There’s been a flurry of excitement around Ren Harvieu on the radio. Touted as the Salford lass with the big voice, she’s getting plenty of attention with her new single ‘Through the Night.’

We get into The Ritz at 8, and as I’m trying to get 2 pints poured our XFM host announces Ren’s arrival on stage. Hang on, shouldn’t she be headling? Our tickets read All the Young, Dry the River, Spector and Ren Harvieu. Surely that should be the line up. I’m not feeling Ren’s impromptu arrival. Once she’s got the mic in hand a strong Salfordian accent greets us. Feeling welcome and in down to earth company, we don’t fully anticipate what a lush, strong vocal pops out of her. My gig partner, Jane, succinctly describes her as a ‘Von Tramp, rock chick Dusty Springfield.’ A fitting description indeed.

Ren recently signed to Island, yet tender experience doesn’t betray her instant stage presence. Her voice fills The Ritz. There’s more than a touch of retro and melancholy in her style. In the same breath it doesn’t feel like she’s trying hard in the slightest to create this or emulate anyone else bygone.

Spector are next and confidence is brimming again, this time with lots of banter and audience chit chat. The lead singer looks like a recently graduated Clark Kent. Very geek chic with lots of cheek and comedy interludes between technical hitches. We warm straightaway to Spector and its refreshing to see a young band so bouncy and without the overtly cool attitude. They put in solid performances and there’s lots of love from the crowd.

Dry the River follow next and again are greeted with big cheers so Xfm must be doing their bit to plug the talent. If there’s one band on the bill who don’t look anything like their sound it has to be these boys. Tattoos, long hair and strong nods looks-wise towards Chilli Peppers confuse us into thinking we’re about to rock out. Their sound is a whole heap subtler and more interesting. Almost delicately handled vocals fit the guitars perfectly.

The final word has to go back to Miss Harvieu. Her closing shot is a cover of ‘Crying.’ I don’t know if I’d been having a particularly hormonal day, but I’m on the verge myself with every note she belts out. For this one is simply her plus a keyboard. What’s mesmerising is seeing every note come out pitch perfect and hearing her translate the song into her own style. Her range is quite glass-shatteringly good. Here’s to you Ren! All the best with an illustrious career that waits ahead.

I'm an indie kid at heart, with a soft spot for thoughtful electronica and a guilty love of pure pop. A break up in the early noughties with a foppish haired 'all about the guitars' boy caused my musical path to diverge out towards Mr Scruff, Ministry of Sound and dance pleasures beyond. Highlights from this year's musical calendar include Sounds From the Other City, Badly Drawn Boy at the Ten album launch, Bjork at MI and when Elbow came home.I design and illustrate so I'm continually perfecting the ultimate work soundtrack to get ideas going: daytime People I'd still like to see: Imogen Heap, Jason Mraz, Brett Anderson and Ghostpoet.Follow me on Twiiter - http://twitter.com/#!/rachaelkearney