On a cold and wet Saturday night in the small coastal village of Braunton, local band Stellar Fox held their “Rip It Up” EP launch and woke this sleepy village better known for its untouched beaches, amazing surf and laid-back vibes.
It’s always a good sign when people started to filter in from the outside – In fact the show was totally sold out which was great to see for this young and adventurous rock band. It was a night full of family, friends and fans – almost like the entire village had turned up to catch a glimpse of the local talent that Braunton has to offer.
First up on stage as opening support was Sam Green, another gifted local with his surf, folk and rock roots. He got the evening off to a flying start, rocking out with his slide guitar and friend Steve Tanton providing the percussion. Kicking off with “Worn out Shoes”, Sam is the kind of person you really enjoy listening to but also watching him perform in his rustic style vibe. With only a short set Sam to open the show, a particular favourite was “Free” – one of those real catchy numbers where after just hearing it once, you really get into it and feel like you’ve heard it many times before.
Now that the crowd was fully warmed up it was time for Saunton Road to take stage – a local trio consisting of Saunton Road Studio owners and renowned local musicians Amy Newton and Simon Murfet along with Jack Bessant of Reef. This was a combination of quality musicianship with a deep, rock sound. The perfect support for the night and truly inspiring. They provided a mix of chilled out tunes to more of their heavier tracks such as “She’s a Healer” and a cover of Wings’ “Let Me Roll it” turning the night into a real Rock Fest!!
Finally, it was time for the new kids on the block, Stellar fox….
Freedom Wall on guitar and vocals, Finn McCauley on drums and Harry Bunker on Bass. Chatting to the band before they were on stage, they had said they were nervous. But they certainly didn’t show it on stage. Kicking off their set with “Love machine” a track from their new EP, Freedom has all the making of a great front man. Full of energy and oozing talent, his guitar skills while jumping around and singing were just out of this world. As a three-piece band, you never know what to expect. But these guys rock it. The sound they give makes you think they are seasoned professionals. Finn literally killed the drum set and Harry played some real kickass basslines.
Amy Newton joined the set for a cover of Led Zepplin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” on vocals which the band absolutely smashed. Everyone knows that if a band can pull off a top version of a Led Zepplin song, you know they’ll go far!
After just a couple of songs there were people dancing around in a mini mosh pit and the crowd seemed to be having a great time. What was even better to see was the age range – kids as young as 8 years old alongside folk into their 70’s. And they all loved it.
Another positive point to make is that most of the songs were penned by the band, which is quite refreshing in this day and age, even though the cover of Nena’s
“99 Red Balloons” was pretty epic.
And as with every great rock show, Finn McCauley even showed his skills with a little drum solo.
The guys have a very classic rock sound and style about them. You could play their music alongside any great 70’s rock band and they would just fit in. Yet they keep a new modern edge to their music.
It’s fair to say that these guys are looking at a great future. True performers at such a young age, their confidence shines through and that mixed with natural talent and amazing support from those around them, surely says they will have a long lasting career in the music business.
Freedom Wall Vocals , Lead Guitar
Finn Macauley Drums & Percussion
Harry Bunker Bass Guitar