Wednesday 27 February 2013

Anais and Jefferson and The Kit and a Blind Tiger

Anais and Jefferson
A wonderful musical evening yesterday with new discoveries, amazing performances, and the promise of two more potentially great gigs in the next couple of months. We went to the Blind Tiger Club in Brighton which I think is a lovely venue but Dave is generally unimpressed by. Plusses are bunting, sparkly lights and Crabbie’s Ginger Beer; minus is mostly the seating which isn’t very comfortable unless you’re first through the door, but at least there is some.

The gig was Vermont singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell who is back in the UK to finally promote the album, Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer which has been three years in the making. Their painstaking work was obvious in every note and everyone in the club was transfixed from start to finish. The pair have selected English and Scottish folk songs and brought them ‘back home’ with gorgeous Americana harmonies and guitars. I love the recording which we’ve had on the iPod for a while, but seeing the work performed live was breathtaking. Both Anais and Jefferson are so talented and their voices blend together perfectly. I hadn’t seen Jefferson before and he’s certainly worth a look - almost as beautiful as the lace-up leather boots Anais was wearing! The recording seems to favour Anais more but the gig was a definite partnership. If they’re coming anywhere near you over the next couple of months (and the gig isn’t already sold out!) make sure you get yourself a ticket. This one’s a real treat.

This Is The Kit
Anais and Jefferson were preceded by Bristol’s This Is The Kit performing a set of their own songs. Quirky and lyrically interesting, after a slightly nervous start we both were impressed with their singing. Briefly checking them on Facebook, I think the band performs in a variety of combinations around pivotal Kate Stables, and we saw a duo of Kate and Rozi. I wouldn’t necessarily travel especially to see them again, although I’d support a local-to-me gig, but I will be keeping an eye on their future work and will probably download at the weekend if there’s an album available.

The aforementioned potentials started taking shape when I got home from a drab day at work. Dave reminded me of April’s Pete Mulvey gig at Lewes Con Club which we had looked into but not yet got around to booking. I very much like his album and he’s got a great voice, but he’s apparently sharing the bill with Birds Of Chicago who I don’t yet know at all. More research required so I’ll be on YouTube if you need me!
Then as we were rushing to get ready, Dave also mentioned that Rachel Ries is playing in the Brighton Festival Fringe in May. We saw Rachel once before, last year at the Blind Tiger Club in Anais Mitchell’s Young Man band. I’ll be interested to see more of her work, and she is sharing the bill with Brighton’s Emily Baker who I think is really good. Emily played support for a fun Amy Wadge gig at The Greys, several years ago now, and I’m definitely up for hearing how her music has evolved and discovering what she’s doing now.

So that’s Pete Mulvey in Lewes in April and Rachel Ries/Emily Baker at Brighton Festival Fringe in May. Please don’t go buying the last tickets for either until I’ve got mine!