We went to claires showcase and it was actually a cracking night, there are a fair few things I would have done differently had I been the promoter – not the least being select a more suitable venue, but at least there was enough parking for us all.
I’m so sad though – i sat there with my little pocket pc and started reviewing the acts for my blog – stef just looked at was I was doing and laughingly shook his head at me.. I know – I’m addicted to blog. Just as well I had no available wireless connection in there else this would’ve been a real moblog *grin*
Sitting in the pub listening to the first of several acts for the band bookers international showcase and I have to say, impressive.
Tiny, understated and surprisingly not a backing track in sight, just piano and amazingly smooth, rich vocals – yes indeedy, Fiona Johnson has a corker of a voice.
Sadly the tunes are not to my taste, her rendition of the Nina Simone classic ‘my baby just cares for me’ is a tad too vaudeville for my liking, good idea to ‘punch up’ the last song, shame she chose that particular one to do it to.
‘Smokey moon’ are up next – sax and vox this time and kicking off with the jazz hit ‘night and day’ shows they both know their stuff, professional smiles and patter in place – yes they were born to perform.
At least that’s how it seemed until the next song..
Slightly off key and uncomfortable to watch is the only way to describe the singer – she undoubtedly has a great jazz voice, I just don’t think the blues are her forte – or pop, perhaps i’m too critical – maybe she can’t really hear herself but so far i’m having to try not to wince as she keeps looking over here and i’m attempting to keep a reasurring smile on my face. The sax player on the other hand.. Wow.
We take a 20 minute break from the music and I feel a bit of a heel for those last observations as talking to the singer reveals a lass with a stellar personality – sadly that doesn’t change my opinion of their performance. I really think they should stick to jazz..
Anyhow, onto the whole reason we’re here.
Dressed to kill, Saxonvibe take to the stage. Claire looks fabulous and Dave’s not too shabby in that tux. Sadly they falter at the first hurdle – a lead in the wrong socket means some slightly unprofessional faffing on stage before re-starting..
Still, they manage to pull it back (judging by the faces of the other pub patrons – i’m too biased to judge for myself) Claires vocals are impressive – the feedback however isn’t, not once tonight has the sound guy managed to get the levels right and it’s annoying the ex-muso in me.
Looking around, I can see there’s a lot of people wearing the slack jawed awed expession i’m used to seeing when she sings but also this is the first act people have settled down to watch and not talk over – perhaps it was the break, perhaps it’s the performance, either way, people are engaged and that’s not merely my bias talking, Stefs noticed it too.
I know my bet is on the obviously polished standard they are setting for the next acts.
..at least it was until she forgot to pull the mic closer for ‘summertime’ the second she did that and people could hear her voice, the room suddenly seemed a little busier – sadly a couple of bum notes towards the end marred what could have been a perfect rendition – but i’m so proud! She was worried about the patter but everything sounds natural and unforced, you wouldn’t think it was a cause for concern at all.
All eyes are on the stage. I’m amazed – even the guys at the bar have stopped bitching about the music and are nodding along appreciatively..
*grin* the girl pop trio on later are looking a tad sick and worried – not sure why, if they’re as good as they sounded in the loo earlier there’s nothing to worry about..
Now there’s a shock, it was supposed to be a blues duo next, instead the girls are setting up.
This means that as it’s only 9.15, we may be looking at an earlier night than previously expected.
Ok, the sound in here is atrocious! If that mic feeds back one more time.. Well lets just say no court will convict me..
And they finally start – with a spice girls number..
Interesting choice of act from the promoters in view of the previous ones, still, they have good voices, pretty good harmony – shame the sound guy has no clue how to set a decent level because you can barely hear one of the girls and the backing track is way too loud.
They look good – choreographed dance moves and the guys from the bar have moved over to prime viewing positions.
Sadly one of the girls has gone a little flat – just as she gets to the sporty spice solo too so its really apparent.
All is redeemed with the next track though, on key, mostly.. These girls definitely have their genre down pat, pop all the way and they do it well.
The guys from the bar are loving this act – I guess the fact all three girls are young and gorgeous makes up for the local being over run with muso types, their earlier moaning completely missing as the girls throw down an impressive rendition of ‘backroom’ by girls aloud – complete with raunchy dance moves.
These girls are GOOD!
I suppose its a stereotype that the lass with the weakest voice has a face and figure the envy of any super model *sigh* the fact the other 2 are also stunners if not quite up to her level and have cracking voices just makes me sick.
The blues guys are on next, I’m thinking this could be a lengthy set, guitar and harmonica.. Yup, these guys can go all night, i’m too tired to care right now though so i’ll not say anymore than the harmonica player sure knows his instrument and that as far as this particular venue goes, this is the band most suited to preform here.