Rick Sanders reports on Kandida - The Snug, February 28, 2006

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
The Snug in Lensfield Road really is snug: customers walking in the front door on Tuesday night had to display the balance of a tightrope artist in order not to fall into the bands as they played. An intimate sort of gig, plenty of people - quite fitting for the pub management's first birthday party.

Excellent music graced the happy occasion. First from the Debbie Taylor band - voice, two semi-acoustic guitars, bass and drum, playing Miss Taylor's songs with precision, swing and modesty, somewhere around the edges of pop-rock and country. A bit less understatement might have served them better - even though playing at a low volume, it was hard to hear the words of the songs or to be really carried along by the flow. But no lack of musicianship: some excellent guitar flourishes and runs in particular.

Altogether more upfront, Kandida and band provided oomph. The songs we've heard the lady perform on her own took on a whole new life when backed with the blazing guitar of long-time colleague Ed Kragh and the wit and thump of a truly remarkable rhythm section. Inventive arrangements, sparkling touches, not afraid to let a judicious bit of silence do the work - this was an outstandingly well-worked performance, never standing still for a second. Kandida puts out so much voice and presence, so much positive energy and dash, her men clearly in full sympathy. For even greater impact, she could perhaps offer us misery-addicts just one tearjerker, just one full-on orgy of heartbreak and misery. You know, a bit of dark; it can't be Christmas every day.

Writer: Rick Sanders