Leamington pub provides ideal music venue

Krsity Gallacher performing at the Clarendon pub in Leamington.
Krsity Gallacher performing at the Clarendon pub in Leamington.

Acoustic Roots at the Clarendon pub, Clarendon Avenue, Leamington, December 4.

AMAZINGLY this was my first visit to the Clarendon for live music, but I am pretty sure I will now become a regular visitor. The place has real character and plenty of atmosphere - all in all, an ideal live music venue.

One Sunday a month (usually the first, but with New Year’s Day falling on the 1st - Sunday January 8 is the next date), the pub holds an Acoustic Roots evening with several local artists/performers. For this session, host Matt Hernandez kicked things off with a selection of Spanish flamenco/gypsy guitar instrumentals before the first of the featured artists took to the floor.

Coventry-based folk artist with a contemporary style, Kristy Gallacher is surely one of this area’s musical jewels, an exceptional songwriter as well as singer/guitarist and she wowed the main stage at this year’s Warwick Folk Festival,

Her set included a superb version of her showpiece Beautiful Bouquet, as well as a couple of previews from her next album due out early 2012 - including her final number, the fabulous Until Then. The usual impressive set by Kristy, who I am sure is destined for big things.

The second feature act of the evening was a rare solo set by local blues singer/guitarist Chris Gibbons, who has played with a selection of the biggest names in the music industry. He performed a selection of material from his Blues On The Road album, including that album’s cracking opening number Dustbowl. Top quality guitar work and Chris’s rich vocals made for an impressive set.

To finish the evening, host Matt returned for a couple of numbers: one Spanish and a beautiful classical piece. A quality musical evening - and I have found another excellent live music venue.

Verdict: Top quality music, top quality venue.

Andrew Lock