Van Susans (Live Review)


It was a 4-tier rock/indie/pop mash up menu at proud on the 10th of March featuring The Velvetines, The Veta Corps, Korda Marshall with Van Susans taking centre stage limelight.

The start of the set saw The Velvetines jump into action kicking the small but adequate building crowd into action with a very friendly and interactive stage presence. With an Incubus meets Hoobstank meets Alien Ant Farm sound The Velvetines were quite an interesting one to watch and easy to listen to, But that was unfortunately that. No major negatives can be given to this band sound wise, the vocals were clean and harmonic, and the guitar was crisp but the overall personality for this band felt a little been there, done that.

Hoping to prove a little better were The Veta Corps a band with that Sigur Ros ability to flirt with your heart strings, make your hairs stand on end and your skin tingle with a sudden cold rush. I know that the presence of being in Proud for a sound like this can be a little different to the inner ear comfort of your headphones, that this band will never be able to recreate a soul flutter that a huge status band like Coldplay would be able to create in a heartbeat at one of their gigs, (due to crowd size and band experience) and lastly the visual stage presence won’t be one that resembles the same teenage energy created from a 90’s girl pop band so these were all duly noted. But unfortunately, some of that incredible wave of spirit seemed to have been lost in transit. Again the sound could not be faulted, the vocals were fantastic, and in particular the drummers sound was note clear, but I really did feel let down by this bands overall delivery at this gig, and a real shame for something so special.

Moving on with something very different in style and a little more obvious in visual appearance female fronted band Korda Marshall. Despite sounding a little like the CD Korda Marshall does definitely have potential with a solid rock sound, punchy lyrics and a bouncy front woman carrying an incredible voice, which is definitely perfect at each and every note. But sadly I found that the whisper of Paramore still rang continuously in my ears and unfortunately I don’t think it will ever go away for this band. Although there was great presence on stage, and an obvious talent all round it’s hard not to be a little mean in saying the overall look and lyric meet pop rock sound make it easy to see they’re sell out capabilities.

Lastly we come to The Van Susans who started off confidently alongside an electric crowd, a good beginning for this Mumford and sons vocally fronted rock indie band. It was clear that they were the headliners pulling a cool drum only interlude and song with Korda Marshall’s front women out of the bag in the middle of the set. But again here we saw another bands life get zapped with areas of the set feeling like there was no REAL reason why you would want to stand there and watch them for the whole duration. Another real shame, especially for a band that out of the whole line up seemed to have something really original. So with enthusiasm left at home today the set ended with parts of the crowd looking a little disappointed.

Overall It was really nice to see a few different types of bands at proud in one night (even if it felt like a slightly odd combination), and obviously good to see some new music but I was a little disappointed in the bands efforts to heighten stage presence even when the crowd was glum, which is a huge part of being in the entertainment industry. I was especially disappointed with The Veta Corps ability of reproducing that goose pimpled pleasure I’d experienced during my prior shift with my headphones.

If you want something new to listen to in this genre of music then yes these are all great ones to choose, but I’d say that gig wise, maybe we’ll leave it to the big boys.

Words by Michelle Siddall | Image courtesy of Clare Lane.

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By Michelle Siddall

Michelle Siddall | Art & Design Editor | is a passionate art/design writer, graphic designer by trade and fashion blogger in her spare time. She loves all things bright, typographic and geometric.