Saint Raymond, Indiana, Michael Lynch – Bodega Social Club, Wednesday July 4.
(originally published in the Nottingham Post)
The third of five “Road To Splendour” nights at the Bodega commenced with Michael Lynch, an acoustic soul singer-songwriter who recently reached the Future Sound of Nottingham semi-finals. Although audience numbers were disappointingly thin, he held his nerve and acquitted himself admirably.
Indiana made her debut live performance at the same semi-finals, just over two months ago, in the middle of the market square. It was a very public baptism of fire, which turned her overnight into one of Nottingham’s most hotly tipped acts. Now signed to a major international management company, she has swapped her day job for a full time musical career, and is wasting no time in building upon her good fortune.
As the buzz around her continues to build, fast-tracking her development with dizzying speed, Indiana has been obliged to do most of her growing up in public. But although her set might still only be five songs long, her remarkable, instinctive, self-taught talent shines through.
Accompanied by Ollie Green on keyboards, Indiana opened with her haunting re-working of Gabriel, better known in its dance version by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard. Two of her own compositions (Erase and Blind As I Am) were followed by an equally startling cover of Frank Ocean’s Swim Good.
Indiana’s set concluded with a brand new song, whose glinting-eyed vengefulness (“I’m in possession of a smoking gun, and I want to hurt you just for fun”) showed a side of her which we hadn’t seen before, suggesting a sizeable emotional reservoir that she has only just started to tap.
The already busy Bodega grew busier still for headliner Callum Burrows, who continues to perform as Saint Raymond, despite its contraction from a duo to a solo act. Perhaps he’s retaining the option of expanding it into a band one day – but for now, the 17-year old is more than capable of holding his own, alone on stage with his acoustic guitar and his impressive collection of songs.
There’s currently a wealth of teenage musical talent in the city, spearheaded by the likes of Jake Bugg, Kappa Gamma and Kagoule, and it’s heartening to see how much progress can be made at such a young age. Callum has developed a lot of confidence over the past year, so much so that he is already on the verge of ditching some of the songs that first made his name.
Thankfully, old favourite She Said No was given possibly its final airing (“for old time’s sake – you’ll probably know the words better than me”), before the equally popular Bonfire closed the set. Roars of approval from new fans, hardened music scene regulars, supportive classmates and beaming relatives brought Callum back for an encore. “I have no idea what I’m about to play”, he grinned, before launching into a cheery romp through Rihanna’s What’s My Name. Next stop: Splendour. And after that, who knows?