Let’s Whisper and Tender Trap

DAVID HOLLAND checks out some girl pop in a pub.

acoustic Cambridge David Holland electro girl pop Let's whisper Music pop review tender trap the corner house

The Corner House, Tuesday 3rd of October, £5/6

[rating: 3.5/5]

The Corner House is an odd little venue, out on the Newmarket road near ‘the big Tesco’; it’s far beyond the normal reaches of student life. I was as curious about the venue as I was about the acts; the organiser of the event told me that students very seldom visit the venue. Aside from my capacities as a music critic I went along with three other questions: Why is this? Should I encourage more people to go? Is the Corner House worth visiting?

Yes and no. It’s not a brilliant venue but its charm and bookings made it an enjoyably quaint evening. Aside from the ridiculous and stifling heat (I’m blaming global warming and not the pub) the biggest problem was the equipment. Both Let’s Whisper and Tender Trap are fantastic bands, their broadly similar genres mean that they work well in the same set and their laid back and charismatic styles suit the pub venue.

Masses of mic feedback, the poor acoustics, and the fact that the snare rattled along to anything played on the bass made sure that the performances were filled with periodic cringes and pangs of annoyance. The mixing also let the show down, I know that it’s a pretty low budget and low turn out show, but I counted five times that Colin (Let’s Whisper) asked for his guitar to be turned down. Even after (slightly sarcastically) brushing off the poor balance there was a definite vibe from the performers that they knew their show was compromised. That said this is a pub venue, perfection and crisp audio would sound weird. The sort of show with an audience of 25 benefits much more from interactivity and personal touches than it does from professional engineering.

Tender Trap are fairly hard to pigeonhole beyond the non-descript ‘girl-pop’. The best I can do is a sound somewhere between Blur and Glee if Brian Wilson wrote the music. The broad age-range in the band gives an interesting note of youthful fizz and confidence and their informality and sheer amiableness make them hard to dislike, even if their music seems a tad two-dimensional.

Let’s Whisper

Let’s Whisper are a friendly male-female acoustic act, less ambiguous and probably less personable than Tender Trap, they more than stole the show with the sheer beauty of their music and quality of their vocals. Without wanting to sound too nauseating they sounded heart-warming and pretty in a simple and innocent way. Having seen them live I am now completely besotted, it’s a great shame that they’re US based band as I strongly urge you to splash out the £5 to see them if you get a chance.

Both act’s sets progressed from strait acoustic to aspects of population, rock and disco; both sets too made great use of multiple vocalists. Tender trap used a combination of Amelia’s more mature vocals and the teenage backing of Elizabeth to give a diversity of sounds and Let’s Whispers combo of male and female lead vocals gave the performance an interesting edge.

The quality of acts more than made up for problems with the venue. It’s a rare occurrence that I spend as much time listening to bands after a show as I am right now; I implore you all to briefly Google (or use the link below), it’ll be worth the effort.

Let’s Whisper – It’s Time (demo)