At the end of the year I calculated that I must have been to more than 60 gigs, the vast majority of them being extremely good. I can’t believe how lucky I have been in my selections, and never more so than in this particular week when I saw Feral Mouth at Open, in the best form I have ever seen them, and a few days later a much quieter and more intimate affair in the lovely Cinema City Bar for OST with Milly Hirst and Jess Wilson.
Open is a great venue, especially when it has a decent sized crowd and on this occasion it was absolutely packed. Support came from Jessica Morgan, and Mammal Hands. I am not a massive fan of jazz but this worked for me, although they have far more going on than jazz influences and created their own blend of laid back vibes. I’m sure I even detected some Ethiopian influences in there!
Feral Mouth are currently recording their debut album, for a planned summer release, and tonight they were offering a 4-track sampler of it. The rehearsal and studio time has obviously had a very positive effect as they took their live set to new heights here, with some great playing and we even had an acoustic string band mosh-pit going on down the front. A brilliant night and the best I’ve ever heard the Ferals play.
Once again there were some loud drinkers in a far corner of the bar obviously oblivious to the fact that two artists were performing beautiful, delicate and moving acoustic sets to the rest of very appreciative people in the bar who had come to hear them play. Those of us paying attention were treated to a beautiful evening of music. I have seen Jess play once before, at the Bicycle Shop, and enjoyed her songs a lot. Milly, as always, was in fine form and delivered another astonishing performance of Birds, one of my favourites in her repertoire. I love that song and this singer is simply amazing, we are so lucky to have her 🙂 She has a totally unique voice, with great power which is made all the more powerful by her intelligent use of subtlety and restraint, at the perfect moment she can unleast this frankly astonishing power in her voice, which is always captivating, always beautiful, and anyone listening is held in rapt attention.
words and photos by richard shashamane 2013