Monthly Archives: April 2012

After a busy day at the office, I rushed from West to East in an attempt to – just this once – arrive on time at a gig venue.
I did – and Wist and I got to enjoy the comfy sofas and indie tunes before the support act had even started.
And, by the look of things, before Willy had even arrived.

How do I know this? As we went out for a smoke, he walked in – all dazed and confused – and hunting for his management.
His look has changed quite significantly since we saw him at the Union Chapel – the rugged Americana style has been swapped in faour of a slick, dark suit and greased back hair.
I couldn’t help but think it was a decision his management had made for him – swapping attire to fit in with the trendy shoreditch crowd. And he didn’t look all together comfortable in it.

The first act – Mirror Maze – didn’t shake any feathers. They were talented musicians but their material sounded like a poor man’s Radiohead covering Keane.

Willy took to the stage next with a warming “It’s been a long time y’all”.
He started the set acoustic, getting his biggest hits out of the way – playing as if he’s sick of them and wanted to get them over and done with.

Then the lights shone on the band behind him and he started on his new material.
We’d heard some of the new material in solo acoustic form at Union Chapel – and I couldn’t help but feel I preferred them that way. The band didn’t gel particularl well and left me with the feeling they were hired guns – session musicians looking forward to the paypacket – rather than really showcasing Willy’s talent.

All in all – the gig was a bit of a letdown – his newer stuff, in all honesty, would have sounded better without the band. His older, more well-known tracks would have taken off with the backing of a solid rhythm section.

Again – it felt like management advice. ‘Move on Willy, you can’t keep selling the same thing forever.’

Willy’s a really talented songwriter and a great performer, with a gnarly American drawl – similar to Johnny Cash.
I just hope he finds the cahones to look and play the way he wants – rather than letting his management dictate his style in favour of a more commercial product.

Wist and I have had a pretty heavy month and whilst I wish now I’d found the time to write this earlier – I simply haven’t been able to take a moment to do so until now.

After a testing day at work, it was with much relief that I set off to Nambucca to watch my good friend Andy play some of his songs.

The tickets said 7.30pm and we arrived nearly an hour late – fully expecting to have missed at least one of the five acts on the bill.
Walking in to the venue, it became quickly apparant that most people had decided not to venture out on a school night – there were very few people in the venue.
Nambucca is your not-so-typical pub. Within the front bar, it’s mistakeable for almost every other public house in London. But it has one thing on them – walk towards the guy’s toilets and you’ll stumble across a great sized, purpose built gig venue. Sadly – as tonight was an acoustic night, our evenings entertainment would take place in the front bar.

Andy took to the stage first.
To be honest – I’ve seen him play much stronger sets.
Maybe it was the atmosphere (or lack of) but his sound didn’t resonate with me tonight. It’s odd considering the rave review the same songs received the last time I saw him play.
He’s still an absolute talent – but maybe I wasn’t in the right frame for the gig that night.
I really hope the next time I see him play, he’ll put a bit more harmonica in the set too – he really is a class act when he’s strumming that guitar and puffing that harp.

Next up was Gabriel Moreno.
I spent the entire set looking for hidden cameras – fully expecting Gabriel to put down his guitar and rip off his rubber mask – revealing Dom Joly or Sacha Baron Cohen’s smiling faces.
But it wasn’t to be.
The guy was for real.
As were his lyrics.
‘You make me feel like a sparrow in a can’ being a personal favourite.

With no compere, I didn’t catch the name of the last act of the evening.
Two acts failed to show up – so it’s a guess as to the name of the third.
I can only assume it was the headliner – Chaz Thorogood.
If it’s not – sorry for not knowing your name – final singer songwriter.
Oh and sorry to the real Chaz Thorogood for misattributing this review to you.

Chaz took to the stage with little charisma or grace.
But when he started playing – all that changed.
He’s an extremely talented guitarist – with a strong (but a touch vanilla…) voice to beat.

His sound shouldn’t have worked – a solo singer songwriter singing Coldplay style melodies over early Radiohead type backing.
But it worked and I really enjoyed it.

On the other hand, the free shot the barman gifted Wist and I wasn’t so enjoyable.
I felt ill all the way home.