Album Launch Showcase
Monday 4th July 2016
Hospital Club, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom
There are a few acts that are really ‘our home team’, to us at Just Listen To This, in that we saw / met /encouraged them from early days. They include Laurence Jones, Hollie Stephenson, King King, The Franklys and especially the Hampshire twins known as Ward Thomas. From their very first EP launch in Soho they has something going for them, musically their rich and impressive harmonies and ability to switch lead vocal between them, songwriting ability and instrumental prowess but beyond music they are the most charming lasses you could meet. May the passage of time not erode this last element but careerwise, Sony have seen the light that Bob Harris and other notables shone upon the act and an album called Cartwheels is forthcoming. The plus is that a whole bunch of new songs arrives and the danger is that the pursuit of radio play may filter out some of their country roots. They are smart enough to be aware of this. In the meantime from this industry presentation the new record will please followers of latterday Fleetwood Mac and The Pierces.
Taking to the stage after a warm intro statement from Whispering Bob, the duo are backed by a four-piece pop band of electric guitar, bass, keys/synth and drums. The band sounds crisp but a tad anonymous and in a longer set they will hopefully be given some solo’s and latitude to play with light and shade. The darker haired twin Catherine takes lead on some songs and blonder Lizzy on others. There is a subtle difference in their individual phrasing and the harmonisation recalls the Webb Sisters. I e it is great. ‘Guilty Flowers’ already sound like a hit, though the buzzy synth makes it sound very poppy. Material has a hypnotic electric piano intro on tremelo’d setting with the singing echoing Stevie Nicks an octave up. ‘Almost Easy’ heads for Heartbreak Land, steady Hammond in the background.
Title cut ‘Cartwheels’ is infernally catchy and radio-friendly, with the girls prominent and tuneful; ‘Carry You Home’ is apparently a single and from a strings-led intro a bit of a thumper, maybe a set-closer? A strong middle-eight reinforces its impact. Lyrically it sounds like a tuneful offer of friendship, the two acoustics pumping the song along. I hope the full album has something really moody on it to counter these songs’ cumulative breeziness, good though it all is.
Ward Thomas’s second studio album ‘Cartwheels’s is released on Friday 9th September 2016 on WTW Music/Sony Music. In addition, to support the release Ward Thomas will be embarking on an extensive October 2016 UK tour. For more information and to pre-order the album visit their official website here: http://bit.ly/29roG1S
..by the way, catching up with Bob Harris post-performance we could advise him that Pete’s full review of his Radio 2 sessions multi-artist double CD had had plenty of traffic, Bob thanked us for this and said the sales has been very good. This set features Ward Thomas….catch up with the piece here: http://bit.ly/1U1LdCO
(Thanks to Glenn, Bob, Catherine and Lizzy of Ward Thomas and both Millie Tennant and Rory Cramsie of MBC PR.)