Saturday 14th February 2015
Review by Trevor Locke; photos RhinoFeroSs
Tonight at the Musician we heard: James Cull, Reuben Wisner, Mikey Vickers, Andessa Martin, Gavin Bradshaw, Olivia Rose Deane, Emily Crane, Blue Skies in June, Edd Saffell Band, Blueshine Brothers.
The fifth obsUnplugged reached its conclusion this weekend with two music-packed shows at The Musician. A large crowd had turned out tonight to support the ten artists on the line-up. The varied line-up offered a good selection of musical styles.
Yesterday, another selection took to the stage (see below.)
All the artists performing at these weekend shows had previously performed at the 2015 obsUnplugged events.
Guitar-playing solo singer James Cull brought his unique style of music to the mic. His selection of soulful songs were delivered with a fine strong voice, and he gave us songs that were passionate and rich in mood and atmosphere. Lots to listen to here. Sporting a huge punk crest on his head, he certainly stood out from the others.
An outstanding singer/songwriter, his songs do not lack depth and have lyrical appeal, sensitivity and passion; Reuben has a voice that has character and quality. What makes him outstanding is his own music. Still young, he lacks the robust impact of some of the more seasoned artists, but his songs have an ear-grabbing appeal and can pull on heart-strings. With clear articulation, his lyrics shone. Sadly tonight’s audience was a particularly noisy one. Wisner’s set of songs was captivating; using loop pedals for some of the songs, he added an additional layer of rhythm into his music. He usually does his sing-along number, teaching the audience the words that he wants them to sing and drawing those at the front into the music. Wisner is a young artist with lots of talent and one that many people would certainly want to see again.
The singer and songwriter from Groby is known for his vibrant performances. The one-time band lead singer now has a solo career. Performing his own songs, he delivered an attractive set of fast-paced numbers and moments of subtlety. Vicker’s powerful voice was well able to deal with the background clamour of the room. A true song man, he had the confident presence of a seasoned performer.
A engaging artist with her own set of songs, her fine voice brought vivacious vocals to the room. She performed at the Western Park festival last year.
The multi-instrumentalist from Nottingham brought an amazing new set of sounds to the night. The audience really got into his playing. He used a bass guitar with pedal effects and an African instrument called a Kalmiba, the notes of which are plucked. A very unusual act that drew an enthusiastic response from people.
Olivia Rose Deane
The lyrical songs of Olivia Rose Deane drew a positive response from the audience; she played guitar in some songs and keyboard in others. The Leicester singer and songwriter featured on our magazine
The audience gave a warm welcome to Emily Crane and her set of upbeat lyrical songs. Crane’s first song provided a strong, vibrant opening to her set. She filled the room with her richly fulsome voice; her vocals packing plenty of punch. Emily Crane’s set of heart-warming and ear-pleasing songs were delivered with energy, as she gave us a commanding performance. The audience watched her intently and by the end of her set she had them cheering.
Blue Skies in June
The four- to five-piece group from Leicester describe their music as ‘Fresh twists on covers of pop, indie, rock, blues, dance, rock ‘n’ roll, bluegrass.’ Offering a good vocal layer to their songs, they delivered a vibrant and enjoyable set. On stage tonight with them was Hilary Fox, better known as a member of Leicester band Smokin’ The Profit.
Edd Saffell Band
Folk/indie music makers from Leeds gave a really switched-on performance. It was that end of the evening when people were ready to let their hair down, do a little dancing get into the vibes of Edd Saffell’s thumpingly compelling songs. The band gave us a beltin’ set of musical delights.
The final act of tonight’s line-up provided a resounding conclusion to the evening. Having waited for a very long time, the three members of the group – Stu Crown – Vocals and Guitar, Jonny Eve – Mandolin and backing vocals and James Jarvill – Banjo and backing vocals – were finally able to deliver their set of bluegrass songs.
It takes a very special group of musicians to get up and sparkle at the end of a big evening but that is exactly what they did. The party turned in a hoe-down and the whole room was soon dancing and clapping along to the infectious rhythms and scintillating sounds that marks out Blueshine Brothers as one of Leicester’s top musical acts.
Stu Crown called for a “big round of applause for Andy Man, tonight’s sound engineer.”
A tonight’s compère, Sean Tizzard, said “the two finales present the crème de la crème
of the 2015 obsUnplugged.
The fifth obsUnplugged brought many good acts to the stage of The Musician. Some of the artists who are from Leicester or who perform here are amongst the best in the Midlands, if not the whole of the UK. As one artist said to me recently “Leicester singer’s and acoustic artists are better than most of the bands from Leicester.” Now that deserves thiking about!
Our summary of the 2015 obsUnplugged shows.
Our reviews of obsUnplugged shows of 2015