Call me Russ L

GDFAF #4: The Cribbler / Chinook / Richard Burke / This Lad With A Beard / This Lad With Floppy Hair (29/10/6)

Posted in Going Deaf For A Fortnight 2006, Music by Russ L on 30 October, 2006

Hey, here’s one for all you crazy cool cats who perform on stage – when they give you a microphone, why not Tell The Audience What Your Name Is? A radical notion, I realise, but one that’ll work for the benefit of us all.

Off to The Sunflower Lounge (not as nice a place as the name suggests) for the Chicks Dig Jerks Promotions acoustic night. Held in the main part of The Sunflower Lounge (rather than the downstairs gig room), I think it’s the last Sunday of every month, and is definitely only a pound to get in. I’m not sure whether or not it’s early doors – I forgot it was supposed to open at five, remembered, dashed there and arrived at about half seven, but didn’t seem to have missed anything. I don’t think I did, anyway.

First we had some kid with a floppy indie haircut, playing guitar and singing to little effect. His soft mumbly voice made it impossible to decipher any lyrics, and the songs weren’t interestingly or memorably melodic. The fact that he didn’t say his name seems a lot less important.

After him we had some kid with a beard (who looked familiar. I know I’ve seen his face around at local gigs and things), playing and not singing to little effect. I’m sure it was very skilled and all of the rest of it, but I am not in the least bit interested in musicianship as an end in itself. I quite liked the way he seemed to smoothly elide from a folky to a bluesy air, but otherwise yawnsome.

Richard Burke was next, an artist I’d been relatively nonplussed by at the Moseley Folk Festival. I did enjoy him a bit more this time – it could be just have been relief (within the context of the evening) at getting to watch and listen to someone with a bit of something about him (and a name, too), but his lyrics seemed very sweet and the tuned seemed OK-ish. I’m not going to go mad or anything, but I got some enjoyment from his set.

Chinook was next and about 381 squillion times better than everything we’d already seen. This time we have good clever lyrics and interesting melodies, and a sound somewhat different to the standard ‘earnest young man with a guitar’ type of thing – words and stringstrumming/plucking combine to create an intricate, tricksy sort of ambience. Fantastic.

The Cribbler (apparently his real name is Jim) finished things off, with a mixed bag. About half a set worth of instrumental pluckin’ didn’t really lead anywhere in particular, but his singy ones were quite fun – he had a manic air about him, that helped to project a different sort of atmosphere. As an intro to one of his songs he tapped and knocked at the body of his guitar percussively, which made for a really interesting little diversion – it’s a shame he didn’t try to incorporate that a bit more into the actual songs.

I don’t know why, but I was expecting a lot more from this one beforehand. Ah well.

~ Russ L, probably the only person who has ever been to a metal gig and an acoustic gig within a few days of each other and only complained about not being able to make out the words at the acoustic one.

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