On Saturday we attended the excellent Electric Theatre in Guildford, Surrey to enjoy the AUTUMN LIVE LOUNGE.

Dreamy floating wonders, the MARDHYS, picture: @neilmach 2017 ©

The charity event was organized by students from the ACM [Academy of Contemporary Music] Creative Artistry degree — and part of month-long creative arts celebration offered by the Music Academy’s technical Services and Music Business & Innovation students this autumn..

This month of events will raise awareness and funds for several local charities including: The Number Five Project, Happy Space, and Sappers Support.

ACM’s event on Saturday raised funds for a local homeless shelter in the heart of Guildford.


BETHIA – highly infectious and truly relatable songs… Image Credit: @neilmach 2017 ©

First on stage in Guildford was the Reading R&B /pop princess BETHIA who entertained the crowd with her highly infectious and truly relatable songs.

Numbers such as “What About You” were full of witty wordplay, generous feeling and angelic harmony.

Bethia introduced an amazing bassist, Natalie, who provided vitality to the jazzy beats on the number “Still Waters” — that was a song as cool as candy-tuft snowfall, yet altogether rhythmic and insistent.

VIKKI – adolescent tropes… Image by @neilmach 2017 ©

Idiosyncratic V*KKI [Vikki McCormack] gave a full and impressive vocal performance. She sang about adolescent tropes, anguish and discomfort — all her songs set within familiar modern context.

Each of her numbers was perforated with pertinent lyrical content. Her, “One More Shot” spoke of ever-strained relationships and other such real-time woes that eat into a teenage-hood.

The fab five-piece collab MARDHYS [pictured above] combined poetic sounds with narrative content. With all the melodies written by Melatti Braam. The band were, of course, magnificent as always.

Their dreamy floating wonders reminded us of the works of English rock band the Moulettes.

The wonderful singer and songwriter TIA JACKSON brought the Surrey audience a selection of delicately textured songs, all of them passionate and introspective stories, often touched with pain and perhaps fleeting intrigue.

New number “Hollow” was exquisitely designed, intricately performed, and contained enough potential guts to reinforce the confidence that lay at its heart.

MiMi – a sophisticated and slender interpreter of moodscapes… Image by @neilmach 2017 ©

The psychedelic artist MIMI played what she described a “stripped back” set that sounded elegantly rich and lavishly full to us.

The young Guildford songwriter is a sophisticated and slender interpreter of moodscapes, with a hypnotizing style and artistic grace in every movement and articulation.

The Seventies inspired sounds floated betwixt Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush. In other words, her showcase was elegant yet never simple. Silk-like, yet never flimsy.

The exemplary performer TARA FLANAGAN was next to step onto the leaf-strewn Electric Theatre stage.

Her dark and cinematic romanticism reminded us of the glamor and charming melancholy of Lana Del Rey.

Tara Flanagan – cinematic romanticism? Image by @neilmach 2017 ©

But things soon pepped up, when she started to perform optimistic indie-pop numbers, and then she reminded us of Danish singer and songwriter .

Musician RORY JONES [main picture] played rock ‘n’ rolling blues with effectiveness and potency. “Dead Man Walking” had a country twang a-plenty…

And his power trio, with Curtis Lee on the second guitar, added handfuls of musical dynamite.

As a special treat, the Voice UK Finalist of 2015, the smooth-talking EMMANUEL NWAMADI spearheaded this fabulous Autumn afternoon event.

Emmanuel Nwamadi – A richly ornamented songstyle… Image by @neilmach 2017 ©

In addition to several of his own self-penned and fluent canticles to present-day living — each delicately picked and accompanied on acoustic guitar — Emmanuel also played two carefully chosen covers including Betty Who’sHuman Touch” : “Oh, why don’t you come over?” —

And also a gloriously golden rendition of Tracy Chapman’sFast Car.”

His impressive oxide ‘n’ ochre, russset-flavoured voice and richly ornamented songstyle — were admirably humble yet always contained mellifluous harmonies and an unusual sense of discreet style.

Words & Pictures by @neilmach 2017 ©

The Number Five Project is a Guildford based direct access night shelter for homeless men and women. The project offers a stable living environment for all, regardless of their origin, supporting those who wish to move towards an independent life.

More about the ACM Winter Festival shows here:

ACM Link:

Emmanuel Nwamadi by @neilmach 2017 ©

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