I played again last night for the lovely Dale and Sam of Acoustic Brew – two more hardworking, friendly and enthusiastic promoters of live music you’ll go a long way to meet!

Ive been dead busy lately with comedy bookings and also a bout of the ubiquitous man flu so I wasnt massively looking forward to the show, but really enjoyed it in the end.

The Island Bar is a great venue in a good central location, both for music and general drinking and particularly if you like good cocktails (their speciality).

First up tonight was Marina del Ray – a personable bunch of gents from Worcestershire playing, as their name implies, with a heavy Americana influence. Nice to see a stand up bass, and small scale drum kit, sensitively played to accompany the strong vocals and acoustic guitar.

My personal highlight of the bill was the next act, Alex Moir – a local performer who is still only 18 but has been performing for three years already. Really strong songs, with great lyrics and and a strong, gruff voice all – at the risk of sounding patronising, sounding way beyond his tender years. Maybe he’s channeling Bob Dylan or something (no wait, he’s not dead yet).

Finally, Lee Carroll performed another good set of songs ably assisted by Neil Roberts providing an added dimension with some flute melodies and some really tight two part vocal harmonies.

Finally I croaked my way through a well received set. I’ve been unhappy with the start of my set for a while and have written music (but as yet no words beyond a possible title “Hold Your Fire”) which I think will make a new opener. Until I get the headspace to finish the lyrics tho, Im stuck with the three openers I use, but this time I tried them in a new order and I think its the best option yet – opening with Listen In (a nice gentle start with a bit of a stronger finish and a nice mood balance), then For Ali (short and sweet) before Easier for Her (a little darker).

Im also keeping with the recently established tradition of thumping Completion instrumental to close.

As soon as I get this bit of comedy work done (and my tax) I hope to crack on and get more bookings in the wider Midlands (and a demo of my songs and a new website).

Acoustic Birmingham News Reviews

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