BFR @ Gonzo’s Tea Room, with Blood Bird, True Adventures, Lucy Gooch, Scribes. Norwich 24 August 2014
The relentlessly productive and creative Alex Carson brought the Bare Feet Records (BFR) night back to Gonzo’s Tea Room for a second time to showcase some more of the rich local talent, and another unmissable opportunity to hear the amazing Blood Bird, playing their second gig of the day, fresh back from the afternoon session at the excellent Stanford Arms in Lowestoft.
Opening the evening was True Adventures, aka Sam, formerly of Heart of a Dog. I saw him play a very brief set at The Plasterers in the For Gaza gig but it was nice to be able to listen and enjoy a few more songs. Opening with one I think being called “New Dylan” with some great lyrics, and closing with a lament for those leaving for London. He is playing at the moment electric guitar, very gently and atmospheric and the storytelling of his lyrics is most eloquent.
Lucy Gooch is yet another new name on me – it never ceases to amaze me how much musical talent we have around at the moment. Despite being very nervous she dealt with this well with gentle humour and an easy going style. She was most apologetic a couple of times but without need as she dealt with things very charmingly and endearingly. Her music was delicious to my ears, highly atmospheric and haunting with an ethereal quality. Her voice, which as a friend correctly stated, did not waver for a moment and is gorgeous. Without sounding like anyone other than Lucy, I did a few times think of Daisy Vaughan, and even Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins during the set, such beautiful heights did her voice reach. Another local talent I shall definitely try to catch playing live again.
Next on the bill was the superb Blood Bird, the incredible duo of Chris and Steph, one half of Kill It Kid. They did sound dynamite tonight, raw and gutsy, loud and technically brilliant, playing and singing with confidence and natural talent. Unfortunately by this stage of the evening the other end of the room was starting to get a little noisier with a hen party crowd which only seemed to spur Blood Bird on who played louder and with great emotion. It was stunning for an acoustic set.
Blood Bird must be a daunting act to follow and it fell to Scribes to close the evening’s live music. The room had become a little more noisy by this point which can’t have helped their cause but they played on quite untroubled.
It’s a really interesting venue with great character and occasional supervisory rounds by the delightful Gonzo himself but with some drinks at London bar prices (£2.50 for half a pint of ale in Norwich is pushing it, when last Sunday I was enjoying a full pint in the Owl Sanctuary for the same price whilst watching and listening to Grifter Kid and the Midnight Raiders). That grumble aside though it was an excellent evening, with some superb musical highlights in a genuinely unique and unusual venue. It’s cool and I do like it, and want to like it more … but with lower bar prices! As a venue though I was most impressed the first time I went there some weeks back, by the unexpected and eclectic mix of music being played by the djs at the time, it’s not often one walks into a place and hears Dylan being played. It does get rather dark once the sun has set too, so apologies for the quality of photos. It’s a really chilled room with some great touches and nooks and crannies, and another venue of this sort of size is of course most welcome, and excellent that one can order from a wide choice of pizzas which can be delivered to and eaten on the premises.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014