Another fine evening of quality music at Bohemian Jukebox – surely the best acoustic music gig in Birmingham. I feel lucky to live within walking distance of its current home at the Hare & Hounds.

First up was Laura Louise who lives locally having moved from New Zealand a couple of years ago. She has an fine, rich voice and a nice funky tinge to her songs which also have a folky feel. I really like the way she builds up sonic textures using a loop pedal to create layers of vocal percussion, flute, guitar and singing – the result builds into nice minimalist structures at times, and when the whole pile of sound is resonating together, the result is positively angelic.

Ben Calvert books and promotes the gig and also turned in a solo spot. His songs are sweely melancholic with sharply observed and witty lyrics – his skill with words being further evinced by some between song banter with bandmate Greg Smith (himself never short of a rare turn of phrase).

As Ben mentioned, this was a truly international line up with artists from New Zealand, Los Angeles, Moseley and Kings Heath (truly all four corners of the musical universe). And so Erinn took the stage in the final installment of a three week UK tour. She gently lulled us, gradually revealing the true breadth, strength and subtlety of her voice which is by turns breathy and intimate and operatically dexterous and strong. She had for me the song of the night – Delicate – which you can hear on her myspace.

Finally Jane Powell whom Ive seen at the Jukebox before playing with a whole band, but here appearing with just one backing singer. I didnt feel – at least within this context – that she lost out much for the lack of the rest of the band, the highlight of the performance being the sweet way the two vocals blend and her own sensitive accompaniment on acoustic guitar.

The next Bohemian Jukebox is Tuesday November 18th – if youre a fan of quality acoustic music and live within a walk or bus ride from Kings Heath or Moseley, then I recommend you be there.

Birmingham Music Reviews

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