Wooden Arms, Daisy Vaughan, Mari Joyce at The Bicycle Shop, Norwich, 25 March 2014. Review and photos
It was a pleasure to return to the gorgeous and friendly Bicycle Shop exactly a week after my favourite ever gig. Tonight’s music was opened by the wonderful Mari Joyce playing a subtle and delicate, beautiful set accompanied by Alex Patterson on violin. I have never heard them playing as a duo before and it certainly worked, giving a new slant to the songs and perfect in this intimate environment. Mari’s easy and friendly, smiley conversation between songs summed up the atmosphere to a tee. Beautiful.
Daisy Vaughan is an artist I have seen two or three times before, notably in an astonishing guest slot with Cove Hithe at the recent Wooden Arms gig in the Norwich Arts Centre. Watching her sing is a mesmerising experience and one can’t help wondering at times where that voice is coming from, so effortlessly does it appear to flow. Two songs in particular grabbed me, one sung in fluent Spanish and the other I believe was called Envelopes. A very talented lady with an incredible voice.
Tonight’s appearance by Wooden Arms was to be the last for a month or two, and sadly the last one to feature the also beautiful voice of Jess Wilson but she certainly closed on a high with a magnificent and at times heavenly vocal performance. Her voice seems to compliment that of Jeff’s marvellously, and with the sumptuous strings provided by Jessica and Fynn alongside Alex’s lead vocal and piano it was another typically lovely set from Wooden Arms. I have to add that Alex seemed to be in magnificent between song banter and monologue mode. Playing these delicate, haunting, incredibly open and personal compositions and then trashing them with lightning rapid self-deprecating wit between songs is part of his charm but today he was in especially fine form and at one surreal point towards the end of the set he was the only person in the room still capable of coherent speech such were the helpless peals of laughter from band and audience alike. Lovely, lovely band and people.
Thanks to Ian Hudson of Dreams Music for another fine job on sound, The Bicycle Shop, and all the artists.
“The band mix delicate piano with luscious strings and trip-hop inspired percussion to create something quite beautiful” – Tom Robinson BBC6
Wooden Arms is a Norwich-based 7 piece alternative, classical, indie band. With 5-part vocal harmonies and a distinctive yet delicate blend of classical instrumentation meets modern melody, their new double A side Tide/December was released on the 13th of February 2014.
Wooden Arms will be touring the UK and Europe in the following months to support this release.
Support from Daisy Vaughan and Mari Joyce