UK festivals are good at supporting emerging talent, especially in the independent sector. Last summer alone, 35% of artists performing at Bestival were emerging; 43% at Kendal Calling, and 83% at Barn on the Farm. Last night at The Ritz in Manchester, we saw two popular up and coming artists in support Saint Raymond.
Shannon Saunders warms up the evening with a stripped back, slower version of Wilkinson’s massive drum and bass track ‘Breathe’: Roll my eyes, take a minute, make a move then breathe. Shannon wins us over with her effortless vocals, seductive lyrics and soul-stirring synths.
Sassy in confidence after a long summer touring festivals with Wilkinson, it looks like there’s a UK Banks emerging. It won’t be long before Shannon Saunders makes it as a solo artist.
What happens next is explosive. As far as support acts go, Liverpudlian lad Louis Berry absolutely bosses it from the moment he steps out on stage. Within seconds of playing up-tempo Give Me What You Want, the crowd are going absolutely mad for it. Louis performs with a cheeky smile and an air of endearing arrogance. A somewhat more like-able version of Jake Bugg.
Louis jokes that he didn’t make soundcheck, so he has no idea if he sounds alrigh’. He sounds more than alright. 25 Reasons shows off the rawness in Berry’s vocal and there’s absolutely no way you can avoid jumping around.
The set gets even better when Louis slows things down on Restless. An effortless Johnny Cash influenced record. Moving on, things get so rock n roll that the drummer breaks his foot pedal. Foot pedal back in motion, She Wants Me has all the girls screaming. Finally, Rebel leaves us unapologetically in love with Louis Berry as a young Alex Turner.
Tonight, Louis Berry made friends with his audience. And in his own revolutionary fashion, he may have accidentally stolen the show. This cheeky chap won’t have any trouble selling his upcoming headline tour.