The wedding reception to the tunes of Ajenda and Lo Mejor was appropriate as the happy couple, Cathy and Graham first dated at an Ajenda gig...in the Diamond
Last night the newlyweds were serenaded with a bucket full of great tunes. Opening were relatively new act, Lo Mejor...even if the members have been around a while. Steve on vocals, Niall on guitar, and the two Andy's forming the rhythm section (Andy McKeown, bass, and Andy Logan on drums).
For those that aren't aware of the backstory the four piece contains members of Swanee River, Hungers Mother and Sub 60.
Steve - in between blasting out tunes new and old - urged all present to visit their Facebook profile...apologising for not having a website as yet. What they do have is an urgent sound, real soul in their performance and groove a plenty in a mix of classic r&b and hard rock.
In a tribute to the late Johnny Winters they played Winters' version of Jumping Jack Flash, with Niall showing how much he is capable of, as he did throughout the set. Steve's vocals have a rich, velvety resonance that he can step up to a throaty roar when required and the two Andy's were very tight in each and every song.
What is certain is that Lo Mejor have bucket loads of potential, and road testing material before recording is a sure fire way for them to hone their sound.
Ajenda have honed their sound yet further since the release of 'Unrecognisable'. However, last night a few technical issues threw them off their game for a while.
But that is not to criticise the performance - even the best band can be thrown off momentarily when gear goes awry.
What Ajenda have is a cohesive sound, with killer rock songs that should be dominating the FM and AM stations in USA. It's almost perfect for that driving experience along stretches of freeway.
From 'Unrecognisable' we were treated to the likes of 'Tattoo ', 'Dirty Rock 'n' Roll' and 'Hatred and Greed'. amongst a range of sounds.
While Jenny is undoubtedly the focus, with her stage presence and a soulful voice that could coax the hardest heart to melt, Ajenda have real musical muscle behind her.
Gav is a technical marvel with his six-string, coaxing a range of sounds from the axes he wields with deft precision.
Peter (drums) and Janny (bass) have an almost telepathic link as they anchor the sound.
While Ajenda ply their craft in the general classic rock/AOR mode there is no doubt that they underpin it all with a real awareness of their forebears and how to add unique flourishes to the sound.
Glitches aside Jenny, Gav, Peter and Janny laid down a tremendous show in the Diamond. That so many had taken the time to travel on a night when other gigs/entertainment was going on is a tribute to the draw they can be (plus those there to toast Cathy and Graham's marriage too).
This was the last Diamond Rock Club show for a couple of weeks as Derwin, Paul, Tony et al take a well deserved break from keeping one of the best 'secret' venues ticking over with rock.
And, what a send-off it was them!
Review by Jonny