Live Review: The Wendy James Band / Mr No Face

Wendy James Band, Mr No Face

Cambridge Junction – 7/9/2021

Whisper it quietly but gigs are coming back. We’ve had some pilot schemes to test the water and for now at least live music is a thing again.  It was interesting to see some sensible behaviour at the Junction led by the venue itself. Mask wearing by all staff and a requirement to show you’d had a recent negative lateral flow test. Proof of vaccination which is coming  in was in place here too. No fuss, no bother and everyone was polite. Everyone it seemed just wanted to watch live performances again.

Mr No Face play a kind of light rock that appeals to the slightly more mature audience. It’s good to see a healthy turn out for the support act too. A set of all originals stands up well with some nice licks on lead guitar and solid musicianship throughout. Strong on melodies you feel that fans of The Joy Formidable would enjoy this bunch. Jennifer Townsend’s vocals have real punch, in fact her whole performance is next level. Too often a lead can sing but just doesn’t connect. Here the engagement is memorable and for all the right reasons. Mr No face deliver and then some.

Most will know Wendy James from her time ripping it up with Transvision Vamp several decades ago. The petite force majeure has never stopped making music though and unlike so many past stars she’s retained a strong following. We get a cross section from her back catalogue tonight with something to please everyone. What’s very noticeable is how well the new songs sit with older favourites. The real wow factor is James’ voice. She sounds frankly, quite amazing. The rockers are belted out while the more demure work has real warmth to the vox. Close your eyes during Baby I Don’t Care and you’re transported back to the days when Transvision Vamp were on every music magazine cover. Then watch as songs from latest release Queen High Straight blend in seamlessly. The crowd lap up every note. For many tonight is their first gig for some time. Wendy James makes it a special occasion for everyone.

Wendy James – Facebook

Mr No Face – Facebook

Review and photos by Gary Trueman