Archives for category: One To Watch

She’s already performed with Amy Winehouse’s backing band and landed numerous high-profile session jobs- such as singing in the backing band on X-Factor and in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage production, ‘Love Never Dies’- suffice to say, Frankie Young has a lot of potential. As with all young musicians though, potential can often amount to a lot less than what is initially expected. As a singer and talented pianist, Frankie is in the enviable position of being able to control her musical direction, which is why it would be a shame to see her slip down the generic “soul diva” road.

If you like that sound, there’s already Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blidge, Joss Stone, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse and numerous others to choose from, not to mention the seemingly never-ending pool of amateur sound-alikes out there. To avoid becoming just another one of those Frankie Young might have to brave her way into some unfamiliar territory. Citing The Roots as one of her influences, Frankie does show an awareness of genres outside the usual R&B area. Perhaps bringing some more of this into her sound would make her a little more distinctive. At the moment her recorded music, check out her eponymous three-track EP, is a little on the generic side to pave her way to success. However, when you see her live, it’s a different kettle of fish. In three-piece format, her live sets occupy a nice middle ground between soul trio and pop band. The musicianship is spot on, as her drummer and bassist form a refreshingly tasteful rhythm section, and she gives off such confidence that you can imagine her holding the attention of any crowd.

If she were a jazz album, she’d be Kind Of Blue. The great thing though, is that with the requisite development and musical experimentation she could become Bitches Brew. A tedious metaphor perhaps but an exiting prospect nonetheless.

myspace.com/frankieyoungmusic

When discussing the various comparisons and likenesses of a still-undeveloped band one has to be careful not to put off any potential fans. However, when the song writing talent of a group is so abundantly clear as with Vernie and Bertrum, the only risk is the band not fulfilling their promise. Drawing influence from many classic sources their style hangs on the crisp melodies and articulate bass playing of lead singer Steve Gullon whose onstage banter puts that of most young bands to shame. In truth it’s the quartet’s live show that really displays their potential, as their EP was home-recorded and thus is quite flat by comparison.

Nonetheless, hiding between the rough edges of their debut record is a pop sensibility that many unsigned bands lack. It’s a sensibility that can best be heard in the better moments of Elliot Smith, Weezer, the Shins and particularly in the track Another Sunny Day by Belle and Sebastian. No matter what you think, it’s obvious that Vernie and Bertrum’s success will probably hinge and whether they can tidy up their recordings and do justice to all that potential. Check out www.myspace.com/vandb where you can listen to the entire EP for free along with a beautiful acoustic version of their track Sirens.