WHAT a wonderful job Success Express Music does in providing a platform for up and coming – and independent – musicians to show their wares. Ten years old it is and thriving despite the hurdles put in its way by Covid. I call that success.
On Wednesday at PizzaExpress Live in Holborn, London, a vivacious Lorraine Solomons of Success Express Music introduced four appetising musicians/bands to the audience.
All interesting in their own way and all bringing something new to the party – ranging from the mellifluous and self-deprecating Hux (wow) through to the energetic Si Connelly, playing his guitar with such fury that I thought at one stage it would burst into flames.
Boy does Si, possessor of a mighty fine voice, expend a lot of energy on stage – enough to heat a four-bedroom home during winter. In voice, reminiscent of Eric Burdon, lead vocalist of The Animals.
Opening the night’s proceedings was Hedara, a singer who could have a bright future ahead of her based on her performance at PizzaExpress Live – and the traction she is gaining on radio stations nationwide (BBC Radio’s Jo Whiley is a fan as is Dermot O’Leary and Tom Robinson of 2-4-6-8 Motorway fame).
Hedara (Scarlet Billham) has a super voice and is a good songwriter based on what she treated the audience to – a delightfully delicate We’re Not The Same, a poignant Love Can Make Me Hate You and Sad Girl Syndrome (a love song to herself).
The evening was perfectly rounded off by Bandini and his band playing drums, piano and saxophone. Bandini is an Italian songster whose music is both eclectic and exciting, embracing blues and jazz. Another artist whose future is bright.
Although all four musicians were superb, stand out songs included Hux’s cover of Brandi Carlile’s Late Morning Lullaby – achingly beautiful. Si Connelly’s White Rabbit was glorious as was the epic Hurt You while you could pick any of Hedara’s songs – I’ll plump for Til Times Up (the only song her fiancé likes).
With Hedara – a fan of Jessie Ware and the late and great Whitney Houston – set to publish a ‘new bunch’ of sounds in 2022, and the tireless Si Connelly embarking on yet another tour in early January, you will soon have the chance to judge for yourself what you think of them. You won’t be disappointed. Born to succeed.
Finally, hats off to Success Express Music’s Solomons who buzzed around the venue like a bumble bee. Exuding enthusiasm and encouraging her artists to new heights, she rivalled Si for energy. Some feat that.