It’s the Barfly tonight, an acoustic set from Gavin Butler, vocals in the Blackout, in collaboration with Neil Starr.
When we went to see the secret gig for the TV filming I did fall in love with Gavins voice, so this is a promising little show.
Neil, Martina and I are going, Martina is over from Switzerland for 3 weeks, so we decided to catch a few gigs.
We arrived early at the Barfly, and once we were allowed to go upstairs we went to our spot at stage right, got a drink and waited. It’s the first time Martina has been to the Barfly and I think she was surprised how small it is, 200 people is about all that will fit in here.
First up is The Lion and the Wolf, a young man from Southampton called Tom. He delivered a great selection of songs that he wrote himself, at first he came across a little unsure but soon enough you could see his back straightening as he was gaining confidence, so much so that he decided to join the people on the floor for his last song. No mic, just him and the guitar amongst the fans, that was a really nice thing to do, it felt more like a group of friends having a music session then standing in front of a stage. And I for my part like that a lot…..reminds me of good times when my brother and his friends got together for a little jamming session. Well done Tom, we thought you did a great job! Keep at it!
The People and the Poet, two guys from South Wales are on next, they are very funny actually, introducing themselves as “pranksters”, the banter between audience and artist prove to be a great way to captivating the crowd. There is not much chatter going on as everybody is listen either to their jokes or the heartfelt lyrics of songs, obviously written to work through losing family member that meant a lot to them. Near the end they invited someone called Luke onto stage to join into one of the songs, I don’t know who he is or if I even got his name right, but he does compliment Leon’s voice very well. Neil Starr joins in at some point to and we do love the cover version on Joni Mitchell’s “big yellow taxi”, it was superb.
We did enjoy this set very much too, it’s such a lovely change from the spitting/head banging gig we saw here not so long ago.
The next artist is Neil Starr, the lead singer of Attack!Attack!, you can see he is far more used to the stage then the previous artists, performing is nothing new to him. His usual genre is more like heavy/alternative rock, but here tonight he is showing a much softer side, which I do like. An acoustic cover of “honesty” had the crowd singing along with gusto, I wasn’t familiar with the song myself, but you still get carried along with the energy of the fans in the know.
The tiny space at the Barfly has now filled up completely, I spot a few faces I saw at a TV filming of the Blackout at the Old Blue Last, you do this nodding your head in acknowledgement to each other, like a secret language for “we know each other but we don’t!”
I’m really curious to hear Gavin sing in a softer tone, I did really like his voice at the filming even though it was loud and hard…..I can’t wait!
He comes onto stage, just smiling at us and starting straight away with his first song, wow, how amazing does he sound? All three of us agree he has an amazing voice and some great lyrics. He explains that he was kind of bullied into doing this acoustic session by Neil and that he just didn’t know how it would be received. Well Gavin, I don’t think you have to worry, I can see and feel that you are being received very well indeed. The acoustic version of The Blackout song “save ourselves” seems to be one of the favourites, everybody is singing along, totally loving every minute of it. For the last song “you and your friends vs me and the revolution” Neil joins him on stage, the two of them are in perfect harmony, it sound just amazing, you can tell they must be great friend the way they interact with each other.
For all of you who missed this little gem of a performance, bad luck, we were there and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
I also like to add how lovely the crowd and performer were, no bad vibes, no pushing, just chilled happy people. 🙂
I went to the tiny merch stand just be the door to buy their CD and oh joy Gavin was there! He signed the CD and posed for a photo with Martina, we went off to let other people have a turn.
On the way home I looked at the CD and to my horror the other side is Neil Starr…..he was also at the merch stand and I completely ignored him, I’m so SORRY Neil, how bad am I? I promise to bring the CD next time you are in town and cookies to apologise for my ignorance 😦