Andy O'Hare at The Firefly in Worcester - 31.03.12

My second port-of-call on the night wasn't a million miles away from the first - well actually just across the road in Worcester's Lowesmoor - as I checked out two of the finest bunch of songwriters on the scene.

First up were the amazing Skewwhiff - who I reckon have to be the ultimate pure-pop outfit going as they seem to have carved out a niche as being the perfect support band for just about any genre possible. They've got a bucketload of cracking numbers like Club International and Harold that they're able to tweak a shade heavier or lighter according to the audience - and I was very highly-taken with new ditty It Girl - another local classic. This is a band who just lets their music speak for them - and it spells sheer enjoyment throughout.

No let up in the quality at the most improbable venue doing the circuit as the wonderful Crooked Empire took centre stage. The Sean Sheldon-fronted outfit look a whole lot more relaxed since they expanded to a four-piece and their set of totally hummable numbers like Bruises and Baby Bye can be sampled on their new album Jagged Soul due for release shortly. The Crooked Empire have a fanatical following from Droitwich that packs out every gig they play - not surprising at all - as they're without doubt an act that deserve major recognition - not real soon - but right now!

Andy O'Hare

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