Connar Ridd is something of a conundrum. Who is he? Is he the pitch perfect tenor adept at covering Alicia Key’s “Falling” or Adele’s “Hello” with almost choirboy like innocence? Or is he the guitarist and vocalist in the very full on Essex death metal trio “Kill The Freak”. Well for now he is the latest one man band from straight out of Chelmsford mixing his beats with grungy guitar and bursting onto the national stage as FREAK.
18 years old with a DIY work ethic and a bedroom as a studio it’s impossible not to reference Ratboy when first coming across FREAK, and small world that is it’s perhaps less of a surprise that Connar hails not only from the same town as Jordan Cardy but went to the same school. Similarly recording all his music himself, Connar seems to share Ratboy’s characteristic bubbly persona and endless energy, ideally invested into producing music rather than expended on work and study.
With his just released “What Happened?” EP, championed by Linn Branson of Little Indie Blogs, John Kennedy put FREAK straight on the airwaves of Radio X, playing two tracks from the three track EP in one evening. “What Happened?” is the EP’s lead track, a rip-roaring reflection on life over an insistent guitar riff that put me in mind of Miles Kane’s “Inhaler”. “someone Help Me” and “Floating High” make up the rest of The EP.
Ratboy has had a meteoric rise, built on the foundation of a live act that has fused an enthusiastic band with his solo recordings to produce some riotous entertainment. And it’s how Connar cuts it live that will determine whether FREAK follow a similar path from the bedroom to the Brixton Academy. Cannily Connar has begun to recruit a band of talented musicians – starting with bassist Chris Guyatt – with a view to doing just that.
Review by Gavin Watson | @watsongc