Last Sunday, 2nd February 2014, I had my first gig of this year. It was also the first time I got to share the same stage with Martin Oliver, Heydon Hohaia and Nakisha Esnard since our Brought To You Tour last summer.
For me, not gigging for over a month is a pretty tough deal, but I was advised to take January out to get back into the right place to go again this year. Despite my protestations (believe me, I know how to protest!) it was probably the best decision made for me – ever. I had the hardest gigs of my life emotionally just before Christmas so taking time to recoup meant I could take all that energy and start putting it into new songs – click the link below to see a very rough version of “You’re My Superman” – and generally make sure I wasn’t so tired physically or mentally.
So! I digress! I had a gig at Proud in Camden on Sunday with my tour buddies… IT WAS AWESOME!
Proud was absolutely buzzing… They had big squishy couches down the front and tables at the back serving roasts to hungry revellers, and the live music was BANGING!! Check the links at the bottom of this blog for other shit hot acts I had the pleasure of sharing a stage with. Seriously high quality stuff!!
Martin was first up from the tour buds on Sunday… He told me before he went up that he’d been questioning his music career and hadn’t really done much since the tour, but he was ready to go again. I have to say, his first song was a little shaky. He was confident, but not as tight as I have come to expect. This was however the only blip. It was a new song and as such unplayed to an audience. The rest of his set was slick, his guitarist Rob put some beautiful solo licks in behind him and Martin’s voice carried to the back of the room even when he stepped away from the mic. Martin Oliver has something very rare – one of those voices that if you know it, you recognise it instantly. A unique sound rising from the hubub. Only a few singers in recent memory can hold to that – Adele and Amy Winehouse for example. He has an EP out. I strongly suggest a listen. His soundcloud is below – get to it.
Heydon was next up from our Brought To You Tour posse, but before I get to that, there was an artist who got up for just three songs. About to embark on a tour supporting Jack Bruce from Cream was Nik Lowe. Oh my word what a treat. This guy is pro. His backing band were on point. His songs were catchy, melodic and refined. I have put a link to his website below. If you can get tickets to Jack Bruce’s tour, seriously go. You’ll be seeing a legend supported by a rising star. Also, he’s lovely. I had the pleasure of having a quick chat with him afterwards and he is an absolute sweetheart. All the more reason to support him!!
Hey don then. If you haven’t hear d this boy, think Justin Timberlake if he was more alt and from New Zealand. This boy’s voice is the embodiment of soul. He is able to write songs that sound like they’ve come from a Jackson Five album and deliver them with just as much smooth yumminess. Heydon currently has several music projects on the go, including working with Strike – another emerging talent on the Urban scene. Check out Heydon’s soundcloud below.
I was on next but I want to talk about Nakisha Esnard first. For a start, she headlined the day. This in itself was a wise choice from the promoter (who, by the way, is Zaid. A link to his profile page will be at the bottom of this post). Having toured and kept in contact with Kisha, I have seen many a gig full band and solo. I can honestly say she brought FIRE to the stage at Prous on Sunday. She has carved her own niche musically, dubbing her sound “Reggae-Opera” but actually in incorporates so much more than that. Drum and Bass, Rock, Alt, Folk… all of it can be heard in her well rounded, well rehearsed set. Her band are quick to change direction on stage and are encouraged to be improvisational. Kisha works the stage and her audience beautifully, and the crowd ate out of the palm of her hand. I am proud to share a stage with this girl. Big things will happen for her. If you heard it here first, I suggest you get on her hype train now. Soundcloud below but she is also a twitter queen – @KishaMusic and can be found on facebook.
I’m not going to go all analytical with my performance or go into too much detail here. Suffice to say I had a huge amount of fun on stage, the crowd were interactive and accommodating (they even laughed at my awful jokes) and I sold a few CD’s and got another gig off the back of it. My favourite compliment was “you had the energy on stage worthy of a festival performance”. That totally made my day.
Other links you might be interested in:
Lauren Rich performed and was seriously good: http://www.reverbnation.com/laurenrich?ref=profile
Zophia performed with her full band. Recently signed as a songwriter to Sony BMG this chick was incredible. Check her here: https://soundcloud.com/zophiamusic
Zaid Zarathustra was the promoter of Sunday’s event. Check out his facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/zarathustrasliveevents?fref=ts
Pictures are not from Sunday’s event at Proud. Copyright Andy Lambert.