Last night the delightful Catwoman and me went to a gig at the magnificent De Grey Rooms in York. What a stunning place to put on a show this place is and all by candlelight as well. Obviously there was power too otherwise the stage equipment wouldn’t have worked so well would it? In fact one of the acts hardly used the power though, more of that later.
First up was the unbilled Gobbledigook who performed as a duo in the bar before the main show started. They were also behind setting up the gig I assume given that it was promoted by gobbledigooktheatre.co.uk. Anyway these guys were bloody good. All they had was an acoustic guitar and a single percussion instrument. Plus some excellent songs of their own coupled with brilliant vocals and excellent fast worded and clever poetry. At times this reminded me of a stripped down acoustic led version of the fabulous Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip. In addition to their own material they also included a strong and nicely different from the original cover version of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know“. Introduced hilariously by the singer as this is a Whitney Houston song which you might be more familiar with from me singing it around town for years. Priceless! I loved them.
In the main room where the majority of us were seated around candlelit tables Antonio Lulic was first on. He and his band (which included John Parker, Nizlopi‘s double bass player) were stunning. Mr Lulic is a truly gifted songwriter with an incredibly soulful and powerful voice. He even slotted in a couple of extracts from a diverse couple of songs towards the end; Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” and Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe“. I hope Antonio makes it big, I bought both the EPs that he had on sale at the show and they are brilliant. He told us that he will shortly be supporting none other than Ed Sheerhan on some big South American shows. I wish him massive luck with that and I hope I get the chance to see him play again!
Fiona Bevan is incredibly talented and has the voice of an angel. Her songwriting is very mature and accomplished and she has amazing stage presence. Great image, especially that fantastic hair and a great personality. Her guitar playing is sublime, was she classically trained? Possibly. There is nothing with Fiona Bevan and her music that is not to like. I bought her album and it has already been on in the car today. She ought to go far. In fact her song “Slo Mo Tiger Glow” is featured on an advert for HSBC. She played a great version of the song in her set. I would definitely pay to see her again. Incidentally her band also included the hardest working man in the De Grey rooms that night; John Parker Nizlopi’s double bass player.
Finally it was time for Nizlopi to take the stage or at first the floor. Playing among the audience is a really intimate way of getting your music across and I have seen many bands do this really well, most notably the Tuts. However I do believe that it can be overdone and become detrimental to the whole set. This is how Nizlopi’s set felt to me, I really think that they overplayed the getting among the crowd element. Which meant that unless you managed to get to near the front then you often couldn’t see them or hear them very well. Both Catwoman and I felt that musically Nizlopi are an excellent band, John Parker is an excellent bass player and Luke Concannon‘s voice is pretty good. But what let them down for us was the clumsiness of some of their lyrics and what came across as the incredibly egotistical approach of the singer. Clearly many among the crowd might disagree with this opinion given the enthusiasm that some punters showed. But we stand by our disappointment. However the night was well worth it for all the three support acts!
Pictures and therefore the poor quality by me on my phone. Videos courtesy of YouTube!