Adele. Actually that may be stretching the truth… I didn’t spot Ms Van Outen until after Adele played, infact Fear of Flying were mid way through their set, and I suppose now you mention it Adele isn’t actually a band, but it beats the alternative post title of “Singer/Songwriter roundup”! (UPDATE: Apparently Natalie Portman was there… so maybe I don’t know my Portmans from my Van Outen’s)
I’m not sure if singer/songwriter is the correct pigeon hole, but either way I seem to have featured a vast amount of acoustic guitar toting acts on this blog of late. So in a bid to separate the good from the James Blunt I thought I’d round up four of the best… after that I promise to stop going on about them for a while. We’ll have some gabba techno or something next week.
“Listen To This” my occasional review feature is usually a place of stern judgement, sarcasm, and a unrivalled chance to slag off other peoples favourite music. Last time (here) however Adele’s “Daydreamer” reduced three hardened critics to a soft blubbery mass of loved up enthusiasm… “I fall in love with this track each time i hear it“, “Awesome…perfectly measured… truly first album material” and perhaps most well judged of all “stop reading this nonsense and go listen to someone with real talent.”
On Monday in what I can only assume was an inadvertent case of putting the gig poster upside down I caught Adele live, supporting Tilly & The Wall, and Fear Of Flying. On record Adele’s vocals are beautiful, live they’re simply breathtaking, to the point that you stand there thinking “Where on earth is that voice coming from?“… it must be a trick. This is despite the fact she said her voice was going, due to a gig at the cavernous, and acoustically terrible St James Church the previous night.
Highlights of an unfortunately short four or five song set were the nu-jazz, almost scat of “My Same“, and of course the gorgeous “Daydreamer“. For some reason everytime I hear her I cant help but think who she sounds like… in the course of one song I went from being definite she was the spit of Nicolette, before a particularly powerful bit of vocal changed that to Jill Scott. In truth her voice is like the best bits of about a dozen great singers from Jazz to pop, and its that unusual mix that makes her sound like…well…Adele.
Review of the gig by Richard Hilbs.
Adele – “Daydreamer (MP3)”
Adele – “My Same (MP3)” (Click dont right click)
Over the past couple of years I’ve raved extensively about Manchester’s best kept secret Stickboy, and checking his Myspace page I see that he’s sharing two of his best songs for free, nothing, nada. What better excuse for a quick plug could there be. Get them quick before he realises his mistake.
Stickboy – “Green Eyes (MP3)” (click dont right click)
Stickboy – “The Shiver (MP3)” (click dont right click)
“Green Eyes” and “Shiver” are two good examples of the wonder that is Craig Edmondson aka Stickboy. There’s just a hint of Badly Drawn Boy before he got bloated, and perhaps a dash of Dylan. Everytime I listen to to him (and check my lastfm stats I listen a lot) I’m amazed he hasn’t been snapped up yet. If you’ve got a spare fiver you’d be mad not to nip over to Piccadillyrecords.com and grab the remaining copies of his last album.
Stickboy has also sprinkled some of his gold dust onto fellow Mancunian singer songwriter, the beautiful Rachel Kichenside. Stickboys version of her “Any Minute Now” can be heard over on Rachel’s Myspace site which is worth checking out for the original too. I recently complained that if Stickboy didn’t come back to the capital for a gig soon I’d be forced to kidnap him, in response Rachel kindly emailed me to offer her assistance in any Stickboy snatching plan. So while youre at it buy Rachel’s Demo Cd too, and fund the “Kidnap Stickboy conspiracy”.
Visit Stickboys Myspace for more mp3’s, and info.
Many apologies for posting another track/artist that I’ve only just featured (see “Listen to this”), but Jackamo is another new singer songwriter that has to be heard. If you’re a fan of John Martyn or Micah P Hinson then its 100% guaranteed that you’ll love Mr Brown. Its bluegrass, its folk, its gorgeous.
Four songs are available for download from his myspace, with the pick of the bunch being “Lay Low” and “Prayer for slow death”. Visit Jackamo’s Myspace for the other two.
He was also good enough despite my quips about him ironing his jeans to email thanks for the review, and to suggest a few artists he’s currently loving – a couple of which I’d never heard of. So Bright Black morning and Dan Arborise get the Jackamo seal of approval.
Bright Black Morning – “Everybody Daylight (MP3)“
So thats it for the singer songwriter round up, and I didnt even mention Kate Nash, Micah P Hinson, James Yorkston, Emmy The Great etc etc. If anyone else has any tips for anyone else who must be heard, and I know there are hundreds, please leave a comment, even if its just to say these acts sound nothing like each other why do you insist on pigeon holing them! 🙂