Everlate, plus Naomi Coombes, Casee Wilson, Ashley James Trio
The Basement, York
March 7, 2015
For the third acoustic York gig in as many venues over the past couple of months, the chilled atmosphere at the Basement suited the occasion most.
The blonde-haired, check-shirted Naomi Coombes opened with some cute guitar pop originals.
Vocally, she was fantastic, with a seriously impressive range that would be interesting to hear with a thicker sound behind it, as on occasion her singing drowned out her playing.
Undoubtedly talented, she might need a slightly more notable USP to progress from local-sized gigs.
The second solo performer was pianist and singer Casee Wilson, whose first self-penned track was refreshing in its down-to-earthness – “what a rubbish fairytale” is a lyric that communicates the average person’s break-up grief perfectly, whilst her choice of covers were all intelligently simple songs including Kate Nash’s Merry Happy and set highlight Braille by Regina Spektor.
She also had two remarkably distinct voices – a strikingly theatrical vocal for the lower-toned tracks as well as a gorgeously resonant higher register that sounded near-identical to Blue-era Joni Mitchell, both of which were displayed well on a slightly hesitant Someone Like You.
A wonderfully earthy sounding Ashley James Trio comprised of acoustic guitar, piano and double bass took over next.
The undoubted highlight was the final track when vocalist Rachel Croft joined the band for a fab cover of It Takes Two, two worlds well and truly colliding as the old classic was resurrected with fantastic harmonies, while she sang the lyrics off her phone screen.
Then came the headliners. Everlate are three good looking men of distinctly varying heights who launched straight into their first sunny number with urgency that can only be brought on by genuine passion.
Song titles like Ferris Wheel Feeling say it all about the band who blend Script-esque melodies with utterly joyous harmonies in equal parts reminiscent of Take That and gospel-style music (especially on the Bon Iver cover which they made their own).
Their songs were lovely, squeaky clean slices of pop that would undoubtedly spell chart success if bigger boy bands got their hands on them.
Drummer Si Humphries was my personal fave, his both stomping and subtle tempos and backing vocals really forming the backbone of the whole operation.
They’re launching their latest EP at Fibbers in June – if their three-minute slices of joy keep winning audiences over as much as the Basement crowd, Everlate will deservedly pack the place out.