Simply Subtle - Not too bad a turn-out on a Monday night at the Lounge, with about 20-25 people drifting about. A rock trio starts things off with some good bluesy heartland songs. The guitarist has a nasal voice reminiscent of many southern rockers like or maybe Paul Westerberg. The harmony vocals work well and these two carry a few decent tunes here. The band are all good players, although there is a slight tentativeness at times. Oh that explains it as they tell us that this is their fifth or sixth show in the year or so that they have existed. I liked the blues rock a bit more than the funky bits, but that got the crowd dancing, so what do I know about it. The crowd response is pretty hot, again for a Monday, with genuine enthusiasm. That gives them a little extra energy and they pull off a good set, albeit maybe a little long at 49 minutes. They are recording and look like they could be around a while and I'll be happy to see their progress.
Sammy Witness - Sammy is a singer songwriter who plays acoustic guitar. She is joined by a full band (Protection Program) who also employ some sneaky synth/electronic recordings or sounds underneath some of the songs in addition to guitar/bass/drums. They did a great job recreating the vibe, spirit, and density of their album (reviewed here) as they have a lot more going on than many an indie four-piece that comes our way. The guitars really ring out with ethereal electric sounds and striking acoustic chords. They both add a lot of mobility to the melodies with their creative runs as the rhythm section creates solid beats that at times become fairly intricate. The lead vocals are strong and assured and the better songs will have you soaring off with this band. It is too bad they could not have had that large Velvet Lounge crowd from Saturday night, but the 15-20 that were here showed much appreciation for the skills and style of this band. They add parts of many genres beyond the solid folk rock foundation to keep things fresh and vibrant throughout the set. They kept the set fun and energized, making this Monday night as fun as any weekend night (although clearly some people needed to cut out and get ready for another day's toil come Tuesday morning). But as tired as I was today, they brought me back to life for a little while, which is why I still head to the clubs any time something looks interesting.
Cherry Tree - Unfortunately, seeing a drum kit coming down and new one going up sapped the energy I had as it continues to be rough at the home front. Real life interferes again, and I will need to see this band another day. Sorry, guys.
Quote of the Day - From the always reliable British Press (courtesy of Football365.com)...
Headline to Mark Lawrenson's column in The Daily Mirror: 'Brilliant Bale's a match for Messi and Ronaldo.'
Extract from column: 'He is not quite at their level...'