Louise's Little Lowdown - Are You Listening? 2016

Are You Listening? is a recent addition to Reading's ever growing and vibrant music & arts scene. Forming part of the town's yearly schedule of "takeover" festivals, its excellent work raises money in partnership with local charity Reading Mencap. For £20, you get a wristband, access to multiple venues and more power-packed live music than you can cram into 12 hours.

With a good selection of female led/gender balanced performers, here's a fun size review of a few acts I caught that day (23 April 2016).

Running With Fairies
Running With Fairies (Nicole Allen and Alice Reay) are a smouldering acoustic duo specialising in country-based Americana. With gorgeous close harmonies and deep guitar riffs, the pair teeter on the edge of climatic country-blues. Although there is a slight sense of holding back, it's ideal for relaxed afternoon listening.

Running With Fairies play The Rising Sun Arts Centre, Reading on 27 May.
https://m.facebook.com/FairyDownMusic/
@runningfairies

Eddie Prové (supported by female singer and keyboard/electronics).
Stunning, smooth vocals reminiscent of 90's clubland soul - topped with a sprinkling of laid back Mac-based tracks - make Eddie's sound über relevant in 2016. If you like seductive sounds to get your groove on to - this is for you.

Eddie's debut EP, Silent Love, is out on 13 May.
https://m.facebook.com/eddieprovemusic/
@EddieProveMusic

She Makes War
The multitalented She Makes War (Laura Kidd) effortlessly fuses a set of hypnotic acoustic guitar/ukulele, electronica, and a cappella loop tracks to create a bold, daring musical experience. Heartfelt and moving, the room hangs on her every beautiful breath. My pick of the day.

She Makes War - Direction of Travel is out now.
https://m.facebook.com/SheMakesWar
@warriorgrrl

Big Deal (Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe)
This dynamic, gender-balanced band emit enough energy in a live set to power a small town. They serve high-power rock electronica, a side of pop - and lashings of ice-cool charisma. With haunting harmonies, spine tingling chords and thumping percussion, Big Deal are the perfect end to a rock and roll weekend.

Big Deal's new album, Say Yes, is out on 10 June.
https://m.facebook.com/weareabigdeal
@wearebigdeal

www.areyoulistening.org.uk @AYLFestival