Saturday night was the perfect night to experience my first gig at Leamington Spa cafe and live music venue, Temperance. It was a night of introductions, as I got to see both singer-songwriter Ace Ambrose and urban indie-pop outfit Courthouse live for the first time.
There was a definite buzz in the air and a very upbeat atmosphere flowing around the room which was laid out with a lot of chairs crammed in to meet the crowd demand.
A nice gathering had congregated in time for Courthouse to kick things off. The four-piece from Rugby started their set with “Appreciation of Music” and I immediately liked what I was hearing. Fantastic bass lines from the very talented Nathan Smith, good harmonies and clever lyrics – David Davies was a competent rapper and amazed me how he could remembers all the words so effortlessly.
The group were very well rehearsed, had a great stage presence and also had serious range of what they could do showing their talent. The frontman, a cheeky chap, not only could rap well but had a decent singing voice which was displayed in songs like “Fifty Shades Of Grey”.
They definitely were a crowd pleaser and some of the audience had come specifically to see them. With people singing along to “Cup Of Tea” and dancing to their latest single, “Owe Yourself A Dream”, it really added to the positive atmosphere of the night. I completely understand why they are nominated for a Birmingham Music Award.
After a quick break including, for me, devouring a brownie (perks of having a gig at a cafe) everyone was ready for the main act of the night – Ace Ambrose. I have reviewed one of her tracks, “Jukebox Time Machine” previously (which you can read here), a song about loving music from the past and wanting to go back. It was great to hear it in the flesh on Saturday night.
Ace took to stage area, sat on a table so people would see her, dressed in a very cool and somewhat quirky outfit. As soon as she started to play I liked what I was hearing. Her songs are all written from the heart about topics she is passionate about – at times they sounded all too real but that isn’t a bad thing. She is brave.
“Queen of the Junkyard”, a song about how the state of her bedroom reflects her mental state, and “Teenager” are two tunes which particularly hit home for me. I felt like I could relate to her which added a layer to the gig experience.
Her stage presence was fantastic, she has a great sense of humour and could have a laugh even though some of her material was quite dark. “Jack The Knife”, a compelling track about knife crime, is a good example of this. Ace is a seriously good singer-songwriter succeeding in numerous genres. “Don’t Kiss Me” really showed off her vocal prowess whilst “City Of Angels” is an interesting track which almost felt like two songs due to the tempo changes.
I continued to enjoy witnessing a wonderful artistry when the young musician announced that she was going to play some impromptu covers on the keys. Her “Dance Monkey” cover was fun but her cover of Billie Eilish‘s “No Time To Die” was simply extraordinary. Like wow.
Prior to the show she had to change her setlist following her band dropping out for various reasons but she carried herself so well throughout the evening. Things became dance-y when she performed her song celebrating androgyny, “His Name Is Susie”, one of my favourites of the night but she rounded things off with an ode to rock n roll and buskers called “Here’s To Rock N Roll” – another perfectly crafted track.
I am looking forward to hearing Ace’s next single, “Coming Of Age”, which is out – she thinks – sometime next month and she is expecting to perform a full band show around the time of the release. She also has an EP planned with the theme of female empowerment called “She Is” coming at some some point in the future.
I certainly recommend checking this awesome talent out for yourself.
Get in touch: