On such a stormy Sunday evening as this
In Hitchin you’d have found me and Chris
And the night’s musical lesson
The Almost Acoustic Sunday Session
And a gig that just could not be missed!
Sunday had been somewhat wet and windy and the early evening was not only no exception but the weather, if anything, had significantly worsened.
Thankfully the heavy rain held off until I reached the ‘Chicken Shop’ (Not its real name by the way) opposite Club-85 to grab myself a bite to eat before the gig.
As I sat there, warm and dry enjoying my meal of chicken, chips and a nice soft drink to wash it down with I watched as the heavens seemed to open and the rain, driven by the ever increasing wind, lashed against the windows causing the lights outside from the cars and other shops to kaleidoscope whilst accompanied by a sort of white noise soundtrack, all very relaxing, surreal and in its own way a rather pleasing way to wind down from the hectic week and get my head in a good place ready to be filled with fine music.
And then Chris walked in, having only just walked down the road from the car park, a walk of a mere couple of minutes and he looked like he’d been dragged backwards through a full on car wash!
We were still a little early but the warmth, comfort and boisterous atmosphere of Bar-85, that and a couple of pints of The Reverend James had us in fine spirits to saunter upstairs to Club-85 for the evening’s entertainment.
The (Almost) Acoustic Sunday Sessions have and are becoming somewhat of a special occasion, so many good acts and at an entry price that can’t even begin to cover the cost of the evening, a mere £4 a head, it is a work of passion by Bob, Matt & the crew at 85 as they strive, and succeed, to bring us fine music and something worthwhile to do on a Sunday night.
First on this night were the truly excellent acoustic duo, A Work In Progress, beautifully crafted songs, exquisite guitar playing and quite often reminiscent of Turin Brakes, which is not at all a bad thing as I for one love the early TB sound. AWIP have a new CD out, "Lights" available for download from their Bandcamp page (Which you can get to via Facebook) or physical CD from the band, damn fine it is too.
You can also download thier 1st EP "When I Grow Up" for free from here - http://awip.bandcamp.com/album/when-i-grow-up
Next up was Rob Eaton, singer songwriter Rob never fails to impress with his excellent stylish guitar playing and his wonderful songs drawing from many genres, rock, folk, soul, blues, R & B, it’s no wonder he’s got himself a a gig at Ronnie Scott’s as well as recently appearing on the BBC on BBC’s Introducing, a lovely but all too short set, his EP Kansas is well worth a listen too.
Don Court makes no bones about the fact that he has faith and that his faith literally saved his life, and although Don is not one for preaching to or at you his faith often shines through his music in a most uplifting and non-threatening way, his own material is full of passion emotion and meaning and his covers of country blues rock classics are also damn good, and boy oh boy, that guitar! Don’s albums, the older “Reborn” and the more recent “Good Enough” are well worth a slot in anyone’s collection, hard to believe that it was more than 10 years since Don's last appearance at Club-85 it was really great to have him back among us.
Headlining were Schrodinger’s Strings, a trio the like of which you don’t often, if ever, see! Two harps and an acoustic guitar, musically of the highest standard and dry cutting wit and banter between the band members. Whether they are paying something classical, something folky or a cover version of a well know rock song, such as Sweet Child of Mine or Wish You Were Here, these guys know how to entertain, it really was one of those, “Where you there when Schrodinger’s Strings Played Club-85?” moments. The band of course have their own web site and their eponymous CD out which is already a firm favourite on my CD player!
And so, that was it, a fine and dandy evening of truly excellent music, until the next time................................................................................................................. GM Nov/Dec 2015