their hits.

CANDID photographed by Esmé Spurling

Candid’s confident and dynamic performance was exciting to say the least, showcasing Coventry’s music culture and the importance of creating a platform for local bands to grow. The event was a clear success, showing a growing music scene in Coventry and the kind of home-grown talent that locals would boast about when these bands sold out stadiums in the future.

There was a very clear message when each band left the stage: watch this space.

Photo by Sophie Nugent for ESMEDIA

For more information about Live Loud visit: www.liveloudcov.co.uk/events

For more information about ESMEDIA and for bookings email: esmespurlingmedia@gmail.com

Written by Katie Robinson edited by Esmé Spurling.

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