The way in which you discover new music is always strange, be it via hearing a song while the dentist is attacking your teeth, or during a conversation with a random stranger in a Michael Jackson t-shirt, good music always finds a way of reaching you.
The latter, about a year ago, was the way I discovered Bonnie Freechyld, after a conversation with her on the day after Michael Jackson passed away. Back then she had just quit her job and was searching for a band… now 12 months and many Gumtree posts later she succeeded and they played their first full gig together on Thursday night.
The show, at Bar Aquarium, was like a family affair; Bonnie greeting almost every single person in the room, saying how relaxed she was despite her face betraying the underlying nerves… nerves which soon dispersed as she sung the first few bars of her opening track, Fire, a full bodied soul/funk number that set the tone for what was to follow.
Pleasing Myself and Red Dress stood out as powerful pop-soul numbers, reminiscent of Natalie Williams, the band really adding some uumph and flavour to records. The “vulnerable song” mid-set broke up the funky vibes and allowed another side of Bonnie’s music to really cut through.
Listening to her perform with a band it feels like she has really moved on from the softer more subtle lah-dee-dah sing-a-long sound of Give Love A Chance and is now more grown, more edgy, more like a funkdafied kick in the mid-riff than a loving stroll through the spring sunshine.
Bonnie Freechyld is by no means the finished package and she still seems to be searching for that trademark sound she can truly call her own. However, this will come with time and is something that makes her and the band so exciting; the fact they will get better with every gig they play as they experiment with material they already have and add new songs in to the mixture.
Bonnie Freechyld is definitely one to watch and a name to remember because on the evidence of Thursday night the foundations are solid, and I think there will be a whole lot a fun gigs to come as they grow and create a sound of their own.