Jubilee benefit gig at the Marr's Bar in Worcester

Hats off to the multi-talented Mr Wes Dance who put on a Jubilee Jamboree event at the Marr's Bar in aid of the Alzheimer's Society featuring a tasty selection of the cream of local musical talent.

I cut short my usual Sunday dozing to arrive just as the finely honed Jasper In The Company Of Others hit the Pierpoint Street stage. This Shane Husband-fronted act really are making a name for themselves up and down the country with their pleasing jangly folk-rocky numbers like Say It's Greener and To Be Loved. I was very much taken with banging new number Dens and I can't wait to hear a recording of that.

A pleasing set of laid-back lounge-lizardy numbers from Rich Clarke & The Rafters to follow. I have to say that I much prefer Rich with other musicians like the Rafters Luke and Dan to complement his soft-rock ditties such as Only Us and Arboretum (wonder what that's about?) rather than in solo mode. Well, actually, that pretty much goes for all the solo acts I see. Still, one of the best sets I've seen so far this year was Rich duetting with organiser Wes a couple of months ago - definitely worth a repeat performance guys.

As you know, for a while now, I've been advising acts to get touring and take their music to a wider stage. Unfortunately, for us (though hopefully not for him), Andy Robinson announced tonight that this would be his last gig in the UK for the foreseeable future as he's relocating to California. It'll be a real shame not to hear one of the talents to have emerged on the Hereford & Worcester scene over the last few years live for a while - but I'm firmly of the view that he's made the right choice and I'm sure he's going to wow the LA glitterati with his great numbers like That Girl, Without Love, England's Bleeding and many more - best of luck mate!

There's a couple of bands out there who I reckon think I've been avoiding them for some reason. It's not true - it's just that I haven't quite mastered the art of time-travel and being in two places at the same time - so it was a great treat to catch Kidderminster grungesome trio Vault Of Eagles after what seems ages. Since last seeing them, the Mari/Hetty/Scott three-piece have scooped awards at a national unsigned final and are currently promoting their two recently released EPs. They've got a busy festival season lined up and I certainly won't leave it too long before I catch them again.

Also promoting their latest album are the slamming duo Das Sexy Clap. Now, while the album title is unmentionable, the 11 songs on their CD are of gobsmacking quality. I reckon it's fair to say that while front-man Chris has been the mainstay on drums in outfits like And What Will Be Left Of Them?, Evilwitch and Girls On Film - his current stint on guitar and vocals in partnership with Katy Birch perhaps eclipses all his previous impressive achievements. They were just bubbling under towards the end of last year but have really exploded into a live act of loud and extremely raucous but tremendously memorable quality with great numbers like Wear It, Rats!!! and Whiteout. Catch 'em while they're on the 'up' escalator folks!

Andy O'Hare

Local gigs and music CD reviews

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