On Wednesday 8th January, we headed off to our first gig of 2014, at what has to be our favourite live music venue, The Troubadour near Earl’s Court.
The Club is just a part of the venue; located in the basement, it is an intimate venue, which has a great atmosphere, even when it is not full. There are roses on each of the tables, the staff are friendly, the food is good, and they always get a great line-up of live music.
The main draw for us was to see BoweyWhite perform. They have performed at our last Dream On Day, and the Christmas Celebration we hosted last year. We love their music, but have only ever heard them play acoustic, so we were really excited to hear them fully wired for sound.
Before BoweyWhite hit the stage, we were treated to a great, diverse selection of music. First up was Richard Letchford, a solo acoustic guitarist. It must be a daunting task being the first up, and you could tell there were a few nerves, but Richard soon got into the swing of things. He was brilliant, especially when he performed tracks with a loop peddle, creating really soulful tunes, including ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ and ‘These Walls’ (the chosen title for the night); the latter had a calming, almost spiritual feel to it, with strong lyrics.
You could see that Richard was really absorbed in his music, and is not afraid to experiment, even on a public stage, where anything could have gone wrong. He did return to the more conventional tunes to end his set, with ‘Long Time No See’ which was an uplifting contrast.
Next up was a young, singer songwriter, Emilie Cheshire. While she confessed to being a bag of nerves, she was great, and like Richard quickly got into the swing of things. We think the audience helped. The Troubadour attracts an appreciative audience, and you could tell the applause and encouragement made Emilie feel at ease. It just emphasised the courage it takes to stand in front of a crowd of people and sing.
Emilie has a blues and folk style, with great song writing from the poetic ‘Rainbow Child’ to the more quirky ‘Dead & Born & Grown’. She has a great sense of rhythm, which was emphasised in her covers of ‘On The Road Again’ and ‘Crawling Up a Hill’. Her lyrics silenced the room, no more so than one of her own songs called ‘Flynn’ where everyone was listening intently. By the end of her set you could tell she had really enjoyed performing, and had made a connection with the audience.
From two solo guitarists, we were then treated to the more funky, velvet sounds of Miss Sha. Her distinctive jazz style came through in ‘La La La’ and then moved to what was obviously a very emotional song for her with ‘Baby It Hurts’.
Miss Sha had some supporters in the crowd, and it was great fun when there was a bit of audience participation. She rounded off her set with a song that she had just finished writing that day called ‘I’ll Take The Blame’, which is about commitment.
She was accompanied on stage by Michael Szczesny on guitar, who was fantastic. Considering it was the first time they had performed live together, the connection really worked.
Last, but by no mean least was the main attraction for us, BoweyWhite. Their set started with the now familiar thumping drum intro from Jeroen for ‘Boogie’ before Steve (lead guitar), Jason (base) and Aimee (the rhythm guitar and enigmatic blond) joined in. Instantly the room was lifted, and the feet and hands start tapping.
Their set was fast paced, and energetic, with the rock tunes come thick and fast, flowing from ‘Stunner’ to ‘Hollywood’ to ‘Dynamite’, songs we have gotten to know and really enjoy. They throw in a bit of blues with ‘The River’ and a couple of new, untitled tunes.
You could see that the band really enjoy performing together, and the rapport they have is mixed with great banter, engaging the crowd all the time, none more so than in ‘Stomp’ when Aimee and Jason battle it out on the vocals.
Listening to them play electric was a great experience, and gave their songs a different feel for us; Aimee’s powerful, unique vocals give them a sound that is very much BoweyWhite.
At the end of the set it was great to hear the response from the audience; you could tell everyone really had a good time, especially one chap who was having a whale of a time dancing. When asked why he was dancing, he simply said ‘I felt the music deserved it, so I just danced.’ You can’t argue with that.
The evening was a great start to the year for us musically, and we urge you to check out the artists, follow and support them. If you live in London or visit the big city, make sure you go to The Troubadour; it really is the best place to experience live music.