It was Lyndalls Birthday yesterday – coincidentally the day after my Sisters so unbeknownst at the times 36 years ago I got a sister and a girlfriend in very quick succession (albeit on opposite sides of the earth) – small planet!
Lyndall and I had a lazy day and I took her for dinner at Nathaniels restaurant in Moseley Village (what was Bistro Lyonnaise). We’ve eaten out in most of the local places now and I wanted to go somewhere special rather than a usual haunt. It didnt disappoint – pricier than places we’d usually go, but at £45 for two, not horrendous. The food was great and the service, charming – tho it was easy for them as we were the only ones there most of the time.
Then onto the Hare & Hounds where I was performing at Bohemian Jukebox. I was first up and was pleased to get the gig off to a good start by addressing the audience fairly confidently and engaging their attention. I feel like I’m getting more confident onstage these days which is great. I opened with my new song “Hold Your Fire” which is a much stronger start to the set than anything I’ve tried before. Previously I’ve been starting quite mellow, but this, followed by “Your Thing” made for a more punchy, upbeat start which I think much improves the set as a whole. I had to resort to the poor mans autocue (lyrics taped to the keyboard) as the new songs arent too familiar yet, but given that and the two large glasses of red I had with dinner I was pleased to pull them off ok. Heres a pic of me onstage courtesy music guru Anthony Herron who tweeted it during the set.
Next up, the splendidly named Superman Revenge Squad which is Ben with an acoustic guitar singing a really charming set of songs interspersed with vocals breaks that are disarming, self effacing and witty. Good fun and at times poignant too.
Hatchlings I think were next – their myspace describes them as a collective so it’ll be interesting to see what comes along from them in the future. In this incarnation they featured I guy who’s name I didn’t catch (maybe Anthony Herron will enlighten me as they are involved with his Boy Wonder Records) – he has a strong soully voice and was accompanied first by a drummer, and then joined as a whole group of girls from a gospel group based I think at Birmingham University. They couldve been a little tighter perhaps but added a great dimension to the music.
Finally, Laura Louise who Ive gigged with before and always enjoy hearing, with her ethereal vocals (and guitar and flute) all layered up using a loop pedal. She seemed to find the noise a bit off putting – both of the sounds of the gig next door (whenever the door to the gig opens) and also the audience who, as the alchohol levels increased, were becoming increasingly unsettled – some of them choosing to stand for ages right in front of us old folk sitting at the back. Still, most of the room were giving her their full attention and rightly so as she has a very delicate voice and a really nice laid back, jazzy vibe.
All in all another great night from Ben Calverts’ Bohemian Jukebox which never disappoints – in fact I wonder why its not packed every show because its such a great opportunity to hear good music locally in a great setting.
And all just a warm up for Lyndall’s birthday party tonight!