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Treehorn, Up all night at The Studio, Charing Cross Road, London 26 September 2002

It's a year since I reviewed Treehorn and I'm intrigued to see how they've developed. Last year playing in an "atmospheric" pub in Camden Lock; this year up West, with all points in between in the interim period.

The Studio was being refurbished and tonight the "Up all night" session was being held over the road at the posh Radius venue. The band looked a bit uncomfortable as the crowd was largely after work - good time - office party, who didn't look like a listening audience.

Last year Treehorn were a 2 guitar harmony duo; this year - and here let me declare a further interest (although I had nothing to do with it) - there's the addition of drums and sons Dan and Joe on bass and mandolin/banjo/harmonica respectively. Last year the songs were gloomy, slow funk, like latter day James Taylor. This year it's upbeat. You can dance to it - and people did.

The band and their sound bedded down during the first couple of songs, Dan's bass could be heard to be busy, interesting and complementary to the songs. Joe's mandolin, banjo and harmonica added necessary colour; it was good to hear folky instruments given an electric rock outing and these songs suit them well. Paul's drums hold it all together and his harmonies strengthen the vocals; it will be good both acoustically and visually, if the Dan and Joe sing too.

Nick is a charismatic performer who now writes all the songs. There is plenty of variety from the bluesy "Green Mill" to the pacey "When the sun's at your back". There are 3 songs from the first CD. "Jester parade" is familiarly quiet and reflective but "Gentle fears and harmonies" and "The king and I" - about Elvis - are now really rhythmic and more accessible to a wider audience. The crowd love them.

With a possible change of name to Bachelor Jack, there is a keyboard player, Marcus, waiting in the wings to join and a new CD almost finished. Catch this band if you can. Email: to get on their mailing list.


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Copyright John Scott Cree 2002

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