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As baptisms of fire go, playing at the Olympics has to be up there, and that's exactly what happened to London five-piece Longfellow after they won the Emerging Icons competition. Being successful at such an event would indicate that the band have to have a fairly universally accepted sound, it's unlikely that brain-melting noise-rock would have got the gig, and as expected, Longfellow specialise in indie-rock that's suited to bigger stages, but that doesn't mean it has to be blustery stadium rock that devoid of all soul. They seem to have the tunes to go with the ambition.
Wisely, the band have waited until this coming week to release their debut single 'Gabrielle', giving them time to hone their sound even more, build up a fanbase and get some decent PR work done in the hope that they'll be more than just a passing fad. 'Gabrielle' is a promising first effort; sturdy, full bodied and powerful. It has a strong lead vocal and is thought through, and this gives a spaciousness that so many groups aiming for a big sound end up cluttering with too many ideas and too much production. If music was an athletic event then 'Gabrielle' is enough to get Longfellow through the first round safely, now they have to produce the goods again for the chance of a podium finish.
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