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Col’s Favourite Frontmen (Aug 2004)

Eighth Line-Up: Lenny (Vocals), Dave Lunn (Guitar), Woody (Drums), Chris (Bass)

The word ‘frontman’ is usually mentioned in live music terms with reference to the singer, especially when he is ‘solely’ the vocalist, and stands alone on stage without an instrument to hide behind. The phrase is used fairly loosely when talking about singers in various bands, but I’m sure that when folk talk about a vocalist who is a GREAT frontman, then they are talking about far more than just his singing abilities. There are much more qualities to fronting a band than just singing. They often have to be the main focal point of the group, and that means that they have to do a bit more than just deliver the right tune. To ‘front’ a band doesn’t mean taking charge of the arrangements and back stage politics. It means taking charge of the band while ON-STAGE! To be the person who calls the shots and keeps it all flowing. Some of these guys are great joke & story tellers, and their in-between-song stage banter makes for great entertainment when the music has stopped. Some are visually exciting to watch because of their energy and poses. Others just have tons of charisma and still make a fabulous focal point without ever breaking a sweat. Whatever the qualities are, I wish I could bottle it because I’d make a fortune from it. Some of those higher up in the music industry call it the ‘X-factor’, but even at the lower level of pub-rock it’s still evident that there is a vibe & zest that certain performers can display. Yet call it what you will, there’s no doubt that some people have a quality that holds your attention, and that’s what being a frontman is all about.

Len – Tubesnake

Len is the enigmatic artiste who radiates coolness, yet always retaining a bit of mystery. Well that’s how Len would like to be perceived. To be honest he’s a funny guy with a very dry wit and sharp observations. Yet on stage he is a highly charismatic person who adapts fully into the role of the singer whose song he is covering. Part “Ziggy” (Bowie), part “Lizard King” (Morrison), and tons of fun to watch. An enthralling performer who prowls the front of the stage like a tiger stalking his prey. Len’s not afraid to jump into the crowd and continue his show from the centre of the room as well, as he often does. After a decade with Tubesnake he shows no signs of mellowing, and he still remains one of my very favourite local frontmen.

… Colin Smoult, posted on Riffsonline website, Aug 2004