Girl Ray - Photo courtesy NNF

Weekend festival music gigs are often tricky – while some of the audience might know the performers, a sizeable portion have bought their tickets on the basis that it’s something different to do to on a Saturday night.

It needs an act with plenty of stage presence and some great tunes to engage the crowd, and Girl Ray seemed just too nice to quite make it happen.

The band got through two opening numbers before saying a word to the crowd, with singer Poppy Hankin saying thank you – almost apologetically – before any applause has even begun. This is not atmosphere-whipping banter.

Their tunes have a pleasant enough poppy, summery sound to them, though Sophie Mass’ bass is the thing that really dominates throughout.

First single Trouble is the highlight of the night, with a perky bass line and proper catchy chorus. Other tunes blur into a pleasant but uneventful soundscape: there’s nothing much wrong, just nothing that really jumps out.

Hankin was clearly having trouble with her monitor early on so it’s not clear if it was down to the mix, but a cover of Everything But The Girl’s Missing suffered from a weak vocal – don’t invite a comparison with Tracey Thorn unless you’ve nailed it – and I can’t decide whether I liked the Whigfield-esque treatment of the backing.

With a fair wind and a room full of fans I can see this being a really enjoyable gig, but Girl Ray didn’t manage the swagger or sound needed to win over a Spiegeltent full of strangers.