A friend’s friend’s band – the Great Last.
Regardless – I’ll be as objective as possible.
Turned up too late to see the first two bands.
You wouldn’t have noticed – the room was bare, except for around ten people hugging the bar at the back of the room.
The Great Last came on and requested everyone moved forward, which we dutifully did.
The band played a short set – they sounded like the dirty little lovechild of Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs. They have all the minerals – arrogant singer, tight drummer, locked in bassist, confused-by-own-pedals guitarist and decent keyboardist. Decent enough for Friday 13th at Camden Barfly.
The Blood Sport headlined.
I liked them – their keyboardist/guitarist was very good, the bassist exceptional, drummer equally brilliant and a confident singer. They sounded quite eighties, but in a good way – and played for a decent enough amount of time. The quality of songs let them down – there wasn’t anything that stuck out as a hit – but there was enough of a bite there to see them going somewhere soon enough. They just need to keep writing. And work out how to end songs (fade outs just don’t work live!)
This gig review is never going to be objective – I must confess I used to play in a band with Andy Oliveri in years past.
Nevertheless, a review is still in order.
The venue – small, intimate, covered in fairylights, organic cider in bottles. A nice place to see some nice folk.
First up – Drew Worthley.
Mid-set chat was warm-hearted, light and he came across as a good guy.
If only he’d managed to drag that across into his music.
Whilst technically good, his performance felt wooden and his lyrics were cheesy than a budget Mills & Boon knock-off. The only way a solo singer-songwriter can rally the audience up is if share something of themselves. Unfortunately, with Drew it felt like he was projecting what he wanted to be, not who he was.
He needs to get back to his roots – and play from the heart – not from a Clintons Valentines card.
Second up – O.Chapman
Oliver Chapman was closer to the bullseye. A young, talented guitarist with a distinctive voice and strong lyrics. The songs were stark and bare, but it suited the intimate venue and made the audience really sit up and listen.
He brought a bassist on for a couple of tracks – again a very gifted player but unfortunately for me, it just didn’t sit in the mix. Electric bass should really only sit with drums.
If Oliver didn’t want a kit on stage (only the most expressive and talented of drummers could have played without ruining the vibe) then he should have gone without the bass.
And he should have signed up a cellist instead. It would suit his music, could have provided real lift to his tracks and would have added to the mix instead of breaking it.
Headline – Andy Oliveri
Andy came out and played a corker.
His voice has come on in spades since I last saw him, and his guitar work was second to none.
His mike technique was better than the previous performers, and you could visibly see the sound engineer relax as he realised he wouldn’t have to push the system so hard with this artist.
The songs were great – you can tell he’s writing a lot at the moment. Some felt a little more fleshed out than others – I must admit I’m a bigger fan of Marigolds and Balance on a rope to My Father’s Son.
But it didn’t matter – all were played with skill and emotion.
His harmonica playing also didn’t fail to deliver – beautiful.