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GIGS 2013

Wednesday 30th January 2013

Monroe's Rock Cafe, Reading, (RG1 2LG)

Bohemian Night open-mic hosted by Rob Sowden

"Good News and Bad News"

Surely I said enough about Jakabo last week? Well, all I have to say on their performance last night is that they were, unsurprisingly, as excellent as ever. In fact we were treated to two sets from them as they provided the finale for the open-mic last night too. Apart from their musician ship I'm also particularly impressed with how comfortable they are on stage. Particularly lead singer Maria who seemingly is quite happy just to be on stage and enjoy herself as Jamie makes the guitar do what I've never seen or heard an acoustic guitar do. And then when Maria has to sing, well Wow! What a voice - Aretha and Janis eat your hearts out. I'm pretty sure people pay a lot of money for seeing acts like Jakabo put on the kind of performance that we were treated to last night.

And talking of voices, we were also treated to Katie Cooke, the percussionist (mainly cajon I believe) from Burnt Tomorrow. Speaking to her earlier in the evening she explained how she wanted to get more confidence singing. I thus expected someone nervy hiding behind a guitar or something. I certainly didn't expect her to be singing acapella! Very brave. And very haunting. And with the knowledge that these are songs that she sings to her daughter quite heart-rendering too.

As for me, it all seemed to go by in a flash. I definitely feel these days that I prefer longer sets so that I can settle in and I'm pretty sure that I choose songs that might have a more immediate impact: almost "single- like" in preference to "album" songs. I don't know if that's a good policy or not. I think the point though is that I don't feel I'm quite hitting my mark at the moment, not quite in the "zone".

On a separate note, I'm very sad to learn that The Rowbarge in Guildford is to close on Sunday. I have very fond memories of the pub from when I first started doing open-mics in 2011. I think it was the first place where I sang Cold Heart which turned out to be one of my most popular songs. The pub was an important venue for bands and its closing is very sad news for the local musical scene. With thanks and very best wishes for the future to Mark and Chrissie East.

My Set