Team Hughes at Opus

There is a thriving local band scene in Nottingham, so much so that I can’t have seen them all. So it was a pleasant surprise to catch ‘Team Hughes’ at Opus, a night that happens every third Wednesday of the month at Muse. Armed with a three piece drum kit, full standing bass (you don’t see enough of those) an eclectic mandolin, an array of harmonicas, an acoustic guitar and a striking voice they begin their set. The opening song is a slow-ish and unfortunately due to the set up and lack of monitors it is plagued by feedback but the show must go one and they soldier on mixing bluegrass, skiffle, and the catchy song writing of bands like the La’s. By the third song they have the crowd who braved the cold to be there eating out of their hands. As a band they look at odds with each other but within the music they shine, I have no idea how long they have been playing together but they are so tight it feels like years. When the mandolin player takes the vocals on one of the upbeat numbers his low level gravel is a perfect partner to the lead singer who can belt out the high notes when needed. Their set is strong with powerful songs and great pronunciation which means you can really hear the lyrics that are as much a part of the songs as the music. Confident and able to win over the room they finish their all too short set with a stomping number that has everybody toe tapping. I had heard the name but never seen them live but on this evidence I’d love to see them again. A cracking Opus night was had by all with ‘Team Hughes’ flying the flag in style.

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