Saturday 10th January 2015
Tom Bem headlines Shed show
The Shed is packed with music fans; there is a good atmosphere and on the line-up tonight are: singer Remy Turi, The Blueshine Brothers, from Nottingham hi-hop artists Ashmore and Motormouth and the star of tonight’s show London singer Tom Bem.
The strong attendance at tonight’s gig might have been the result of a lot of publicity, including a double page article about Tom Bem that appeared in today’s Leicester Mercury.
Opening the show was Leicester singer Remy Turi. Accompanying herself on the electric guitar, Turi sang several of her own songs and some covers. Her well-tempered voice, somewhat soft, but clearly articulated, delighted the audience. Turi has been popping up a lot recently; she performed at the obsUnplugged on 8th January, at The Musician. The 18-year-old singer and songwriter has an EP The River which is available on iTunes.
Singer and songwriter Stu Crown became a well-known artist on the Leicester music scene last year both as a soloist and with his (then) band The Bobcats. Now with two new collaborators was are seeing him with his new group Blueshine Brothers. Playing bluegrass with Crown were mandolin player Jonny Eve and banjo player James Jarvill. All three of them sang with Crown taking the lead vocals. Crown, 25, has had a successful career on our local stages and has received many plaudits from fans and critics alike. Blueshine Brothers has taken a step away from the blues of the The Bobcats, now embracing the Americana-esq style of Bluegrass. Still the same musical delights with ear-pleasing songs and foot-tapping rhythms, with a couple of run songs thrown in for good measure, such as Tom Jones’s Sex Bomb, to which Crown gave a typically own-style slant. A set that was full of energy, Blueshine Brothers were a great hit with the crowd.
Rap/Boom-Bap/Soul came to the stage with Ashmore, from Nottingham. Returning to The Shed, following his appearances in November at Pi Bar and The Shed, Kane Ashmore was on stage tonight with his collaborator Motormouf (Alex Young). The duo delivered a set full of showmanship with their usual dose of good humour and the fast rapping of Ashmore. they drew the audience into the action, keeping it moving all the time and filling the room with energy, beats and rhythms. What an act! They know how to bring music to life. They worked really well together, plying the crowd with rapping, singing and beat-boxing. They had that razor-sharp sense of timing and their set had enough variation in it to keep the audience totally engaged. An act that plenty of verve and razzmatazz.
The frist time I saw singer Tom Bem, here in Leicester, I saw straight away that he was a top act. Just as Ellie Golding played at The Shed, in the early part of her now meteoric career, so too Bem has graced our local stage. The boards that Bem trod tonight have seen a panoply of great bands and artists over the years and we were fortunate tonight to have this rising London singer with us. Tonight’s performance showed that Bem is a master of mood and a singer of distinction. His vibrant voice, sizzling stage presence and line-up of ear-grabbing songs showed him to be a purveyor of sweeping ballads and swooning love songs. Whether he is singing pop, dub or electro, Bem always has something for everyone. One of my favourite songs is his Kalashnikov, not yet released but coming out soon. I love the song’s sparkle, verve and impact. If you want to hear some of the songs that are out now, go to Tom Bem’s website.
On stage with Bem was his guitarist and synth-player Ben Gorman who applied the string lines and electro-parts from the iMac. The Shed is a cauldron of new music; all flavours of music are heard here. Bem’s set list for tonight included his songs Slow, Someone Else, Say My Name, Consume, be silent, die, Rebound, etc. and ending with Running Up That Hill. Another of tonight’s songs Captain, you can hear on Soundcloud. It is clear that Bem is an artist with loads of talent. Whether doing pop, hip-hop or the more RandB style of songs, he always has something good to offer. A lot of people stuck around at The Shed to see his performance and demanded an encore, which Bem was happy to provide us with another fabulous song.
A very good night at The Shed. Running a small music venue is a considerable challenge and it needs nights like this to keep the legend alive.