Sunday, 31 August 2014

Thursday 28th August

If you weren't at The Beehouse Recording Studio Open Mic last Thursday, you missed what I can only call the most fantastic musical treat, the most fun and the greatest night in a long long while. Starting from quiet and unpromising beginnings with an empty piano, two exceptional artists who had arrived after journeys from Shrewsbury and Carno, there was the usual moment of trepidation. On the arrival of act number three having struggled around a massive diversion en route, we were ready to kick off.

Tom Matthews and Jonny Welburn have to be the nearest thing to a Weird Al Yankowic double act - they have a seemingly endless playlist of both old and very new, all reproduced in their own inimitable comic style - both great vocalists - Tom on guitar and Jonny - what do you call that thing between your legs anyway? (A drum you can sit on?) Kicking off the evening with irrepressible mirth the audience were singing with them from the outset. All I can say is - do not miss them again, you will never hear "Caught in a Bad Romance" played acoustically with such a rowdy chorus. Thanks for making it Tom and Jonny!

Next up was Billy Clark. Billy plays 12-string with a rare fingerpicking style. He plays his own music and his tracks are totally instrumental. Maybe we thought that, because of the instrumental nature of things this would drift into the background, but Billy engages the audience very powerfully, both with the skill of his technique, which left us breathless, but also with the harmonic quality - there were times when I was sure there was a vocalist in the room because of the harmonic sounds generated. Looking around, I noticed even people who had drifted in from another event were pausing and staying to listen to what was a truly compelling set. Thanks, Billy.

Last Thursday, we were also very excited to host the talents of Nic Evans. If you have not heard Nic sing,and you enjoy great vocals, take the time to catch him at a future event. Not only is he a great showman, involving both audience and other musicians with his own guitarwork, but he has his own sense of pace and focus that drives his audience. He performs both his own material and covers, and is genuinely able to capture the emotion of the moment. Songs included including the Bob Marley classic "Waiting In Vain" and the Gnarls Barkely track "Crazy". Beautiful vocals which really took centre stage.

We also heard from Julia Cello. Julia is an exceptional cellist, but chose on Thursday to perform her own track with piano and voice. Original tracks are always well received at the Beehouse Open Mic, and this was no exception - a lovely melodic and well crafted performance, with great vocals - we'd have like to hear more, please come back Julia!

We also heard a poetry recital from Dux Youthworker, warning us of the dangers of the Demon Drink. Dux brought his own personality to the fore from the centre of the bar and moved to the front in an interesting manoeuvre that guaranteed him full attention. A well-known wordsmith, he made his serious point in a memorable and enjoyable way - great to hear skilled poetry coming alive in this very real and organic context. Poets are very welcome at our Open Mics, providing changes and different engagement which can bring a real buzz to the event.

Thanks also for our lovely audience, including Sally Duckers (happy birthday!) Siân Walters, Leila Price, Ian Jones (behind the bar), John Davies, Jessica Evans, Marinke, Sue Newall, Richie, and other too numerous to mention... Thanks to Philip Lane on sound and Jane Lane on keys etc. A spectacular way to spend a rainy Thusday Night. Next Beehouse Open Mic is on the 26th September (Friday) - Jane Lane

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