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Mareel hosted the second Student Night of the academic year on Thursday night. It was a diverse, multi-genre night with acts playing a myriad of instruments.

The night opened with Callum McLeaskintosh who played two original songs. Ride into the Sun was the first, a soft, melodic tune. His vocals conveyed that the song meant a lot to him and he confirmed this afterwards. It was a step out of his comfort zone and to do that infront of a busy auditorium was admirable.

He then called up Lewis Hall on drums and Scott Priest on bass for Grandma’s Gobsmacked. A step back into his comfort zone, Callum shook the audience with a much rougher and harder song. With powerful vocals and a winding guitar solo to end affairs, he started off the night strong.

Lewis Hall had the next set and covered Def Leppard’s Switch 625 to introduce himself, manning a guitar. Scott Priest returned on bass and Ewan Moncrieff joined to form a trio as the drummer. The instrumental version of Def Leppard kept the crowd engaged as the very powerful notes reverberated around the room.

Ian Priest visibly enjoyed joining the trio for the next song, Danzig’s Mother. His presence on stage was impressive and he displayed an excellent vocal performance to match. The four were very tight musically and had heads bobbing around the room before too long.

A big change in styles came next, with Natalie Cairns-Ratter wowing the violin fans in the room with her version of the first part of Romantic Pieces by composer Antonin Dvorak. Her playing looked effortless despite its complexity, giving a very cinematic feel to the piece.

Natalie then asked Zdenka Mlynarikova on stage to assist her with Always on My Mind, made famous by Elvis Presley. A heartfelt tune, Zdenka’s emotion through her vocals perfectly encapsulated the sombre tone. Her guitar playing along with Natalie’s violin playing gave it an extra layer or two as well.

Natalie then left the stage, leaving Zdenka to play Strings and Soul, an original about her love for music. A very gentle song with poignant lyrics, she grabbed everyone’s attention for the three or so minutes before introducing Scott Priest’s set.

Along with Brydon Sales, David Mainland and Leah Setrice on drums, guitar and vocals respectively, Scott opened his set with Californication. Originally by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leah’s vocals gave it a bit more of a powerful pop song feeling. Clearly well practiced, the four were a well oiled machine with David backing up Leah on vocals for the chorus. Scott, well known locally for his band Sidewinder, winner of last year's Battle of The Bands, has been exhibiting his talents for a few years now.

For the next segment of Scott’s set, he was joined by Josh Smith on vocals and guitar, Lewis Hall on bass, David Mainland on lead guitar and Brydon Sales on rhythm guitar. Scott moved to drums, showing his versatility. They played an original called Bridge Burning and Josh showed himself as one of Shetland’s best vocalists, conveying vulnerability but also immense power. Scott’s backing vocals were also impressive as was his drumming.

Singer Leah Setrice then performed three songs packed with attitude. First up was a Shawn Mendes cover with Hold On, accompanied by Brydon on guitar. A very professional performance, Leah has a exceptional knack for transferring emotion really believably through her voice. On her own YouTube channel, she is beginning to build a following, displaying that powerful style in the first of hopefully many videos.

She followed that up with a cover of Grenade by Bruno Mars. The lyrics, again, feel like the come from a very real place. Brydon was excellent throughout but especially here, a very masterful performance. Leah again showcased herself as one of Shetland’s first-rate vocalists.

Leah and Brydon were then joined by Scott Priest on bass and Ewan Moncrieff on drums for an original called Cheater. Leah again displayed amazing vocal range and the band were each individually fantastic on their instruments.

Brydon, Scott and Ewan stayed on stage afterwards for Brydon’s set. He opened with a Hum song called Iron Clad Lou with Scott on vocals and bass this time. A long melodic intro mesmerised the spectators before they were awoken by a heavy breakdown. Scott’s vocals here had a rare swagger that few can match. This swagger was matched by Brydon’s stage presence as he was clearly really feeling the song. Each individual has a lot of talent and they impressed greatly as a unit

Attached was the next song to be played by the same trio. An original, they carried the same energy from the last song into this one. A huge tune with so much drive and intensity, Scott again impressed massively on vocals, as did Ewan on drums and Brydon on guitar.

As daylight disappeared, the talent kept shining with Lorraine Peterson’s set. She reconnected with Zdenka who joined her for Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer. As a duo, you can see they have developed an understanding of each other’s voices and the harmonies they put together were at times stunning.

A bit of classic country came next with Mama Was a Working Man. The duo again shone brightest when singing together and Zdenka’s guitar accompaniment was understated and sat beside the vocals very nicely.

Lorraine closed her set with a self-written song in memory of her granny called Days Gone By. A song that clearly meant a lot to her, she delivered an emotional performance about her granny’s stories from her youth.

The night wound up with a set from guitarist Ewan Moncrieff who played two songs, the first of which was a rendition of Alice in Chains’ Would. Ian Priest was taking a break from acting as host to sing, Lewis Hall was on rhythm guitar, Scott Priest picked back up the bass guitar and Brydon Sales was on the drums once more. Ian’s vocals were so pure and powerful as they filled the room. Ewan’s guitar playing was outstanding and garnered a lot of eyes around the auditorium.

The final song of the night was Jeremy by Pearl Jam and allowed Ian to channel his inner Eddie Vedder. Such a powerful voice, he helped give the classic song a new life. Scott’s bass and Ewan’s guitar as a combo complimented the vocals perfectly to tie a bow around an excellent night for the Shetland live music scene.

Showcasing a wealth of young talent within Shetland, the Student Night was a huge success. The live scene is in safe hands with this generation and the huge mix of genres and styles suggests a phenomenal range of music will remain available for the foreseeable future.

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