Review: MusicSoc Presents SIMI and Eqvinox

I arrived at The Nest just before the music started, with my Bruce Springsteen t-shirt on and a cider in hand, expecting to hear some great music and I wasn’t disappointed. The night began loud and heavy as it should be on a Saturday night, with Blackout on the main stage. They played some much-loved classics from the likes of Linkin Park and Cameo. The comfortable manner in which the band performed personified the tacit bond shared between not only MusicSoc members but also students. There was great cohesion within the band and the members demonstrated great instrumentation, whilst ensuring the crowd got invested in the night early.

Next up was Ellie in the piano lounge, who had a beautiful, entrancing voice. Her guitar-playing was repetitive and she was very subtle in her chord changes, making her playing hypnotic. She played songs with very relatable topics. Her cover of All I Want by Kodaline showed this. Her take on Hozier’s Take Me To Church was chilled but she was still able to convey the sincerity of the message in the song. Her vibe was consistent but her choice of songs were diverse. This was evidenced by a comment made by a non-MusicSoc member about her Calvin Harris cover, which also demonstrated her effect on the audience; ‘a good cover of a banging song; really put emotion in it.’

The night then moved back to the main room where Riviera played. The dedication of the members of the society to music was seen by how the guitarist had one of his legs in a cast. But I guess a good telecaster makes everything better, right? Their set had an impactful start and showed the power of a female frontwoman. And of course a student live music event needs an Arctic Monkey’s cover. It seems this band really knew how to please the crowd.

The second piano lounge act came as a bit of a surprise. Gavin’s set came complete with good bass-playing and exotic drum beats which created a sense of pureness to his covers. Having watched Gavin perform a few times before, I know his choices of covers is always great and tonight was no different. No Diggity was an obvious one but was performed very well and was made original by the smooth transition into Thrift Shop at the end.  Run by Snow Patrol was less typical and a brilliant surprise for me as a big fan of the song. The bigger surprise however was the cover of Panjabi MC’s Mundian to bach ke which still committed to the ideals of live music despite it being a club classic. The set had a lot of energy and was a great forerunner for the next main stage act.

Photo Credit: Nick Ross

As Simi came on to the main stage, the room began to fill with even more students and the distinctive sound of Kids by MGMT. Their playing seemed so casual yet had such an impact on the crowd; the effect of a true rock n roll artist, or maybe just the impact of alcohol on students?! It was funny that the jumping within the crowd should start when the band began to play Radiohead. It seems they did the impossible; turn Radiohead into a Saturday night vibe. The crazy guitar effects really added something to their performance; seems all those who played knew how to please the crowd! Simi’s rendition of By The Way was a particular highlight for me. The members channelled the Anthony, Chad and Flea and the legend that is John Frusciante really well. The relaxed ambiance was encapsulated by a shout of ‘Jaimie fucked everything up’. Laughs indicated the relationship held between members of a band and indeed all those sympathetic.

The penultimate listed act, Eilish and Calum played and showed that even after everything changing in the music industry, the classic set up of an acoustic guitarist and singer is still the perfect combination. With previous performers supporting, the duo performed some great covers, including an Amy Winehouse number proved the society’s appreciation of truly good and influential music and their rendition of Can’t Help Falling in Love With You captured the essence of the piano lounge. The pair performed a beautiful cover of Make You Feel My Love. The knowledge that they will know before anyone else it was originally done by Bob Dylan rather than Adele, who recorded the arguably more famous version (unlike most our age) made it even more provocative.

The last act, EQVINOX, had a keyboard player, adding something not seen before in the night. Some would say this is brave for such an occasion and this suggestion is amplified and the bravery cemented by the fact that they covered Sia as the last act on a Saturday night. This added an evocative feel to the set whist the general vibe was kept strong. The band were clearly versatile in their musicianship. And of course, when Sam from the committee got on stage, it got a lot louder. However, rather than spoiling the band’s feel, it was a good thing in this context and only added to their set.

Photo Credit: Nick Ross

It appeared Sam’s appearance on stage signalled the start of the after party. This was a load of fun and everybody had a totally care-free attitude making it that much better. A great ending to a great night. Everyone that could fit on stage got on stage. It was at this point the most iconic covers were played. Don’t Look Back In Anger is just one example. I guess it’s to use Oasis as a means of inducing nostalgic feelings yet it still evokes different things in every single person, as those truly in contact with music would know. And of course Mr. Brightside and Wonderwall had to feature. It’s strange how one hears those songs so many times but it appears each time one hears them performed, new thoughts enter one’s mind and recent experiences are felt through the passion of the songs, making them even more powerful. They are timeless, as is the love of music, which was what was most evident from this most enjoyable night. I’ll know I’ll definitely remember it!

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