Alys Rain at Earlsdon Festival

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Alys Rain at Earlsdon Festival

Review

The sad news is that there was less music than usual at this year's Earlsdon Festival.

The good news is that this was largely because host venue the Criterion Theatre are currently in the middle of their Springboard Festival (and so their team are currently very stretched) and so you can catch more great music there until 11th May: including artists such as The Mechanicals Band, Lauren South, Stylusboy & Wes Finch whom we have covered in this magazine. Tickets are available via this link:

https://www.criteriontheatre.co.uk/production/537

In the event, personal commitments meant that I only caught one of the sets in full (my apologies to those whom I missed), but since this has given me the chance to write our first review of an Alys Rain gig, it worked out fine.

Alys (aka Izzy Hadlum) had her ‘In Tension' EP (which was played today) reviewed here in December 2022 and her song "Driving in the Rain" from that release features on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Eleven'.

I'd like to think that you've both read the review and played the EP & so, like me, you probably wondered how such ethereal, introspective music (much of it instrumental) would go down at an outside with its accompanying extraneous noises & where the bulk of the audience had not previously heard her songs.

Using just her acoustic guitar (with subtly adjusted effects), voice and foot tambourine, Alys more than managed it: she drew a rapidly built crowd who responded most positively. Although I sometimes despair of mainstream tastes & capacities to assimilate fresh, original nuanced music, it's good to have my prejudices in this area challenged & salute Alys' capacity to hold the attention of a fairly randomly coalesced crowd of all ages with such delicate music and without resorting to cheap crowd-pleasing tactics. Credit too to the Criterion sound crew: I witnessed the care which went into the sound checking and sculpting of the right sound for her.

Ironically, in addition to this fragile creativity, Izzy is also drummer with the very noisy Creaking Twitch (I am looking forwards to writing about them) so quite plausibly could be considered the local music with the broadest spectrum of volume in their musical performances: which pretty much encapsulates diversity and breadth of vision.

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