Review: Stirring rock and laid back sounds on a sunny afternoon

Watt's Cookin'
Watt's Cookin'

Watt’s Cookin’ (supported by Cherry Bomb), The Gate, Ilfield, Sunday, July 28

There are few things that could be better than enjoying a barbecue while listening to some great rock music on a hot summer afternoon.

Cherry Bomb and Watt’s Cookin’ have very different styles but both acts were committed to offering quality performances.

Cherry Bomb seems an unusual name for a band that covers such laid back tunes. However, while their sound wasn’t exactly hard-hitting, the duo created a great relaxed vibe with their versions of I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Hotel California. Singer Jo Bradford had real control over her vocals while Adam Hardiman wielded his acoustic guitar with flair. Visit www.facebook.com/CherryBombduo.

The headline act for the afternoon aimed to liven things up with some intelligent covers and didn’t disappoint.

Watt’s Cookin’ (who recently changed their name from Wot’s Cookin’) launched into a set full of thrilling electric-guitar driven tunes with plenty of enthusiasm. The sound quality was impressive, allowing the audience to hear each instrument clearly, especially Steve Boyce’s guitar as he offered up some blistering solos.

Steve’s vocals had a striking growl to them as well, which he was well aware of. “Do you think they heard that in Crawley,” he asked after letting loose a few passionate rock ’n’ roll wails.

Mike Hopwood kept the hard rock light and fun with his keyboard playing while Neil Korner on bass and vocals helped the band create a rich sound. The band’s drummer ‘Cookie’ also made sure that rhythm duties were taken care of with style and skill.

A stand-out moment arrived when the band performed You Never Can Tell (Teenage Wedding) by Chuck Berry, which provided a great opportunity for dancing.

More information

Steve Boyce opened for Eric Clapton at Hyde Park in 2008 after winning Virgin Radio’s ‘One Last Dream’ contest. To find out more about his music visit www.thesteveboyceband.co.uk. The next Watt’s Cookin’ performance will be at The Snooty Fox, Three Bridges, on Saturday, August 10. Visit www.bright-white.org.uk to find out about upcoming gigs.

By Lawrence Smith