Bang Bang Romeo
- Young Monarch
Imagine going from being accompanied by a three-piece band to standing solo on a stage, and still absolutely smashing it. Step Forward LUNA. With a laptop to hand and various other bits of kit, Luna’s solo electronic set offers something new to the traditional one-(wo)man performance. No guitar and loop pedal, but instead a beautiful vocal accompanied by samples and tracks. With her more classically suited vocals paired with her broken down electronic beats, Luna is refreshing. Her powerful self-reflection 5AM sees her declare, “I don’t recognise myself anymore”. It breaks down further barriers. Lana Del Rey comes to mind, a striking artist that is hard to place into a box. The music industry screams for new, for different, and for things that can’t be placed under a boring old genre.
It feels as though the dial is slowly being turned up on the vocals when YOUNG MONARCH step on stage. This four-piece from Jersey possess the ability to interact directly with subjects of real weight, though still make the show enjoyable. They allow for self-reflection, but don’t rip you apart. They don’t judge, they relate. Genetics grabs my heart strings, a song about vocalist Becca’s relationship with her mother. “No-one makes me mad like you.” How many can relate here? It’s about love, growing up and potentially not living up to expectations. With a killer guitar backing and harmonious vocals, this is the most enjoyable kick in the teeth for anyone that feels similar. Travelling to the more relaxed Find Me, the band observe perception and internalising struggles. As open advocates of mental health awareness and support, this song offers much needed understanding. Once again, it’s another fine example of Young Monarch interacting directly with subjects that aren’t pretty. Somehow, they still manage to provide a take that’s breathtakingly beautiful.
As Anastasia Walker steps on stage I hear “Yes, star!” screamed from the crowd. It fits. BANG BANG ROMEO’s lead singer is undeniably that: a star. With a powerhouse vocal and a stage presence that debunks the tradition of female vocalists – standing still in long floating dresses with a fixed mic stand – she rips apart norms and expectations. I and everyone around me fall in love. The first song by BBR I ever heard was Shame On You. Seeing a song you love so much live is always a worry, but worry I need not. Live, the chorus is something else, the energy that the band produce not only shows their love of music, but their justifiable pride in the song. This band have perfected the idea that sometimes less is more. Their lyrics pack a punch but do not require a dictionary ready in waiting. They only ask that you sing as loudly as possible. What’s left of my voice is a glaring example.