Fresh Blood at The Birdcage, 24 May 2013 review.
A packed line up of new local talent was on display at The Birdcage this evening, hosted by Alex Carson and Bare Feet Records (BFR) with several solo acts performing for about twenty minutes or so before the Mucked Up Funkies band closed the evening with a rousing set.
The first artist was Matthew Jones, who is also the bassist of local band The Crystal Bats, who I saw at the Arts Centre earlier in the year, and who supported ABC at Open last weekend. Solo on six string electric guitar very interesting and clever lyrics.
He was followed by Matt Watson, an artist I have written about several times before. Tonight he kindly agreed to my request to perform his new song “And We Dance” which despite being unrehearsed and its first live performance, I thought held all the power of its first hearing. I would be so proud of this, a wonderful six minute musical snapshot of our coalition and how they treat us. Brilliant.
Following Matt was Jimmy Brewer, who had travelled from Milton Keynes for the gig, and whose style I really enjoyed, a good voice and a beautiful guitar. Impressive and enjoyable.
After Jimmy was Joe Quinn. Initially down to be playing with his full band The Grazing Saints, tonight he was playing solo and acoustically, probably as intense a performance as I have seen from Joe. And the only person ever to momentarily have that look of Kurt Cobain during the Unplugged set that was so haunting that Neil Young was inspired to write a song from it (Sleeps With Angels)
Far from easy to follow an act of such intensity, but Floorboy managed this with aplomb. Dressed in flat cap and Beatles Revolver t-shirt with guitar accompaniment he played gentle and mellow songs.
I knew nothing about The Mucked Up Funkies, and was most unsure what to expect with a name like that. Very fine musicians they started the set with their own songs, and somewhat surreally about midway they started playing covers, ranging from Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean to Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music! I can imagine this band going down extremely well at celebratory events and parties, as they are great fun and do what they do very well but I would like to hear more of their own songs as these were the most interesting for me. However, they certainly got the place up on its feet and moving and dancing.
words and photos by richard shashamane (c) 2013