Retune got off to a flying start in April 2018 with LOZT, Van Susans and Jess Folley. The follow-up in May was equally spectacular, showcasing the skills of Bella Chipperfield and her band, one-man wall of sound Tom Braggins and rising talent Jay Williams.
Retune founder Tom Ryder kicked off the night in the usual way, highlighting the mission of the project and letting the audience know that it was their job to tune in to the performances and tune out from their every day troubles. He finished off the introduction by playing his original song Good Run, written about his school band The Kazans.
Tom then introduced Jay Williams to the stage. Jay is only 15 but already possesses commanding stage presence. He is also very skilled when it comes to looping; the influence of acoustic pioneer Ed Sheeran is clear to see, however Jay also brings his unique style to the loop pedal. As well as layering up guitar parts he also looped his vocals, displaying a strong chest voice and falsetto. Jay has been a loyal supporter of Retune from the beginning and it is pleasing to see how well he is progressing.
Next up was Tom Braggins, who simply blew the audience away. Also a very accomplished looper, Braggins combines his acoustic guitar playing with a fuzzy electric overdriven sound, and even finds time to swap instruments mid song and add a bass line using a bass ukulele. Among his feel good tunes he played a song called Sam, a stirring and emotional instrumental piece about a family friend. He admitted that he doesn’t usually play the song live and has only played it on four occasions, all of which have been in the intimate setting of the Half Moon in Bishop’s Stortford, now The Horn at The Half Moon. Stevie Wonder is a clear influence, and Braggins certainly brought bundles of funky soul to proceedings.
And so to Bella. She has a distinctive and haunting vocal, and her sound is boosted further by having her brother Joe on guitar and Jon on drums. All of the instruments played by the band, including Jon’s maple drum sticks, are hand made by Bella’s father ‘Chip’ Chipperfield, and the three-piece sounded absolutely lush. Bella played songs from her recently-released EP Leave My Mind, which was thematically perfect for Retune! Her song Worn Down was a particular highlight; a beautiful track that showcased Bella’s vocal. Her music sits somewhere between blues, folk and soul and is a delight to behold.
Another tremendous evening. Would you like to attend a Retune show or play? Contact us here if so…