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Mammal Not Fish review: A prime example of why you should always support local music

PUBLISHED: 12:56 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:05 22 April 2018

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

Danielle Booden

Mammal Not Fish, a local four-piece Ska/Rock/Funk band, put on a great show on Friday night [April 20] at Epic Studios showcasing their new EP whilst also highlighting some of the other great bands from around the county.

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle BoodenMammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

The evening was arranged as a launch party for Mammal Not Fish’s highly anticipated EP ‘Room Six’. Having already played numerous festivals and gigs, they decided to take things to the next level with their second EP release and launch party.

First to kick of the evening was Alton Wahlberg, a solo singer/songwriter who uses a unique blend of folk and indie to encapsulate audiences with his songs and stories.

Many of his songs have been inspired by the tales he has been told by a vast array of individuals he has met whilst travelling the country as a street performer. Due to finishing work late, I only caught the end half of his set.

Alton is a great performer, and came across very comfortable on stage. It was a really great start to the evening and warmed up the small crowd that had turned up early enough to catch the supporting acts.

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle BoodenMammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

Second to take to the stage were Falling From Trees, a band based in Norwich who formed back in 2013. Comprised of two brothers and a sister, this female fronted rock band have gained widespread acclaim for their lively performances and eclectic sound, fusing folk and blues influences with soulful lead vocals and harmonies.

Rebecca White’s lead vocals blew the crowd away from the start, belting out powerful notes with ease. These were supported by backing vocals and harmonies from guitarists Adam White, Leo White and bassist Joey Scampion.

Leo White’s vocals were showcased perfectly in a few of their songs in which we got to hear him singing solo, whilst also harmonising effortlessly with Rebecca. Their voices blended together seamlessley, and it was a real treat to witness.

Falling From Trees have a great ability to connect with a crowd, and everyone seemed to really enjoy hearing them perform. The energy and musicianship that they gave to every song was infectious and they soon had people tapping foots and dancing along.

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle BoodenMammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

The bass player’s energy and enthusiasm for being up on stage couldn’t go unmentioned, often stopping to mention just how blown away they were by the response they received from the audience. It was really humbling to see how appreciative the band were of being given the chance to perform at Epic Studios in front of what was a fairly sizeable crowd.

Third to take to the stage were Keep It Secret, a Norfolk based pop-punk trio who were returning after a three-year hiatus. Since their return they have been focusing on writing new material and preparing for a comeback festival slot at Ferryfest in Reedham on September 8.

I was instantly thrown back to my early teen years where pop-punk was all the rage and everyone was listening to the likes of Sum 41 and Blink 182.

Keep It Secret seemed on form, despite not having performed in such a long time, throwing us straight into their set with some upbeat, fast pop-punk songs.

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle BoodenMammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

The performance would have benefitted from a little more movement and interaction from the band with each other, as due to them being so far apart on the stage it had the tendency to make it feel a little disjointed and separate.

A lot of their songs were of a similar pace, so it would have been great to see a couple of songs thrown in the mix that changed the tempo up a little just to lift the set and make it slightly more dynamic.

Despite this, they put on a great performance, and pop-punk fans were in for a real treat. All three of them are fantastic on their respective instruments, packing every song with high speed riffs and catchy melodies.

As the night came closer to ending, it was time for Mammal Not Fish, the headline act of the evening to take to the stage and finish off what had been a great night of local music.

Mammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle BoodenMammal Not Fish performing at Epic Studios at their EP launch show, 20th April 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden

They are four-piece band consisting of Davey Whales on vocals and guitar, James Maas on lead guitar, Ben Parker on bass and Joe Greenacre on drums. Sam Bramley from Killamonjambo joined them at the show on the trumpet after he and Jonny Lawes recorded parts on the bands new EP.

Right from the off the crowd couldn’t help but move to the music, with riffs, melodies and vocals that were utterly irresistible and completely infectious. With music that gets under your skin, it was a real treat seeing a local band who are such naturals on stage and can get an entire audience dancing along within a few minutes.

Throughout their performance, each band member had their moment to shine, showcasing their individual talents.

It was impossible to not enjoy the show, one that Mammal Not Fish made sure was packed with quality music, catchy riffs and great stage lighting all resulting in a massively fun and entertaining evening.

Their mix of Ska, Funk and Indie Rock, delivered with a solid performance, kept the crowd dancing and singing along all night. Every person in the audience seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and Mammal Not Fish are an absolute credit to the local music scene.

This evening was a prime example of why you should always support local music. We are lucky to have a county packed with such a variety of bands covering all genres. If you haven’t already had a chance to go to some of the local venues, then you definitely should. It’s worth it to be able to witness nights like this.

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