Gig review – Steve Faulkner | Charlie Jones | Rhett Barrow and Mark Ryman at The Musician, Friday 4th June 2021

Charlie Jones, photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

with Charlie Jones, Rhett Barrow and Mark Ryman

Presented by Wakeup Promotions, this show was one of the first to happen during the June relaxation of lockdown rules. Even so, special arrangements were in place to maintain social distancing. Members of the audience were required to sit at tables. Drinks were served by the staff rather than from the bar. If customers moved from their table to elsewhere they were obliged to put on a facemask. None of this distracted me from the pleasure of hearing the four top-rank performers on tonight’s stage.

Mark Ryman opened the show. His voice was very agreeable and his guitar playing intricate. Performing today in his solo capacity, Mark has graced the stages of Leicester before as the lead singer of his band. Mark’s vocals lacked nothing in character being also very easy on the ear and the songs he delivered with it very full of mood and atmosphere. Mark’s sensitive performance brought his songs alive. They were emotionally engaging and lyrical. His delicate guitar playing resonated with the songs. This was a very enjoyable performance. I thought that one of his songs sounded like it was based on one by Simon and Garfunkel; if it was he certainly made it his own. This was a performance by an artist of high calibre.

Mark Ryman, photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Rhett Barrow needs no introduction to the music fans of Leicester. A legend in his own time, he is one of the great musicians of our local scene. The blistering start he gave to his set reminded me of many previous times seeing him on stage or at festivals. I was reminded of his exceptional voice and characterful personality. It was so good to see this amazing artist again. Rhett performed a selection of songs from his vast repertoire, some of which I recall from previous performances. He dedicated this one to his friend and collaborator in the audience Daz Lynch. Songs we know and love, it was a completely energising set from a singer and composer who has for so long made the Leicester music scene what it is.

Rhett Barrow, photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Charlie Jones was someone I had not seen for a long time. I remember her as the lead singer from the band Charlie and the Martyrs. In its time this was a band that made a considerable mark on the local scene. Tonight Charlie took to the stage to delight her audience with her wonderful voice and vivacious personality. Her voice shimmered through the room, driven by her personality and capacity for expression. A thoroughly enjoyable set was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Charlie Jones, photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Steve Faulkner is a singer and composer I have known for many years. It was thus, for me, a very enjoyable experience to see him again on a Leicester stage. I could go on at great lengths about some of his previous vocal marathons but let me instead tell you that tonight Steve gave us many of his new songs, delivered in a style that some of us would not previously have been familiar with.

He is an artist who has moved with the times. Steve’s strong voice is full of emotion and control, sensitivity and passion. A massive amount of energy came from the stage, not just his physical presence, but his power to fill a room with music, song and vibrancy. He gave us one of his new songs – Time After Time – which is available now on Spotify. A powerful voice backed by subtle and intricate guitar playing.

His songs brought back many happy memories for me from seeing him over the years at a variety of shows. The sound was crystal clear; congratulations to those on the sound desk who made it so.

Steve Faulkner, photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Like many in tonight’s audience I was glad to back in front of a live music stage again after being so long denied this opportunity by the COVID lockdown. Being back at The Musician was a great pleasure having not been there for so long.

Videos from tonight’s show:

Rhett Barrow:

Charlie Jones:

Steve Faulkner:


Reviewed by Trevor Locke

Organised by Wake up promotions

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