Writer Laura Mills / Photographer Ewan Williamson
I’m walking down the street on Smallbrook Queensway and it’s a bit rammed outside The Sunflower Lounge. Punters are packed around the front ready for a night filled with fun and (hopefully) banging tunes.
I pause for a quick stop at the bar to ‘hydrate’, then follow the crowd down a dark dingy corridor and into the room where Cara May is already sitting tuning her guitar getting ready to play to this midweek crowd.
The set kicks off and she’s strumming the strings lightly while playing a cover of ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s. The crowd is loving it singing alongside her. From The La’s to a ballsy cover of Whitney’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)’. Cara May is in her element hitting every note with complete power and precision with her set of acoustic dreams.
“Who’s set is it next?” My mate asks.
“Unit 16.” I reply.
Unit 16 kick-off with a classic cover of ‘Song 2’ by Blur. Each member of the band is giving it all to their instruments and gruelling guitar faces are plentiful across the stage.The crowd is from different generations and everyone is hypnotised by the energy Unit 16 are bringing, especially some of the older ladies on the side clapping along with the beat.
The indie lads give us an original track in the form of ‘High Tide’. Each guitar riff is more and more relentless. The energy from the band is mirrored with that of the crowd who are starting to mosh. It’s rock, it’s ruthless and it’s blowing the roof off the room.
With a slight change in energy of pop mixed with a funky indie rock, up next is Skye Morrissey.
She takes the stage and claims it, opening her set with ‘Love Again’ by Dua Lipa. Morrison’s vocals are impeccable, sending a shiver down my spine.
“Next up is an original called Out Tonight” says Morrison. No more than 30 seconds through the track my mate;s screaming:
“If I heard this on the radio it would be straight into my playlist.”
Skye Morrissey’s entire set from start to finish is executed by near-perfect vocals with a very impressive range.
Finally putting us out of our misery Alice Lily takes the stage. She’s confident, having loads of craic with the crowd and her band members alike but looking ever the rockstar bad bitch too.
‘Please Don’t’ off their debut EP goes down a treat, melting in the crowd’s and they swallow it down sweetly. Everyone is looking intently to the stage, joy on their faces, belting out every line alongside Alice.
Alice Lily showing their true alternative form as we’re treated to a few covers from Grouplove and SWMRS which only sends the crowd flying right into each other even more.
My night at The Sunflower Lounge is coming to an end, I know because Alice tells us “This is our last track” and it’s ‘Against the World’ from their debut EP. Looking around at the crowd I can see every pair of eyes gazing at Alice and the band – wholeheartedly savouring every second of them on stage.
If this is the standard, I can’t imagine it’ll be long until my next visit to The Sunflower Lounge.
For more from Alice Lily go to their Instagram: www.instagram.com/alicelilymusic
For more from Skye Morrissey go to their Instagram: www.instagram.com/skyemorrissey
For more from Unit 16 go to their Instagram: www.instagram.com/unit16official
For more from Cara May go to their Instagram: www.instagram.com/cara_may_music
For more from The Sunflower Lounge go to: www.thesunflowerlounge.com