At the VooDoo Rooms last Thursday night, I had the privilege to watch two incredibly exciting university bands, Springhouse and Dear Heather, display tons of promise on their way to being full time performers. Springhouse played their first ever live gig as openers for Dear Heather, who were previewing their debut EP set for release on 28th November.

Daisy Casemore, lead singer of Springhouse. Photo by Isabel Beiboer.

Springhouse is a brand new band composed of Oisin Rice on bass, Ronan Lenane and Roan Clawson on guitar, Jack Forshew on drums, and Daisy Casemore on vocals, acoustic guitar, and keys. They performed a six song set list of four originals and two covers. The group played around with the mixing and feedback of their instruments live on stage, making for an experimental and truly engaging performance. They covered ‘On a Grassy Knoll’ by Tapir! and ‘The Worlds Biggest Paving Slab’ by English Teacher; they also performed yet-to-be-released originals including ‘News’ and ‘Cowboy Poetry’, both of which were entrancing lyrically and sonically, showcasing Casemore’s strong vocals and the band’s overall skillset. 

Towards the end of their set, Clawson’s finger began bleeding, smattering blood on the white body of his guitar, and Casemore exclaimed “Well isn’t that rock ‘n’ roll?!” Demonstrated effortlessly in this moment, the group were generally steady on their newborn feet and fresh and eager in displaying the essence of a successful live performance; they had the crowd cheering for a nonexistent encore. 

Rex Binning on bass guitar for Dear Heather. Photo by Isabel Beiboer.

Dear Heather, a four-piece rock band from Edinburgh, have been performing together since January, when they previously played at the VooDoo Rooms with Josephine Morely. However, this was their biggest show to date and their excitement over the feat was palpable. Running from the green room to the stage to ‘Jump Around’, some dressed in Canadian tuxedos and others in cowboy hats, they automatically set the mood for exciting chaos. 

Throughout the gig, there was camaraderie and kindness sharing the stage with the feverance and grittiness of the psychedelic and garage rock scenes from which the band draws many of their influences. The group rotated lead vocals for each song, even offering the mic to drummer Will Opie for the first time. They each had an eclectic stage presence, Melo Wood-Saanaoui and bassist Rex Binning dispersing kisses with each other between sing-screaming songs and barking, guitarist Isaac Binning equally entertaining to watch. Similarly, the tone of the songs varied: one track was about murdering someone out of pure annoyance, while for another they all repeated the lyric I don’t want to do this to anyone, least of all to you, displaying some kind of mercy. They ended their show with ‘Cowboy Blues’, familiar to the audience since its release on SoundCloud, and an exciting and inventive cover of ‘Feeling Good’. 

While Springhouse has no future gigs announced, Dear Heather will perform again at King Tuts on the 27th of June in the Lavalamp Showcase alongside Jason Lovell, Dot Pixis, and Frank’s House. They’ll also be performing in the Endless Summer Festival at The Hug and Pint on the 26th of July. Their debut EP will be released 28th of November with a performance at Sneaky Pete’s. Both of these groups are undeniably ones to watch in the coming months of the local music scene, each embracing an original sound and stage presence.

Dear Heather band from left to right: Rex Binning, Will Opie, Isaac Williams, Melo Wood-Saanaoui. Photo by Isabel Beiboer.