Federal Charm @ Walnut Tree Shades, Norwich, 2nd June 2013
Federal Charm were the headline act at the 4Women Resource Centre all day charity event hosted by the Walnut Tree Shades and took to the small stage following a super warm up set by locals The Rob Holmes Band. The Manchester lads launched straight into I’m Not Gonna Beg from their debut album and set a high tempo, energetic pace from the off. Too Blind To See, Somebody Help Me and Come On Down kept up the energy and quality quotient. Vocalist Nick Bowden has that classic bluesy rock tone that give the songs a timeless quality throughout and he interplays between lead, slide and rhythm guitar with the talented Paul Bowe. Underpinned by the powerful drumming of Danny Rigg and bass runs of Laurence Morawski this is a tightly knit band with a bright future.
The tempo slowed a little with Reconsider giving Nick the opportunity to showcase the bluesier side of his vocal range before building the energy levels again with There’s A Light, The Stray and Reaction, all again from the debut CD. The set reached a powerful climax with Gotta Give It Up and an absolutely blazing rendition of Freddie King’s Going Down, one of the best versions I’ve ever seen live.
All in all a very fine performance from a new young band who clearly love the music they’re playing which reminded me a lot of Free or Bad Company. The album is high quality but live the songs take on an extra dimension. Highly recommended.