The Forward Slash music night at 93 Feet East was slow to get going, possibly due in part to the almost total absence of an audience. Nevertheless, get going it did, with Watching Planes taking the stage first to a sadly empty room. Watching Planes are a London based band with a catchy, up-beat sound and good sense of engagement with the crowd. They reminded me a little of Dr Dog, with the same cheeky insouciance and vocal-driven tracks. At the end of their first song, the lead singer asked if we’d enjoyed the “percussion breakdown”, which had consisted of a cowbell and tambourine played with exuberance. From there, they moved into ‘It’s a Feeling’, characterised by percussive guitars and a beat that made you want to dance. ‘Landing’, their fourth song, began with a heavily electronic keyboard riff, which put me in mind of the Delays. A good start to the evening, and it was a shame that more people hadn’t been there to enjoy it. Setlist: ‘New one’ It’s a Feeling You Know Landing Calvin Harris Come Right Back Hangin’ On Toodar, the second band, had a melodeon, which was an instant win in my eyes. They also had a drum machine (as well as a drum kit), a sampler, and various weird and wonderful items of percussion. I also learned that it is impossible for a girl to play the melodeon and not look unbearably sexy. (I feel slightly weird leaving this in, after discovering that said girl was, in fact, the sister of a friend of mine, but I’m nothing if not honest, and she really did look good). Their lead singer had a remarkably clear voice, and their songs were characterised by good melody lines and well-thought-out keyboard parts. ‘We didn’t mean to go to sea’ had a haunting tune complemented by off-beat percussion and the occasional musical equivalent of glottal stops. For ‘Toy’, the lead singer switched from electric to acoustic guitar, and played a lovely picked melody that complemented the vocal line beautifully. They interacted well with each other, and had a wonderful stage presence – you could tell that they were enjoying every minute. Setlist: Bow Lane Paperman We didn’t mean to go to sea Toy Jack in a box Ten Paces Tina Mali – there to launch the music video to ‘Spirit’s Child’ – was undeniably spectacular. Challenging the crowd (and there was a crowd, by now) with her sensuality, she possesses the wonderful quality of putting everything she has into every performance. Beginning the set with ‘Don’t be afraid Dad’, there was no sense here of easing the audience in gently, and the set was an assault on the senses from the word go. ‘Amaniaca’, the second track, is one of my favourites, showcasing the enticing quality of Tina’s voice with its long, drawn out lyrics and un-resolving melody line. The video for ‘Spirit’s Child’ was fantastic, featuring opulent costumes contrasting wonderfully with the open, natural woodland setting. It reminded me of a cross between the Florence and the Machine video for ‘Dog Days’ and the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. The emotions evoked by the video were perfectly suited to the character of the song, and the whole experience was magical. Setlist: Don’t Be Afraid Dad Amaniaca Hardcore Smiler Under A Beautiful Sun Steal Your Movie Spirit’s Child Roots What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum!