Now I have little time to sit down and write, I’ve decided to tell you a little bit about my Friday night from last week.
When we first went there, we found that the doors certainly opened at 8pm but the first act weren’t ready for at least another half an hour. So, this time, we decided to arrive about 20.30 but we were still waiting until close to 21.00 for those first chords to be struck. This night turned out to include a good mix of folk music, where as the last one involved a bit of blues, country, foot-stomping and ‘strings’ along the way!
It was actually the first act of the night that turned out to impress me the most. I’ve had to consult a message I sent to someone over Facebook recently to double-check each artist’s name (as this information has now vanished from the Grain Barge’s website), but they were in fact Jesse & the Brackish Breeze. As a band, they performed very well together (although, that’s hardly an original comment…) and I was particularly taken in by the female vocalist; as I so often seem to be… I even had an ‘exciting’ moment (but not in a perverted way) when Jesse came and sat very close to me as the second act made his way to stage. Yes, we were so close that our shoes were touching… At right-angles to one another, I don’t think she realised how less comfortable her presence suddenly made me and my long legs feel; having to give up a few extra inches of floor space (not that I’m complaining, seriously).
She has got a remarkable voice… It reminds me of the kind of singer who’d get snapped up and removed from her roots and branches by some multi-millionaire producer; all in the name of fame… That’s not to imply that this is something that might be on her agenda, or to act in detriment to the quality of the rest of the band.
I should explain that we spent this evening sat on the floor! Well, actually, the three of us (including my friend’s friend) got in early enough to nab the two cushions (which one performer had bought in from the seat of his sofa… Quite possibly!). It made a welcome change to sitting on the rim of a beer keg, while still remaining close enough to achieve neck-ache as you try to look up at the acts. So, that was one evening sitting on the floor (with a bad foot), to be followed by a morning of kneeling on the floor (meditation) and then a 16-mile walk on Sunday… I must seriously stop and consider allowing myself to heal, this weekend.
Act number two was from a man called Andy Skellam. He seemed very friendly with the other bands (there appeared to be a mutual friendship between them all) and, based on appearances, I probably wouldn’t have expected much, as folk isn’t usually the kind of style I regularly listened to. I’ll admit that I wasn’t keen on his voice (again, my personal preference for rock) but his guitar work was mesmerising at times. His fingers and chords seemed to reveal a sense of ‘dark’ and ’emptiness’ at times, which you wouldn’t expect from the man’s charisma. That might just be how I related to it but he did remind me of John Frusciante; one of my favourite guitarists. I admired Andy for politely asking people further back to keep quiet as he prepared for a slow and quiet song. Some my see it as ‘arrogance’ but I can see how it apparently ruined the same song in another gig he did the night before.
Billed as the main act and left until the last, The Woodlice actually disappointed me quite a bit. I genuinely enjoyed listening to the first band and so, it’s possible that I was expecting things to progress even from there. I don’t know. They had their fans amongst the crowd but they didn’t honestly do a lot for me. When I hear that the main singer is called Jethro, it actually irritates me a bit. It’s like the first gig I went to a few weeks ago, when there was a guy who’s voice sounded very much like Bob Dylan… Where’s the originality?
These three are all part of the Undergrowth movement although, I haven’t yet looked in to what it’s all about. I wish I’d taken a photo of the bird (possibly a crow – but not a real one!) Andy had suspended from the ceiling, ahead of his microphone. That fell down early in to the evening and landed right next to my friend’s friend! It almost fell again, later on in the evening, yet ended up being ‘hung‘ infront of us all! 🙂
It’s great to be able to go out and to experience something so fresh.
I enjoyed the night and there’s more music available tomorrow night. But, I think I might try and take things easier this weekend. I was going to do that a week ago but I still have to update you on Sunday’s walk… 😉