original. acoustic. music.

Recent Deviance

Forgive me father, it's been months since my last blog...

Well, the year is finally winding down and the demands of work are lessening gradually. Darrel and I are looking forward to getting back into writing and recording after many missed opportunities these last few weeks.

The flu that conquered Darrel some weeks back has now sunk its talons in me, but I hope to shake it in time for the weekend. I apologise if my typing is a little adenoidal.

Although we've not been writing and recording much we have been gigging a fair bit. Since we last spoke we have played (among other gigs) a party, two outdoor gigs and a couple of stints at the San Francisco Bath House, including the recent Acoustic Alchemy '09 Volume II: Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back To The Bar.

AA09II:JWYTIWSTGBTTB (not the most catchy of acronyms) was a great gig, thanks once again to the efforts of Mr. Pete Baillie.

The line-up was packed to the rafters with talent, and ran as follows:

5pm - The Doylees
5.30pm - Kim Potter
6pm - Claire Terry
6.30pm - Josh Mason
7pm - Megan McCarthy
7.30pm - The Gracious Deviants
8pm - Jodie Gummer

The Doylees were a five-piece, normally electric group, who played a kind of Dylan-esque alt-rock with three guitars, bass and drums. Their lead guitarist was denied his wah pedal due to some sort of malfunction but more than made up for it by swapping his guitar for a tambourine and wandering outside for a cigarette and then a pint at the bar in the middle of one song, all the while keeping time with the band! Despite technical difficulties and teething problems with the sound, the Doylees' confidence and humour prevailed over all.

Kim Potter played next, a man of many talents and at least two distinct personalities: comedian and songwriter. Kim Potter the songwriter has a fine voice and a great gift for songwriting, and though his appearance on stage was much more low key than the raucousness of the previous act, his talent and his confidence and self-assurance kept your attention throughout the set. He has a new album out, and it is definitely worth checking out on his website. You can check out Kim Potter, comedian AKA Vinyl Burns here.

Claire Terry's set was full of strong, dynamic, and emotional songs. Her sound was highly-charged with big, percussive guitarwork and a soulful alto voice. In addition to her songwriting Claire is also the owner of funky Wellington fashion boutique Madame Fancy Pants, and, therefore, was perhaps the most stylishly presented performer of the night.

Josh Mason may have taken to the stage in a borrowed hat with a borrowed guitar, but he brought all his own material with him. Choosing to sit and play, Josh talked about his whole set before playing it, so as to save time between songs. I guess that's logical...? He played and sang in a contemporary pop style, relaxed and comfortable, and well received by those flocking the front of the stage.

Megan McCarthy, AKA Rosé, took to the stage next with her band featuring Pete Baillie on bass. After minor feedback issues Rosé launched into a confidently-crafted set of songs from ballads to more uptempo numbers - even a rocking sing-along! While Megan shifted between acoustic and electric and acoustic guitar, the rest of the band, drums, keys and bass, kept a solid backing to her strong, well-trained, soulful voice.

Darrel and I played next. The heat of the evening, and the excitement of the gig meant a few cold beverages passed my lips between the start of the gig and when we were due to perform, and I took to the stage a little more relaxed than usual. I should have been more nervous, this was our first gig since Darrel got his voice back. The last couple of gigs I had had to take all of the vocal duties because Darrel's flu had stolen his voice and replaced it with that of an asthmatic wolf. However, tonight we were once again firing on all cylinders, and with an abundant supply of alcoholic lubrication we played a strong set to a very appreciative audience.

Jodie Gummer was last to play, and a fitting finale to an evening of great music. Jodie is a great performer, the strength and power of her voice belies her years, and is a refreshing change from the weak nasal Disney-fied twang of many popular female singers of her generation. Her guitar work was a fine accompaniment to her voice in a set comprising original material and a cover of a contemporary R'n'B pop tune, the title of which escapes me.

We left the venue in high spirits, a successful night for one and all. For The Gracious Deviants, as always, it was curry time....