This fundraiser for Parkinsons UK was a lovely event put together by Chad Mason and Andrew Taylor who both performed on the evening, along with a new name on the Norwich scene to me, Adrian Moore. A healthy sized crowd gathered, mingled and chatted at the Drama Studio, opposite the long queues to the LCR for the visit of De La Soul before entering the Studio’s rehearsal room, a well-equipped space which I hope will be used for more events of this nature, as suggested onstage by Chad. He introduced us to Adrian Moore who I believe is a student of UEA, he played half an hour or so of flawless great old blues, a wonderful interpretation of the soon-to-visit Laura Marling’s Rambling Man on banjo before finishing his set with an original on ukelele. As Chad said afterwards, the originals were the highlights of the set and Adrian is a very welcome addition to the Norwich local gig circuit.
Anyone who has ever been to the fantastic Music House Acoustic-ish Sessions at Jurnets Bar will have probably come across Andrew Taylor (aka Circus Lounge) and Chad, they both curate sessions there individually in rotation with Julian and Shane but are often there at the same time and fall into an easy comedic double act, tonight being no exception as Andrew was introduced, clutching his cup of Irn Bru and inevitably a debate ensued as to whether he was actually carrying his “sample”!
Sitting on the “science stool” Andrew played a beautiful and sensitive set which as well as some old favourites like “People Don’t Wave at Trains Anymore” included some not yet recorded songs and a brand new one played for the first time. It was a lovely set, I think the memorable one for me was “Forth Bridge Painter” about his mother, with some really clever and touching lines.
The evening seemed to be passing rapidly and to close the night we had the inimitable Chad who was in typically excellent form, with his playing and singing and also his between song chats. He told us of the Tap-esque intro he wanted to do, (“Hello UEA Drama Studio Rehearsal Room, I’m Chad Mason from the UK, you must be the UEA!”), it would have been great. Somehow or other he managed to get the audience to sing along in a quite complex piece on another new song. The quick run through didn’t bode well but ‘it was alright on the night’ and everyone was fantastic, one of the highlights of the night. After a few more stories and offering all the money from any CD sales on the night to Parkinsons UK too he closed the set before returning with an encore of “Tonight” on piano, another on the guitar and then exiting stage left having forgotten to unplug it, providing a rather apt Morecambe & Wise flourish to end on. A lovely evening for a worthy cause, thanks to all involved.
An evening of mellifulous song from three of Norwich’s most remarkable song-writers. Chad Mason, Circus Lounge and Adrian Moore play sets of self penned songs at the UEA Drama Studio Rehearsal Room to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK.
Tickets £5 on the door.
“Chad is an accomplished singer-songwriter…tracks such as Long Way Home and Tonight have the audience captivated” (Evening News, Oct 2013)
“He’s a witty and engaging character with a sincere and ambitious desire to get at the heart of things” (R2 Rock ‘n’ Reel, June 2015)
Growing up on the mean-ish streets of Oxford but latterly settling in Norwich to study creative writing, Chad Mason developed an eccentric, bittersweet view of the world. Contrasting lush, Nico-meets-Morricone album arrangements with a stripped down guitar/harmonica/vocal live sound, he has become a regular on the Norfolk scene whilst breaking into the London circuit (recently The Troubadour and The Roundhouse) and further afield. Winning fans and acclaim for his music with his insightful and intelligent lyrics combined with skilled musicianship and a witty on-stage rapport; performances at SXSW and in New York City; appearances at Latitude and Folk East plus a third album underway, Chad is steadily carving out a niche as an original and quirky music talent.
Andrew Taylor will be known to most in Norwich as the Great Uncle of The Music House Acoustic(ish) Session. But Taylor is also a composer of weird and wonderful songs and epic concept albums. His first instrument was made from a cereal box, a cardboard tube and some elastic bands, nowadays you’ll mostly find him playing guitar.
Over the previous week I also had the good fortune to see Hot Raisin several times, on Thursday at The Guildhall for the four-weekly Grapevine night they played as a three-piece, recruiting Luke to provide extra guitar and harmonies. All three of them then came back onstage for the full band Turf Club Racebook in a highly enjoyable set. The full crowd at Grapevine saw the night closed by The John Ward Band. It was another superb turnout with several other notable gigs happening around the city on the same night, and following on from the previous week’s sellout for the visit of Lewis & Leigh.
Saturday saw my first visit to The Blue Joanna, a small but comfortable and very relaxed, friendly bar in the Golden Triangle … and yes, there is a blue piano in there. The decor features old NME framed covers, a record player and loads of vinyl, so when a face appeared that I had not seen in some ten years it was not a total surprise to find that it was my old friend Eckie who was behind this! The music came from Hot Raisin who were on some time after 9.30pm and created their typically wonderful atmosphere. They are about to record so I cannot wait to hear the results.
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