Isaac Gracie, Laura Goldthorp Bare Feet Records at The Plasterers Arms. Mr. David Viner, Hot Raisin OST at Cinema City Bar, Norwich 6 October 2015
On a very wet and miserable October evening it was something of an effort to motivate myself to cycle the dark and drizzly journey into the city. It feels that recently Natalie Lake’s appearances have become somewhat rare and so her billing on the BFR at the Plasterers was motivation enough. Alas she had to cancel her spot but it’s always a pleasure to hear Laura Goldthorp’s sweet and pure voice. She started her set with the impressive House of the Rising Sun and the set had a fair sprinkling of originals and covers. I loved her own songs and of the covers I wasn’t entirely sure about No Scrubs but loved Folsom Prison Blues and especially Desperado which closed her set to great applause. It’s a shame Natalie wasn’t able to attend, there are some similarities between them, not least great voices and a love of Johnny Cash.
What made the visit especially worthwhile was my introduction to the music of Isaac Gracie. He has an understated confidence in his performance, an excellent strong voice, ease of guitar playing and superb songwriting. So good in fact that my friend Mark asked me if they were covers, I did not recognise any of them so at the end of the song Mark asked Isaac, who seemed quite chuffed and replied that they were all his own songs. Some great tortured and pained love blues ballads and a wonderful darkness, especially on the set highlight for me, the closer Last Words.
After his set Mark and myself decided to catch some more music at OST. We missed Turf Club Racebook but did catch the last few songs of the brilliant Hot Raisin. Two girls, two guitars and some great songs. They went down a storm, so much so that they were just selling their very last copy of their CD when I asked them about it. However, they apparently play, where else but The Plasterers on the 20th so they’ll hopefully have some more with them by then. Extremely lovely people too.
To close this OST session was another new name for me, Mr. David Viner. I’m so grateful to Mr. Iain Lowery for the introduction to this artist who has some deliciously dark song moments. The lyrics are utterly compelling and fascinated me. “So Well Hid” was astonishing and unsettling. I loved the delivery and guitar playing. Sort of Robert Chaney meets Leonard Cohen, with Nick Cave in close attendance and with some very dark humour thrown in with a country blues style, though quite English with plenty of Norwich and London references. Today I am exploring his recordings on Bandcamp. I very much hope to hear him play these very dark tales again soon. In fact I’d rather like to see Mr. David and Mr. Isaac on the same bill.
I had yet another drenching on the way home but it was somewhat in keeping with the mood of a lot of the music and I didn’t much mind, it was so worthwhile and I found out about another three excellent acts who were all new to me, across two gigs in Norwich on a Tuesday night.
Many thanks to Iain Lowery, OST, BFR, The Plasterers, Isaac Gracie, Hot Raisin, Laura Goldthorp, and Mr. David Viner.
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2015