Monday, 2 June 2014

Going to see Sam Baker on a school night

Sam Baker in Lewes All Saints Centre
photo by Rebecca Kemp 
What's more, not just any school night but the Sunday night before my first full week's working since September. Some people might almost call such hedonism foolhardy, but it was so worth it! And 'late home' was only just gone 11pm so it's not like we were dancing until dawn. I did have to miss out on my +Horlicks though.

Sam Baker is a fascinating musician. Partially deaf and with a damaged hand as a result of a terrorist bomb, he has a unique vocal delivery and playing style. Both have matured in maybe half a dozen years since we went to our first of his gigs. He's scrubbed up pretty well since then too. Sadly Sam wasn't accompanied by the wonderful pianist Chip Dolan for last night's gig, but he still put in two full sets of beautiful songs. I loved the version of Thursday and he also played my all-time favourite, Boxes. He is a chatterbox and the segues between songs were very funny, a few of them even intentionally so. Sorry, Sam! His humour contrasts with the often stark images in his songs which frequently portray despondent people, defeated by their lives. I always find a Sam Baker gig to be an emotional evening.

Last night was at the All Saints Centre in Lewes and the gig was put on by Union Music Store who get some fantastic Americana musicians to the town. All Saints is a bit of a weird venue, good acoustics but not always great for atmosphere as it's very dependent on the number of people there. Yesterday was practically sold out, seated and intense acoustic music which worked well. When we saw Larkin Poe there last year, it wasn't full enough so the gig didn't really work. I digress. There's only seven dates left on Sam's current UK tour and then your next chances to see him this year are in Canada. I hear tell he'll be back in the UK next summer though. Looking forward to it already!

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