Review: Jess and the Bandits, Waterfront Studio, Norwich, a sound that deserves to be heard in arenas

Jess and the Bandits performing at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich on 7th February 2018. Photo: Dan

Jess and the Bandits performing at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich on 7th February 2018. Photo: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Jess & The Bandits, with support from local band Sam Coe and the Long Shadows, provided an evening of top class country music at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich.

Support act Sam Coe and The Long Shadows opened the show performing songs off their hugely successful EP Santa Fe and upcoming album Full Moon - which is due for release on March 16.

It can often be difficult opening a show to smaller crowds, but they did a great job of warming everyone up in preparation for the headline act.

When Jess and the Bandits took to the stage, it was immediately obvious why they have seen such success so far. Jess is a natural when it comes to interacting with the crowd and had them at ease within moments of stepping onto the stage.

We were thrown straight into the set with an energetic track that proved what a powerhouse Jess is, and just how phenomenal her vocal control and capabilities are.

It's remarkable how easily she can go from belting out high and powerful notes to switching almost instantaneously to soft and delicate mid to low tones.

We were treated to songs of their newest album 'Smoke and Mirrors' and crowd favourites from their debut album 'Here We Go Again', all of which were met with fans singing the lyrics back and dancing along to the upbeat tracks.

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Midway through the set they performed their own rendition of 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' which showcased lead guitarist Luke's vocals perfectly and was met with cheers from the audience.

No performance is complete without the support of a slick, rehearsed band and The Bandits were by no means a secondary element to the line-up.

They consisted of four very talented musicians who visibly enjoyed being up on that stage. Introduced individually by name throughout the set, each and everyone one of them added an extra layer to the powerful driving force of sound that unravelled on the stages of The Waterfront Studio.

A personal favourite was the keyboardist who performed with so much enthusiasm and energy that you couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly happy watching him up on the stage.

The boys' harmonies were effortless, careful not to overpower Jess but rather to blend seamlessly with her vocals to create something quite exquisite.

It's baffling that a band who have created such a remarkable sound and are undoubtedly among the rare few that are far better live, aren't performing in much larger venues.

With a sound that deserves to be heard in arenas and a cracking new album under their belt, I don't think it will be long until Jess & The Bandits are rocketed further into the public consciousness – somewhere that they absolutely deserve to be.