Cannock, my home town, is not really notable in anything, let alone it’s musical scene – the closest thing we’ve got is the fact that Noddy Holder used to practise near here, Roy Wood from Wizzard occasionally makes an appearance in a variety of local pubs, and it’s home to Mel Galley, ex-Whitesnake axeman (back to that later)… and that’s about it. Or at least so I thought, until a few weeks ago I stumbled into The Forge bar in Cannock to see a man playing double bass, the aforementioned Mr Galley’s son on drums and a woman who, after mumbling inaudibly suddenly burst into one of the most powerful voices I’ve heard in a long time spewing out a laid back mixture of jazz, folk, trip-hop and god knows what else to a complete mesmerised audience, and for once it wasn’t just copious amounts of alcohol that was causing them to stare into space.
The band on stage, or rather the singer, was Carina Round – and after years of gigging and hanging around Ronnie Scotts they’ve (she’s?) now released their first album, the intriguingly named “The First Blood Mystery”, and somehow the whirlwind flurry of the band has been captured almost perfectly onto record. There are one or two points where the production is lacking slightly, with the producer become perhaps too much in awe of Carina’s voice and raising her volume so that the actual music becomes inaudible, but this is infrequent and barely noticeable (I’m just picky. So shoot me). Minor recording problems aside, the record holds itself together perfectly – eclectic to the point of being interesting, but not so impenetrable that it becomes unlistenable.
My only real qualm with The First Blood Mystery is that it’s too short – there’s only seven tracks, and I know from seeing them live that they’ve got more material than this, and it seems like the First Blood Mystery’s may be a tantalising taster of things to come from Carina.
Sit down in a darkened, smoke infested, candle-lit room, relax ...and enjoy.
9Ian Mellett's Score