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It can be hard work being band without the backing of a major label behind you, you don’t have the promo machine behind you, the fully air-con tour buses with the blacked out windows and you can’t take for granted that people will be at your gigs. But when the venue forgets to put you on their promo for the bill things can go a tad pear shaped. That’s kind of what happened here. It wasn’t until the day of the gig that the Louisiana added My First Tooth to the listing, as the main support band, then when the headline act, Wires, failed to turn up, My First Tooth were promoted. By this time they were only playing to a handful of people, however, that mattered not. The gig had that nice relaxed vibe, whereby you could have been front row to one of their rehearsal sets. There was plenty of banter between the small but perfectly formed crowd and the adorable band.

My First Tooth produce infectious indie music with a distinctive folky flavour, largely thanks to the impeccable fiddle playing of the multi-talented Sophie. Their soaring ballads make you want to be linking arms with whimsical friends and stomping your feet in an English field (rather than stood in a dark cold room) and if you close your eyes you’re almost there. My First Tooth showcased their current single Sleet and Snow, on what was one of the hottest days of the year. Oh the irony. They also played the much more summery, Orchards, which has been getting a fair bit of airplay on BBC 6 Music and other stations in recent months. They also showed why they are worthy of their Glastonbury Festival slot with an uplifting rendition of Lexy Lay. Lead singer Ross’s vocals are like a less contrived Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons) with the fragile, endearing quality of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and contemplative energy of Roddy Woomble (Idlewild). The band, fresh from a trip to a recording studio in Berlin (it’s what all the cool kids are doing these days) aired a new song – with the working title Heartbeat Retreat – which followed a different path. More subdued and mature, it signified a marked change in direction and an exciting and compelling one at that. Exciting times.

They’re back in the region with a gig at the Cheltenham Frog and Fiddle on May 28 . Festival performances include Glastonbury Festival (June 26) and the Larmer Tree Festival, on the Dorset/Wilts border (July 16).

Words: Laura Williams