Concert Review: Charlotte OC, Freddie Dickson, Frances, and Tenterhook @ The Ruby Lounge – Manchester

On the 23rd of April I headed down to Manchester’s iconic Ruby Lounge to catch who Communion Records are calling the ‘new faces’ of music. It was exciting to go to a gig featuring four acts who I hadn’t really heard of before – it’s very rare to write a review on a completely clean slate but this time I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Tenterhook, otherwise known as Archie Faulks, is a singer-songwriter from London who really has gone mainstream in his approach. I think it is fair to say that in the music business as it is at the moment it is very difficult for one man with a guitar and a knack for writing catchy tunes to make themselves known at the moment but a combination of great stage presence, relaxing voice, and folky guitar playing, Archie definitely took The Ruby Lounge by storm and will be an influential presence on the scene in months to come.

Next up was Frances – a self professed ‘Piano Woman’ who decided to play these sets of shows only with the company of her trusty keys. This had the potential to leave her sounding empty but her performance reeked of confidence with a beautiful, dreamy voice, and immense talent on the piano. Her piano ballads filled the room with silence and admiration in the way which Rae Morris does (if any of you know my love for Rae, that is a massive compliment!).

Freddie Dickson was supported by keyboards and guitars. Despite an absence of drums of bass (which made Freddie himself refer to the sound as depressing), this was a perfect act to kick off the night. Freddie Dickson is an act with a very dark sound but this is certainly not a negative, his style is theatrical and he took over the room and silenced an excited crowd – something which is very hard to achieve for an opening act. He is definitely one to watch in the near future and I’d highly recommend getting your hands on his new song, Speculate, to get a real feel of what this London lad is all about.

Following Freddie was, in my opinion, the performance of the night from Blackburn girl Charlotte OC. Named as one to watch by Digital Spy, Charlotte took to the stage like a true professional who had been doing this job for years – a flawless display of passion, emotion and variety in a set which went from electronica to folk. Some songs were beautifully minimalistic and some were a lot more complex giving her the chance to flaunt her beautiful vocal. Charlotte performed like this was not a showcase of new talent but a headline show from a girl who had accomplished everything she could.

It was a great night with four acts who are all set to get bigger and bigger as time goes on, with the risk of sounding awfully cliché – catch them before it’s too late.

Follow updates from Charlotte OC here.

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Photos by Iain Fox (@IainFoxPhoto) | Review by Jack McCabe (@JackMcCabeIMN)

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