Live at Nelly's Bar
So, the line-up last night also included Dan Cropper and Dan Nixon (see elsewhere on this blog). I'm a champion of both, so obviously any night that started with them has to be a good one.
Third up was Johnny Gwynn, who with some confident crowd banter, punk attitude and a harmonica (a la Dylan) has won me over as a fan. With fired enthusiasm he threw out a set of songs including 'Swagger' and highlight 'Leavin' Home' that set him just that little bit apart from the majority of acoustic artists. Unlike say Dan Nixon, who relies on honest lyrics and emotive vocal delivery, Johnny goes for a more classicly folk approach, and vibe rather than emotion is clearly the order of the day. Luckily he can pull it off, and it's refreshing to have a more storytelling vibe amongst a clutch of artists (however good) that are largely concerned with personal issues (read: girl issues) in every song.
Finally the crowd drew in close for Picture Palace, who with a lack of suitable equipment played unplugged on the bar's pool table. Their three-part harmonies and catchy piano riffing fleshed out their songs into something that felt perhaps more substantial than their acoustic three-piece tag might suggest. It all went down well, and the atmosphere by the end was as good as any gig I've ever been to. After a clamour for an encore the band obliged, cracking out a hilarious version of 'Hit Me Baby One More Time', before finishing to a chorus of laughter. All in all a fantastic night, and one I'm glad I had the chance to attend.
Check out: Johnny Gwynn (www.myspace.com/easytygermusic), Dan Cropper, Dan Nixon (links below) and Picture Palace (www.myspace.com/thepicturepalace)