To round up some more photos from gigs last week, here are a few photos of Annie Dressner and Matt Watson at The Bicycle Shop, Gerard & the Watchmen with Cocos Lovers at OPEN, Natalie Lake and Daisy Vaughan at The Birdcage, and The Ben Weston Quartet at The Golden Star. All over a couple of days in Norwich last week!
A small audience for this Thursday evening gig at the Bicycle Shop but a warm and intimate, friendly atmosphere to hear Annie Dressner from New York, and our own Matt Watson. Annie was suffering from tendonitis in her wrists, which must have been a hindrance to her guitar playing (and Matt himself has back problems) Ian Hudson hosts a wonderful a regular music night with a wide array of great talent at the gorgeous Bicycle Shop, under the banner of Dreams Music.
Later that same evening I caught the Ben Weston quartet at a very hot Golden Star just down the road. At times reaching a quintet with Dickie Hartt really impressing on guitar, and at other times they even reached six people on stage. On drums was Dan Reynolds, showing what we all know, what a superb drummer he is, always making it look so effortless when we know it is far from that. He’s a natural and tonight was playing some fine jazz.
At this month’s Birdcage Fresh Blood night was another fine array of talent, unfortunately however, I only had time to catch two of them. First of these was the marvellous Natalie Lake, delivering another gorgeous set of gentle folk with that voice! Beautiful.
I was also impressed with Daisy Vaughan, yet another superb musician from that fascinating hotbed of talent, Halesworth. I heard good things too about the other acts on the bill, who sounded highly interesting.
Since the Birdcage refurbishment at the beginning of the year it’s become easy to forget how much it has changed, and talking about this with some friends it made me remember how it used to be. It was very cosily warm in its decor but now is much better suited to be a music venue for gigs like this, with vastly improved sound, stage area and bar access.
After Daisy Vaughan I made the short trip to OPEN and caught Gerard and the Watchmen and Cocos Lovers, both of whom I have seen this year. Also on the bill were the absolutely wonderful Heart of a Dog, who are on a magnificent roll of creativity and have their beautiful new songs sitting perfectly alongside older material in their set. Gerard and the Watchmen were promoting their new album release (13th October). The very tall Dave Gerard has been collaborating with Heart of a Dog’s considerably shorter Jon Allen, the results of which sound extremely interesting. Tonight they were joined by singer and guitarist Nuala Honan, who performed a couple of her own songs in the set. I was extremely impressed, and she even got the audience to sing along with her for one of the songs.
The evening ended with the eight-piece Cocos Lovers demonstrating their African-tinged folk and extraordinary musicianship.
words and photos (c) all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2013