This wasn’t one of those spontaneous ones; it was a treat to the ears, a change from clubbing at New Year, to early door socials with live artists. Though outside it appears nothing incredible, The Maze sits in suit with the surrounding buildings and has an alluring charm whilst maintaining a generic “boozer” image.
The back room was already full and Rick [‘the don!’] Donohue was DJ’ing in the corner beside the bar providing hip hop and jazz- setting the mood appropriately alongside chatty guests who were catching up on their week’s hot gossip. The room is typical for a venue hosting local town gigs, yet Parisa and team disguised the old pub walls with their creative décor which included deep red coloured drapes, records hanging from the ceiling and candlelit tables, convenient for those cosy couples. As I glanced around the room, I felt as though I could have been in a late night comedy club... with better music!
First artists to perform were fresh duo, Chai & Ben Hibbert, both providing the vocals and Ben on acoustic guitar. They had only got together a couple of weeks before the show but you wouldn’t have known through their calm fluency and comfortable relationship. A song filled with romance they wrote before the gig emanated, “keep pushin on”, a very catchy number and caught myself singing it in my head towards the end of the night, I know I know, put the cheese away!
Next up, was the house band Three Body Trio, including Tom Towle and Guohan who were throwing in improvised samples on vinyl and machines from the start to finish and then of course Pete Beardsworth on keys. Mercenaries like Owen Campbell and Woody were called in, two of Nottingham's strongest percussionists, while Broadstrokes supplied the bass. A string of singers joined the band throughout the evening. OnKaur, a stunning vocalist, “wow”d the heads around me with her sweet, powerful and effortless range. There was R&B from Devante Vaughan & Kamar, followed by a strong soulful performance from Emily franklin. Three Body went from covering famous rhythms to improvising with the vocalists. The event was in full support of independency, raising attention to those local budding talents and keeping the soul of music alive!
Drawing on the VOCAB concept of teaming artists together, and the Plates vinyl store theme of rare records and hidden gems, we are launching FLOW as a collaboration of these ideas. FLOW is a curated jam session of musicians and vocalists creating brand new music 'Never Seen, Never Heard' in the caves beneath Plates & The Malt Cross.