A Little More Time
We first discovered folk singer/songwriter Laura Colegate opening the Surrey Advertiser stage here last year and it's fair to say we were rather impressed. Since then she's released an impressive EP and this year she moves up the bill a little and brings a full band with her for her early afternoon set.
What strikes you straight away is the quality of her voice, it's both strong and beautiful and thoroughly captivating, which makes the fact that it's drowned out by the drums and jazz style electric guitar accompaniment a real shame. Whilst perfectly competent the full band backing does take away some of the charm from her performance. It also means that Laura, who as we witnessed last year is a solid guitar player in her own right, hardly gets to play and she does look a little uncomfortable when she's not singing.
The crowd are pretty chilled out but give her a good reception and it's still obvious that she has something special about her. The quality of her songs shine through and she really is deserving of a higher billing or at least the opportunity to play to more people on the bigger (and folk friendly) Ents 24 stage. As with last year we come away thinking that with better promotion, some well targeted gigs and a better website (that had some press quotes and actually got updated regularly for example) she could really go places.
Her performance in the acoustic tent on the following day, accompanied only by a bongo player, is a far better showcase for both her voice and her guitar playing and a set that comprised a mix of that and the full band would probably have a greater impact.