Video: New Alternatives showcased at Music in the Parks event in Harpenden

PUBLISHED: 18:29 10 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 May 2010

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A SHOWCASE of some of the area s most promising music talent brought a festival feel to Harpenden s Rothamsted Park on Sunday, with glorious sunshine bringing in the crowds to enjoy quality live performances from four very different acts. New Alternatives

A SHOWCASE of some of the area's most promising music talent brought a festival feel to Harpenden's Rothamsted Park on Sunday, with glorious sunshine bringing in the crowds to enjoy quality live performances from four very different acts.

New Alternatives was part of a series of summer gigs in the district's parks, with last weekend's line-up traversing a diversity of styles and genres under the umbrella misnomer that they were all somewhat alternative.

Four-piece The Daves kicked off proceedings with a trawl through the archives, belting out punk numbers like The Damned's Smash It Up, Buzzcocks classic Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) and the Sex Pistols' infamous Anarchy in the UK, plus a smattering of their own angry, punk-inspired numbers.

Their fast and furious performance might not have had the picnicking audience pogoing on their blankets, but it set the stage for the high standards that could be expected.

Drawing on influences including Evanescence and PJ Harvey, singer-songwriter Emma Easy performed a selection of her own shiveringly powerful material both solo and supported by her group Malakoff. An exceptional voice, with emotionally-wrought lyrics belying her youth, Emma is a stand-out talent who deserves wider acclaim. Definitely one to watch out for.

The tempo was kicked back up for New Groove Formation, a brass-led band that throws reggae, dub, funky beats and ska into a frantic fusion of sound. Relentlessly energetic and passionately enthusiastic, they brought a carnival feel to the afternoon, complementing the beautiful weather and lively atmosphere.

Things were brought to a close by indie staples The Cautionaries, whose sunshine-tinged guitar sound draws comparisons to mid-nineties groups like Dodgy, Shed Seven or Ocean Colour Scene, while maintaining its own identity through self-penned material. A fun, smiley conclusion to a first-rate line-up which bodes well for the musical scene in the St Albans district, whether you choose to label it alternative or not.

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