Night of the Musicians, Wild Boar pub, Lakin Road, Warwick, June 1.
At 7pm on the dot the doors opened to the spacious function room of the Wild Boar in Warwick for the pub’s inaugural Night of the Musicians evening.
The evening was compared by Matt Hernandez, a real advocate of the local music scene. Matt of course is also a top rate musician in in his own right and he opened proceedings with a selection of instrumental Spanish flamenco numbers.
The first guest of the evening was Kitty Macfarlane, a young singer songwriter from Devon who studies at a local college. She has a beautifully clear vocal style with touches of Joni Mitchell and is accomplished on the guitar where she throws in plenty of technique, including effective use of hammer ons on at least one number. Highlights of her set included the lyrically superb Seventeen, her take on feelings at that age and her original and very effective interpretation of Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren. An excellent set by a really talented young artist.
Next up and shown on a large TV screen above the stage was a well put together short documentary on the local music scene by film maker Jo Taylor, titled Live and Local. It included snippets of local artists in action as well as the insightful thoughts and opinions of the performers.
Matt returned to the stage for another short set this time adding a cracking strolling blues number Mississippi Blues to his Spanish material.
The next guest on stage was the very popular Wes Finch, who really impressed me. He was confident, assured, charismatic and with a rich powerful voice. Set standouts included the powerful Bowl of Stars, the heartfelt Southern Cross and the country tinged new number Ring on the Riverbed. Our second helping of blues occurred during his set when he rocked the hall with the heavy acoustic blues of the Robert Johnson classic Hellhound on My Trail. He closed his quality set with an upbeat and slightly jazzy number which I think was titled The Punchline.
To close the evening, a change of style with Stourbridge duo Mellow Peaches, a band not afraid to mix the musical genres (I noticed folk, country and bluegrass to name just three). Amit on lead vocals and guitar also came over as a bit of a comedian with numerous anecdotes which had parts of the room howling and he gels so well alongside Rich (mandolin and harmonica) and at times they play at such a pace. Lively, intricate instrumental Canary was a real highlight along with the exquisite I’ll Go Down With This Ship with it’s haunting harmonica work.
A really well put together show and a complete success, quality music from start to finish in a friendly setting. The next Night of the Musicians takes place on Saturday July 13.