Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sonic Boo

Another night, another jaunt to Gloucester Guildhall. Friday’s Acoustica event was a refreshing antidote to the slightly unsatisfactory ‘appenings at the Julian Cope recital. I enjoyed a wonderful evening. The first act delivered some really tender, delicate folk material. Kirsty McGee and her partner Mat Martin seem quite shy characters but I appreciated their self-deprecating and understated good humour. Their personal and evocative songs sounded gorgeous in such an intimate venue and the mix of acoustic guitar and banjo accompanied their thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics with an affecting subtlety. I didn’t expect too much from them, to be honest, but, as is often the case, the pleasure one derives by being surprised by the quality of a performance can be substantial. I congratulate them on a splendid set.

I expected great things from the main act, Boo Hewerdine and was not disappointed. He was accompanied on stage by his friend and former Any Trouble head honcho, Clive Gregson. Hewerdine remains an engaging stage presence and his banter with Gregson and the audience proved a warm and witty highlight of the evening. But banter is nothing without good songs and we were treated to some glorious and moving numbers from the former Bible frontman’s repertoire. I really do rate this guy. The power to move an audience the way Hewerdine manages, armed with just a guitar, a ready quip and a bagful of tunes cannot be acknowledged more vigorously. His gentle charisma sent me tumbling onto the dark, mean streets of Gloucester with a broad smile on my face. This is a cool acoustic performer. This is a cool acoustic performer. I look forward to seeing him again.

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