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Culture: The 545

Saving Scarlett (3646760)
Saving Scarlett (3646760)

As music events go, The Apex’s 545 at the end of the month can be seen as being something daringly brilliant.

Five acts for just a fiver, and local acts at that, is not only something different, but rather bold. Cambridge pair, Golden Bantic and Tom Lumley, are joined on stage by Kelodown, Enterlude, and Saving Scarlett – with the latter being a mix of Haverhill, or in lead vocalist Lisa Francis’ case, Stowmarket fame.

Speaking of Saving Scarlett and their 20-year-old front-woman, Miss Francis, the outing at The Apex is another step upwards on rock’s shaky ladder to success.

Formed back in 2015 by Lisa and her guitarist Dave Johnson, it would take a little while before they found their feet, but once they did. . .

Adding into the mix Rico Shepherd (guitar), Dave Brittain (bass), and Chevy Cheverton (drums), it would be none other than the BBC Introducing Essex stage that would give them a debut outing, via their single, Dear Liar.

“Although PIM:JAM (a charity festival in aid of the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service) was probably one of the first gigs we did, we actually debuted on BBC Intro Essex,” began Lisa.

“We’d sent our track, Dear Liar, in and they pretty much called us up to go into the studio straight away.

“We were so nervous and performing it, like that, was terrifying, but it’s one of my favourite singles so it made me more confident and it felt right even though it’s an angry, aggressive, but certainly relatable track.”

Created following the disbandment of other bands in the area, and with Dave (Johnson) having replied to an ad from Lisa, Chev and Rico coming from the Broken Empire, Saving Scarlett became an accidental partnership that, quite frankly, works brilliantly, each slotting into their respective roles accordingly.

“We do have a strange way of putting things together, and it’s mainly individually,” explained Lisa.

“There was no realisation as to how our lyrics came across until we listened back, but it all soon became something of a release for me and that’s what the new album does, it’s a strong mix of feelings.

“That’s the beauty of music, you can be different and that’s why playing at The Apex is so important.

“We’ve played the Ed Sheeran Stage at the Ipswich Music Day the last two years, which was a brilliant day and great to be a part of; but I’m very excited for this.

“I came to see Funeral for a Friend here so to be stood in the same place, on that stage, we can’t wait.”

Nearby Cambridge is providing us with two of their acts in the indie singer-songwriter Tom Lumley and the indie-pop project five-piece, Golden Bantic.

Then there’s Jasmine Canham’s former West Suffolk College students and raucous hard rockers, last year’s BurySOUND finalists, Kelodown – they’ll be looking to bring their high energy, punchy sound back to The Apex stage once again.

Completing the set are a bunch of Bury St Edmunds teens, a five-piece fresh from completing their A-Levels.

Led by 18-year-old lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Tom Paren, indie rock band Enterlude name The Killers and The Strokes as being their main influences; they only played their first, real gig late last year having honed their skills over the previous 12 months.

“We’re not your typical indie rockers, especially when you’ve someone like Ted (Ballam) on synths,” explains Tom.

“There is a bizarre sound with us as we have our own, individual tastes, but we’ve been friends for years, some since primary school.”

Alongside Tom and Ted there’s the addition of Josh Finch (‘experienced’ guitar), Will Allsopp (bass) and Ethan Richards (drums), the five friends coming together to, quite literally, see what would happen.

“The more we did things the more we began to appreciate music, and, when things click, that’s when you can be really good,” Tom continued.

“When we played at BurySOUND it was only our second gig, but one of the best we’ve done.

“I think we were very lucky in that we didn’t really expect anything from it but came out of it having made some really good friends, including the lovely Bessie Turner (who they supported at The Hunter Club early last month).

“We also discovered some really good bands ourselves by just being there, so maybe we could try and do it again next year.”

The 545, August 31, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds. Call 01284 758000 or visit theapex.co.uk