The Music House Acoustic(ish) Session @ Jurnets Bar, with Wooden Arms, James Pearce, Natalie Lake, Ben C. Winn, Two Coats Colder 20 Sept. 2013, review.
This was a lovely night of music, once again at Jurnets. This beautiful venue with its proud tradition where so many local musicians played their first live set, tonight hosted by Andrew Taylor.
I’ve been telling people for a while how talented I think Natalie Lake is, and what potential she has. She had just started her set when I arrived and was sounding in fine form, the acoustics of the venue and the attentive audience really suiting her. Later on she told me she was a little nervous but this didn’t show at all in her performance and singing. Especially pleasing was the fact that she chose to showcase a new song she had only written two days ago, which for me was one of the highlights of her set. I felt pleased too, to see the positive reactions from all those in attendance, including Milly Hirst and Pete Murdoch. I’d spoken about her in glowing terms only minutes earlier to Pete and was delighted to see him and Milly share my enthusiasm.
Ben C. Winn of the fantastic Sargasso Trio was next on stage, and he had the audience in stitches with some of his wonderful poems, at times with some musical accompaniment. I won’t even try and quote any of it but he has a great style of delivery with a wonderful observational wit.
James Pearce (Jape) of Feral Mouth was onstage next. I very much enjoyed his solo, slowed down set of Ferals songs (Hundred Kinds of Lonely, Tatters, Old Man) a couple of covers (Neil Young and the legendary Townes Van Zandt) and a brand new composition to end the set. It was very interesting to hear Jape like this, and made one really appreciate his excellent guitar playing and his voice, and because the songs were pared down and slower, it was possible to pay extra attention to the lyrics. As he mentioned, the rest of the band are busy with various things, and getting experiences of life that will provide material for future lyrics and songs but a debut Feral Mouth album is not far off … in the meantime Jape solo is a more than satisfactory substitute.
Wooden Arms have had a month or two off from playing live, since their EP launch and Bedfords gigs earlier in the summer, to write and record some new material. Tonight they were playing as a four piece (violinist Jess was away this evening) and played three brand new tracks for the first time, sandwiched between the older Noah and Separate the Verb. I enjoyed them immensely, it was fascinating to hear the development and in some cases different style, with Alex using a loop pedal for the first time and on “December” hearing Jeffrey playing trumpet! This song seemed especially enjoyable, despite the band thinking it wasn’t a perfect rendition and Jeffrey saying it was the first time he had ever played trumpet live, it really worked, with Jeffrey himself doing some vocals with fine lyrics. Milly also was looking nicely relaxed and comfortable with the newer songs, her voice pure and haunting – and with the excellent mix on the night I think the balance was just right, with piano, cello, and guitar all clearly audible and the vocals sounding magnificent. A most interesting band, humble, talented and hopefully with a great future.
Also on the bill tonight was Two Coats Colder but a full Jurnets can become a hot place indeed and after Wooden Arms I headed to the bar to cool off a bit and consequently missed most of their set.
These evenings at Jurnets always seem to be wonderful, and I also enjoyed the fact I met so many friends and good people and had some great and fascinating conversations. Thanks to Richard, Em, Alex, Jeffrey, Milly, Andrew, Shane, Pete, Ben, Maria, James and many others for your lovely company.
words and photos all rights reserved (c) richard shashamane 2013