BONNIE & CLYDE
Cracking Tunes …………
Cambridge folk-rockers deliver WestCoast-style acoustic rock, with tinges of country, but still maintain theirEnglishness Cambridge five-piece Fred’s House have clearly got thei r act together with this impressive debut.The gatefold sleeve has a distinctly retro, retouched 1970s era LP feel. An abandoned gun is left on a cafe table, with two beverages, while our heroes. Griff Jameson and Vikki Gavin, can be seen through the window departing hand in hand. It kind of has a Warren Zevon feel to it.
What is abundantly clear, from the off, is the excellence ofthe twin lead vocal interplay between Griff and Vikki, as they trade lines and then harmonise gloriously, throughout the set. The five members are a tight unit and the material offers a combination of excellence and solid potential.
The quirky, very ‘English’ sounding opener. Marathon Man, reveals the story of a runner who catches a bus to the finishing line, after 20 miles, to claim third place, before being rebuked. The use of radio commentary is quite effective. The shifting time signatures are also a nice touch. The number was penned by multiinstrumentalist Lachlan Golder, who is also responsibleforthe title song, Bonnie And Clyde. Our seemingly doomed modern day couple play out their drama to the backdrop of a fatalistic sounding piano, courtesy ofthe author.
Griff’s brother, Gatyn Jameson, holds down the bottom end on bass and vocals
The five members are a tight unit and the material offers a combination of excellence and solid potential…
Fred’s House BONNIE & CLYDE by John Brindle while drummer Paul Richards completes the line-up.The remaining material is penned by Griff and Vikki. The melodic Fine Life is a fine vehicle for Vix’s vocals: ‘It’s a fine life living for a good time/Living on the bread line.. .’The tempo quickens and the chorus is terrific.
Other standouts include Skin And Bone with Griff’s pleasing 12 string acoustic and Lochlan’s exceptional electric guitar solo. It’s a song the Jay hawks would have been pleased to pen. Top marks, however, go to the sublime Grown Up Children, Griff’s simply picked acoustic is the backdrop for his and Vix’s wonderful twin vocals. Harmonies soar like a Nightingale, recalling the best of Poco or CSN. Yet this music belongs to Fred’s House, it isn’t derivative despite a nod towards illustrious influences.
The band’s basic sound is fleshed out with occasional doses of accordion, fiddle and Hammond organ. The variety of writing, singing and playing creates a varied soundscape which reveals more layers with each play. This is certainly a band capable of making waves to secure a larger audience. John Brindle