Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Live and local - Simon Kent, Blair Dunlop and Emma Stevens

In between hopping across the Atlantic with this blog, if only metaphorically though I would given the chance, it is more than refreshing to trundle a score of miles through the English countryside full of spring blossom to a gig in a village hall to hear such quality as was showcased last Sunday evening.
It was supposed to be a double bill. That it was a triple was the source of some pre-event strife, but did not impinge on the evening for the audience. The 'extra' was Simon Kent playing with only a drummer for company and at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances. I have to say that he was someone who I was only peripherally aware. It was a short set but it has certainly inclined me to investigate further.

The other two acts were a joint-billing - and this was the only date on that tour that was not a city. Blair Dunlop played first on this occasion, To be honest it would not have mattered one little bit had Emma Stevens played first. I don't think that they are competitive in that particular sense.
Blair Dunlop has been on my list of 'ones to see live' for some time and I can't think of a better venue than this. It is  I think not be going to be possible to do it in such a small venue without paying a high ticket price for much longer - in might, indeed, have been the very last time.
He played tracks from both his released LPs, and three brand new ones (the bedroom sessions!) and also this. It is a cover of kinds, I suppose.
It is a tune (instrumental)  'Si Bheg, Si Mhor' - written by blind Irish harpist and, rather more importantly composer, Turlough O'Carolan (1670 -  1738). How can a guitar sound like a harp? Played like this... that's how.
Emma Stevens is also two albums into her career as a solo artist, 'Waves' being the latest. Here she is captured playing an instrument that gives some people the creeps. As far as I know she doesn't play piano accordion.
She played this only on one song, and played nothing whilst singing another one, but otherwise played guitar and sang. 

No comments: