The fact that MC Gary Burrows had to twice ask people to make room for those standing, attests to the growing popularity of these nights of music and celebration. Opening the packed program on Friday was singer-songwriter, Tom West. A personable humorous young man, West’s songs of urban love and alcohol, are well crafted and lyrical, although he needs to work on his endings: most of his songs just seemed to stop suddenly. Moving through numbers such as “Some Things Will Never Be” and “I Drank All the Rum”, West tells just the right amount of story with each song, and shows a likeable ability to laugh at himself. Watch out for this guy!
Next on the bill was blues band Lazyeye. Consisting of guitarist Erica Graf, drummer Mario Marino and Evan Whetter on vocals, harp and the fabulous 1960s Hammond, this is a tight, classy, hard-driving outfit. It is easy to see how they won “Group of the Year” in the 2015 National Blues Awards. Numbers such as “House Full of Trouble” and “Blue Tongue Blues” showed their considerable talents in both songwriting and performing. I was so impressed I grabbed a CD and put my name on the mailing list.
Inductees The Others performed before the break, giving the audience a dose of good time, bluesy rock’n’roll, Although these guys, especially founder Ian Nancarrow, have been doing this stuff for decades, they still sound fresh, tight and energetic. Lead vocalist Paul Reading is a great front man: he should just avoid any more attempts at stand-up, except maybe at a buck’s night.
Inductees Mick Pealing and Mal Eastick of Stars and Ian Nancarrow of The Others, joined John “Pembo” Pemberton for a chat, after the interval. Pembo knows his stuff, but needs to let the interviewees do more talking, and possibly ask more about their work and less about whom they have worked WITH. Also inducted, posthumously, was Andy Durant, the main songwriter of Stars.
The evening finished off with a sing-along set from Eastick and Pealing, doing songs that I’d forgotten I ever knew.
Another sell-out success: these gigs get better all the time. Book for the next one now!
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Next AMC session is Friday 2nd October, featuring the Moonshine Jug and String Band.