By Lindsay Smith-Boam
(Photo credits: Lindzrs Media Photography)
After reviewing ‘Empty Rooms’ by Italian band Halflives a couple of months ago, I had said that I wondered how the songs would translate to a live show – well I was about to find out.
An early start for opening band ‘Say the Word’ who played half a dozen songs to a very empty room but they sounded ok. They were followed by Amora, another local Nottingham band who came across well, a strong energetic performance from the lead vocalist who tried hard to put some energy into the room. Next were the female fronted Home Sick who are another local band and played for around half an hour. Ocean Floor rounded the support slots off with a rocking – head nodding set. It is great to hear and see so much local talent in one place. These bands are very young and all producing original material. Great job guys.
An influx of a couple of dozen Halflives fans energised the room shortly before 9pm and there was a distinct air of expectation.
The diminutive figure of Linda Battilani along with the guys entered the stage to a rousing cheer and from the word go, she owned that room and everyone in it!!
Such energy and charisma and an instant connection with the smiling, singing crowd. The place virtually erupted with excitement and adoration.
The band consists of Linda on vocals, Enrico Bertoni, guitar & vocals, Matt Mantovani, guitar, Oscar Scantamburlo, bass and Fede Bernardi on drums and each and everyone of them gave 100% for the entire set, endless bouncing, gesticulating and bloody great playing.
Empty rooms is a great album and the tracks were performed by very competent and tight band – these guys obviously love what they do and do it very well. The setlist was strongly littered with the album tracks including ‘Collide’, and ‘Half Alive’ which hit the eardrums hard and had me remembering very quickly exactly how good these tracks are. But live – wow! – awesome! On another plain completely – the power in Linda’s voice soaring around the room.
No time to breathe for the crowd or the band – no preaching from the stage from Linda – just great music, catchy songs and a breakneck pace. ‘Echo’ resounded around the room, a couple of covers most notably Black Parade performed acoustically was an absolute hit with the crowd, who sang in unison, arms waving, swaying together and gazing adoringly at Linda.
Somehow it didn’t matter that there were only around 30 people in the room – the band performed like they were in a stadium and this in turn made the room feel packed to the rafters.
If you like your rock on the lighter side, please buy the album and make the effort to catch this band live. What an enjoyable evening…