Love Music Hate Racism

EMERALD PASTON: ‘What began as a quiet fund-raising event developed into a night of original and diverse music.’

Clare Cellars CUSU Esperanda folk Indie Love music hate racism rock

Clare Cellars, 29th January, £3

[rating: 4/5]

To mark the launch of the CUSU equalities survey, and to raise money for future demonstrations, Love Music Hate Racism provided a pleasant evening of eclectic music and raw talent. First up were fiddler Matt Kerry and Gary Woolley on the guitar, who played a set of Cajun stompers. Despite being at least twice the age of the other performers, the pair performed energetically and passionately. What the singer lacked in vocal strength (having been on a demonstration earlier in the day), he made up for with dextrous fiddle-playing that was much appreciated by the initially small audience.

Clare’s own Esperanda were next, playing a mixture of Spanish-tinged popular rock songs and their own, more reflective ditties. The talented pair were a little awkward in between songs, handing out their business cards and engaging in geeky banter about LED lights, but they were warmly received. This awkwardness rarely transferred to their musical performance (the one exception being Vedantha Kumar’s slightly clumsy but endearing attempt at an Eminem rap). The two shone in their poignant rendition of MGMT‘s Kids and were invited back to the stage to play the requests of an eager audience.

The last two bands did not match the enthusiasm of the former two, but their sets were enjoyable nonetheless. Indie three-piece Tracey’s Love played agreeable songs, with Strokes-esque guitar strumming and upbeat drums. Unfortunately, singer Jon’s voice missed the mark, and he didn’t quite have the swagger pull it off.

The intriguingly-named The History of Apple Pie provided a darker edge to the night, playing grungy yet melodic tunes with definite cool. The pulse of the bass lines and guitars was well complemented by the female vocalist’s harmonies, particularly in the catchy Mallory. Despite lacking Esperanda’s affectionate connection with the audience, the band played skilfully and finished their set with an energetic burst of reverb-overload.

Enjoyable and relaxed, what began as a quiet fund-raising event developed into a night of original and diverse music.