Saturday 12th December saw three artists taking to the stage again at the popular Bridgwater venue, The Cobblestones. Tom Peppard, Quorum and Slackrr all performed incredible sets that really gave a sense of normality to those who haven't been able to see any live music since the impact of COVID hit. The Cobblestones have really done an amazing job of creating a safe environment for music fans to come and enjoy live shows. While it felt strange having everyone seated and in a designated space, there was an overwhelming sense of normality and relief that things like this can still happen.
Tom Peppard kept the audience engaged and entertained for the whole duration of his set, consistently drawing laughs and rowdy cheers from the crowd. His set contained some well-known hits, both with entertaining and slightly more serious reasons behind their inclusion. His passion for music really came across in every second of this performance, and that made for an inclusive and enjoyable set. Opening for both Quorum and Slackrr, Tom really knew how to get the crowd warmed up and his upbeat, energetic attitude helped to ease any strangeness the seating arrangements created. Tom’s infectious energy filled the entire room and captivated the room, making sure everyone was involved in the performance. A carefree attitude, a talent for music and a knack for entertaining an audience made this an amazing start to the night and really set the stage for the next two artists.
Tom Peppard fitted well into the line-up. A slightly different style to Quorum and Slackrr meant that there was a good separation between sets and making it impossible to forget! Go and check him out on social media and Spotify if you want to see what all the fuss is about!
Second up was Okehampton indie-rock band Quorum. Made up of frontman Jordan Hookway, guitarist Jake Hodgson, drummer Mack Hodgson and bassist Noah Groves, the band did not disappoint. Their set gave the audience a taste of some new material yet to be released, some of their more recent releases and well-known covers. The contagious energy that’s always present at a Quorum live show made it impossible to sit still and made you miss not being able to stand right up next to the stage.
The efficiency with which Quorum capture an audience’s attention is not surprising, not when they achieve it at every show! As soon as their set starts, the entire room is captivated and it’s good to see that this still happens when a crowd can’t express their enjoyment through movement. A consistent image and a strong mix of originals and covers made for an amazing set which frequently had the audience engaging with them and created a friendly atmosphere. This didn’t happen as much pre-COVID and is maybe a positive to take away from the new structure of live music shows.
Don’t forget to check out Quorum’s music and follow them on social media to keep up with what they’re doing now! Make sure you don't miss out, these guys always release incredible music!
Headlining the show on Saturday night was Southampton-based punk-rock band Slackrr. The audience was well warmed up thanks to Quorum and Tom Peppard and were definitely enjoying the headline band’s set. Mixing originals with covers is always a good way to engage an audience, but Slackrr seems to be exceptionally skilled at it. The atmosphere in The Cobblestones was so similar to the feel you’d get from a 2019 gig that for a second it felt like the music had never stopped. Having managed to create such an environment, the band then put on an amazing set.
Constant engagement from the audience and a smaller number of people reinforced the friendly atmosphere and made the gig feel inclusive. The unique, melodic sound of Slackrr definitely left an impression on everyone present. I definitely want to see them play again and cannot wait to hear the new music they were teasing throughout their set. Nothing gets fans excited quite like promises of new music at a live gig, especially at a time when the industry has been put on pause for so long. Constant reminders to stay safe and look out for one another were the only hints at the current situation, which combined with some amazing music, made the night a pleasure to attend.
Check out Slackrr’s music and keep an eye on their social media to make sure you don't miss out on their new music! They’re definitely worth listening to!
Make sure to follow The Cobblestones to keep up with the events they’re putting on, and continue supporting venues, bands and anyone in the industry who is providing these COVID-safe shows. The atmosphere on Saturday proved that live music is a highly important part of many of our lives as well as of our society, and we’re not going to give that up easily.
Check out the bands here!
Words and photos by Chloe Pollard.