Fula - Live - Reviews

Fula at The Montgomery Theatre, Wath on Dearne - Credo and Ritual

This is getting ridiculous: three bands who could all be headliners in their own right; all on the same bill - and for under twenty pounds. The CRS tonight continued its policy of spoiling punters rotten with a superb cross-section from the world of classic rock - three diverse bands with proven track records and hugely talented musicians.

Fula, like Karnataka at the moment, are in a resurgent state with an exciting, ultra-talented new line-up. Rob Gould has been rejoined by the band's original vocalist, Nadeen Plumtree (nee Plant), and the two of them imediately showed their class in the soft, sensual River One, with Nade's beautiful voice draped gossamer-like over Rob's emotive piano lines; by the time they were into Insanity, we had an idea of just how good this new line-up sound; Eduardo Capella's slick, stylish guitar playing compliments Rob's atmospheric keyboards well, and adds another dimension to the overall sound;

Nigel Moss was impeccable and inventive on bass, and has fused very effectively with John Patterson, whose skill and panache on drums here are only one facet of his huge all-round talent - he's definately a name to watch.

They have power, atmosphere and melody, as they revived class pieces such as Ragamuffin Man and Dark Matter, they put us through changes with a superb mixture of poignancy, menace, power, beauty and drama.

Their music us up there with the best for sheer emotional charge - no better example than the delicate opening of Behind Cold Eyes - while Cynthia showed us their harder edge. With this line-up, they look set to challenge any of the leading CRS favourites for honours over the next few years...

...Down the road at the Hallam Arena, people have to pay exorbitant amounts to see the often over-rated stars of the day. Here, we got music and performance which would be easily the equal of Hallam's best - and all for under twenty quid. Makes you think doen't it?

Classic Rock Society magazine
Issue 169
David Winstanley

Fula at HLC Rotherham

Fula admitted to being more nervous than usual before the gig, as they had to perform without a drummer. They needn't have worried though because this was an excellent set by the band.

Perhaps it was because it was Valentines day that Rob Gould decided to get his Theremin out, but it provided a very effective and eerily atmospheric opening. They then played some of their best tunes at a slowed down tempo, and it worked a treat. Behind Cold Eyes and the trilogy of Anything, Everything, Nothing sounded excellent, as did the other songs as both Rob's keyboards were more noticeable than on some nights, and Zoe Stafford's voice was as good as ever. The stripped down nature of the set added a lot of poignancy to the songs and judging by the comments afterwards, many in the audience thought so too.

Sadly, things being what they are for a band of Fula's stature this could well have been their final performance, certainly in this format.

To end on a high, Plackband drummer Tom Van Der Meulen kindly joined the band as they rocked out with Ballerina Junkies.

Bernard Law
Rock Society (issue 141)
March 2004

Fula at HLC Rotherham

Well, things to do on February 14th, be romantic or be romantic and take the lady to a gig! The two bands above happened to be performing on this night, so we went along.

Support act Fula were minus a drummer, and this time round Plackband had a frontman. Now, Fula played a nice compact set - very All About Eve sounding in places - and vocalist Zoe Stafford had a very nice soothing voice that glided along in the set of nine songs. The keyboard sounds were excellent, very haunting on certain numbers, and a Theramin was played in the opening number, titled The Human Theramin.

Behind Cold Eyes was a pleasant song, nice sounds all around that lifted the crowd, and for me Zoe’s vocals were just right. Keys man Rob Gould has many ideas and a fine talented player too, and check out the web site at the foot of the page for more info on this fine outfit.

Danny Mayo
Hairless Heart Herald
Feb 2004

Fula at HLC Rotherham

My personal favourite performance of the year - I need not look further than this evening. Fula were a sensation with Zoe Stafford back fronting the band - you would do well to find a better voice anywhere on the music circuit (and I mean anywhere). The attractive Manchester lass was - possibly - sadly making her last appearance with the band due to personal commitments but I sincerely hope she does find the time to play with the band again.

The band worked so well with leader and keyboard player Rob Gould (a Nick Barrett look-alike if ever there was one) probably sitting, playing and wondering what he has to do to guarantee a settled line-up.

Tonight he had all the ingredients on stage with him with guitarist Simon Lind particularly gold and glittery! An encore, insisted by a super-enthusiastic audience - was more than deserved.
(extract from Rock Society Magazine Issue 140)
Martin Hudson
Classic Rock Society

December 2003

Fula at HLC Rotherham

Fula launched tonight's three-band extravaganza with a new heavy rocker called Buried, which saw lead guitarist Jason Gilman rocking-out, supported on powerful bass and percussion by Nigel Moss and Greg Boulton respectively. This got our attention, as did their female vocalist Josie Bostin!

A New Advance opened with eerie guitar like a mythical siren, whilst haunting piano from Rob Gould rippled under soaring vocals as the song blossomed out. Ballerina Junkies was a tantalising taster for the new CD, with strong guitar, lovely synth washes and vocals similar to Judie Tzuke. Josie radiated confidence, exchanging smiles with the rest of the band who were enjoying the gig as much as we were. After a short powerful instrumental (Brazil), some catchy percussion led us into the manic hypnotic-vocals of Vanity (Vanity Insanity) with off-centre dark, mysterious keys and guitar. The last song was Behind Cold Eyes, a beautiful haunting ballad with captivating vocals and electric-piano reminiscent of Lamb-period Genesis, this ended the set to loud applause. Time was short, so the intermission tapes began to play but thankfully ceased after shouts for more and a promise by Rob to be quick! The encore was a Fula-flavour cover of Gary Numan's Are Friends Electric?

Fula at HLC Rotherham

A slightly disappointing turn out for what was promising to be one of the most musically diverse and interesting concerts of the CRS Super Winter season. CRS favourites Fula were up first performing their first concert with not one, but two new members, as keyboard player Rob Gould said to me beforehand, they felt like a new band. New vocalist Fiona Ford made her presence felt, both vocally, and physically, having an amazing vocal range (CRS members who were there won't be surprised to learn she also performs with "Pulse" a Pink Floyd tribute band) and tremendous stage presence being at ease with the band, and with the audience.

The tracks they played, like the brilliantly expanding "Code Red" the old favourite "Living In Pieces" and the star song of the show "Ballerina Junkies" showed how well both Fiona and new guitarist Simon Lind had integrated with the old hands of Nigel Moss (bass) and Greg Boulton (drums) making the new line up Fula an even more exiting prospect than the previous line up. Hope they return soon.
James R Turner

Fula at HLC Rotherham

The CRS is fast getting the reputation of finding and helping along the way some fine new rock bands. We would like to think that here are another two and have no reason to believe otherwise. Ironically, a good percentage of the recent finds have female vocalists, that just has to be a coincidence, surely. We have long believed that all our gigs are more or less of the same quality, no matter who the band or musicians are and tonight both Karnataka and Fula confirmed all of the above. The evening has been recorded for posterity and an extremely encouraging audience gave Fula a warm welcome. Their album 'Dark Matter' has been popular on the CRS sales list and so that obviously took up a large part of tonight's set. One of the talking points was the first sighting, for me anyway, of new vocalist Josie Bostin. and she undoubtedly put up a good show as far as the vocal side went. The sound wasn't at it's best, sounding rather bassy and a touch too loud and this doesn't help the appreciation of the band or the vocals. However, the stage monitors should be an aid to overcome such sound problems. That apart though, Fula came across as a band full of potential, definitley not progressive in the true sense of the word but thoroughly rocky and entertaining!
Martin Hudson
Classic Rock Society

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