A triumphant homecoming gig for Cambridge band Fred’s House saw a heaving Junction2 rocking to the rafters to the bands confident and big, big sound. The band old favourites at Strawberry Fair, Lodestar Festival and countless pubs and clubs in the region came home for the last steps of their Shut Up and Dance tour, delighting an enthusiastic crowd that was on its feet from the first beat with classics from their first, rootsy and folky album “Bonnie and Clyde” and introducing a few new tracks destined for their next album that reveal their strengthening songwriting skills.
The ever-smiling drummer percussionist Paul Richards provides the firm but dynamic foundations for the band with feathery flourishes interspersed between the strongest beat and partnererd perfectly by Gafin Jameson on bass guitar. The departure of lead guitarist Lachlan Golder, who played one of his final gigs with band at a private bash in Cottenham in February for Tricia, the band’s biggest fan who was 50 this year, left space for guest guitarist 18-year old Adam Chinnery who by turns was the classic country rock rhythm player and soloist and a speedy shredmeister where it was warranted by the space in some of the band’s more uptempo songs. Ali Bunclarke recently joined the housemates on keyboard, adding a subtle new layer to the overall sound and some cool fills and licks (Tricia is disappointed that I didn’t fit Ali into my photo).
Acoustic guitar player Griff, brother of Gafin and founding member, was on top form on the 6-string and vocally. And, of course, Vicki Gavin, on lead vocals is the band’s not so secret weapon, her voice never straining sweeps from the fragile rootsy sounds of their gentler repertoire to the full on raunch of their rockers. Vix and Griff, recently engaged to be married, blend beautifully with Gavin providing a subtle third harmony part (hinging on that vocal connection with Griff that you only get with siblings).
A stunning Neil Young cover was icing on the cake and there was plenty of whooping, footstamping and applause, and the occasional wolfwhistle (well done Chris) which brought the band back for an encore. From the first note, this awesome band are destined for greatness.
Husband and wife duo The Black Feathers opened wonderfully for Fred’s House. Beautiful harmonies on melancholic melodies, great guitar (with none of that silly two-handed percussive playing, just proper fingerstyle and strumming) and a unique take on English Americana.