Romeo's Daughter / Dante Fox / Kinkade

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Romeo's Daughter / Dante Fox / Kinkade

Romeo's Daughter / Dante Fox / Kinkade - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 4th October 2013

The venue remained rather empty by the time Kinkade began. They strolled out casually and opened their slot with 'Man Overboard' and 'She's Hot'. Both were old school Rock with the latter being "dedicated to the ladies performing tonight" by the bands charismatic front man Jimmy J. He was quite chatty with a good sense of humour including the odd joke. They continued with 'Swan Lake Woman' which started out a touch messy until the main riff kicked in and bound everything together. This received a reasonable applause before Jimmy commented it was time for 'Spellbound' which was very much a power ballad. There was more witty banter then Kinkade closed out with their best two songs in the funky 'Sunglasses' and the raucous 'She Likes To Party'.

By the time Dante Fox reached the stage I would surmise that there were less than a hundred people in attendance. They kicked off with 'Lucky Ones' and all the instruments sounded bright and clear although Sue Willetts was a little muffled. By the time 'Firing My Heart' was underway, her vocals were riding nicely above the pounding rhythm and guitar. Next up was one of my two favourites from their debut 'I Can't Sleep'; there was plenty of strummed guitar from Tim Manford whilst Willetts varied her pitch nicely. This song also appears on their latest release 'Lost Man's Ground' and three more from it followed, with 'Secrets' then an airing for the title track. The last of this new record selection was 'Who Stole The Innocence' and then DF returned to their second release with 'Walking The Line'. They finished off with my favourite DF song 'Remember', the guitar poured out of the speakers as did Willetts vocals including a massive wail to end. They took their applause from the filling Underworld and then exited.

There wasn't much of a break before Romeo's Daughter appeared with singer Leigh Matty bouncing out last. Starting with 'Trippin' Out', 'Attracted To The Animal' and 'Keep Walking' they were a joy to watch with plenty of movement from the musicians as Matty grooved and shimmied around. The one thing that couldn't be missed was the huge smile on her face that showed she was having a ball. 'Animal' had a catchy chorus whilst 'Walking' received a large cheer from a much busier Underworld. Matty let everyone know there would be some old and some new tonight and they proceeded to play 'Lightening' from their latest album before everyone was given a sneak peek of the newest material with 'Perfect Plan'. They slowed things down again with 'Talking Love', which was one of my songs of the night due to the perfect musical mixture of keys, bass and guitar. They then shifted up the gears again with 'Bittersweet' where Matty encouraged the fans to join in with the "whoo hoos" which they did. They drifted back to their past with 'Dancing Slow' and 'Velvet Tongue', the latter being another of tonight's highlights with its solid grinding riff and lead fret work. After 'Alive' Matty engaged the crowd asking where people had come from and she appeared amazed how far some had travelled. 'Stay With Me Tonight' saw Craig Joiner turn to his acoustic and RD mellowed things down with a stripped back version of 'Will Be'. They decided to go for the polar opposite next as Matty explained they required plenty of participation during 'Inside Out' to which the crowd responded making it another of the evening's highlights for me. RD closed out their main set with 'I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night' and 'Heaven In The Back Seat'. After plenty of clapping and cheering, RD returned for an encore consisting of 'Hymn (Look Through Golden Eyes)' and 'Wild Child'. This lively track was a fitting end to their set and RD were given a huge applause as they left the stage.

Although tonight didn't quite blow me away, mainly due to a lesser familiarity with the acts, it was still an excellent and highly entertaining gig. Kinkade had some groovy tunes that were well played and you can't help but like Jimmy J. Dante Fox also put on a quality display with Willetts and Manford in good form. But the best band of the evening was without doubt Romeo's Daughter. Their set was full of catchy songs all delivered with passion by Matty, she lit up the venue with her smile and enthusiasm plus it doesn't hurt that she has a cracking voice. As I departed everyone seemed to agree it had been a quality night with RD being the pick of the bands.

Dave Scott

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