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Local Bands Launch Surge News Hotline

14th February 2011

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On Friday those who work in the University of Southampton Student Union’s media departments were given a very special treat; an hour and a half’s worth of live music from three enthusiastic and energetic new bands, as the Bridge Bar played host to a social organised by SURGE Radio.

First up was the much-hyped The David Gilani Experience, which featured Andy Neilson on Guitar, Rob Leane on Bass and the titular frontman himself on keyboard and vocals. Taking the direction of Radio One’s live lounge and the quirky covers that can throw up, TDGE ran seamlessly through some popular songs, such as Far East Movement’s 'Like a G6', Duck Sauce’s 'Barbra Streisand' and a clever take on Rihanna’s 'What’s My Name?' The threesome ended their show with a sweet and charming original called 'So Much Lovin’ in the Room Tonight', a witty but touching call to remind everyone to go out and enjoy the evening. Tonight’s show was just a sneak preview of what the band are capable of, with a full set being played on Monday at Frequency, held at the same venue.

Second on the bill was the ever-popular The Fruit Cellar, who’s song 'Redhead' had recently reached the #1 spot in the SURGE radio charts. Lead by the charismatic Dom Ellis, who displays real showmanship on the stage, and backed up by Pete Williams on the drums, TFC make a lot of noise for a two-piece, and never relent. A more mainstream take on the White Stripes, with each song lovingly titled after the name of a woman, TFC get a bigger reception with each gig they play.

Headlining the event was Newsteam Assemble, as they begin their run-up to releasing their first EP. Newsteam have been getting tighter and tighter as a band as they’ve gone on, and tonight’s version of 'The Isle' demonstrated everything that’s brilliant about the band. Frontman Rob Leane, in his second performance of the night after his short cameo in the first band, seemed to find his stage presence in this gig, moving from the standard indie-bop of swaying hips in a nonchalant manner, to becoming an unstoppable force, almost a blur on stage; catching tambourines, jumping around the stage, even whipping out a small electronic instrument no-one knew the name for. Alongside Dom Kullander, Tamsin King and Chris Cope, Newsteam are evolving into a tight unit, and with new songs always in production, things can only get better.

Thanks must go to SURGE , and especially Abbie Chapman  and Alex Copland, for organising the night, and the launch of the news hotline got a big round of applause.

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