Saturday, October 06, 2007

Finding Calcutta / Reverie (Strings) / Le Retrouvailles / Little Palm (aka Anna Palmer) The Rainbow, Digbeth Friday October 5th 2007

If it's Friday it must be Kamikaze!...I sort of feel like everyone should scream Kamikaze! (a bit like they used to do on Crackerjack) every time I type that word. Let's give it a try eh? Kamikaze!!!!!!! Hmmmm, spoilsports. Anyway. The music. Tonight was a slightly more chilled affair than previous Kamikaze's!, but it was the perfect showcase for four rather fine bands - a couple of which I was already aware of, two of which were all new, new new! Speaking of which, Anna Palmer (also known as Little Palm...or vice versa) was up first and, despite nursing the remains of a cold, put on a charmer of a performance. Backed by Jordan on drums for a few songs, but mainly just solo on keyboards, she's got a great voice (think a better version of Kate Nash), strong songs and an engaging personality (plus oodles of loyal mates, who clearly think she's as good as I do). Whether she carries on as a solo performer or forms a band (which she seems to be considering) I'm really looking forward to seeing how she develops as a singer and songwriter.

Hot on her heels were Le Retrouvailles (which isn't as easy to spell as you think). Lead Retrouvailles (Gemma...who also designs the rather fab Kamikaze! posters) has a gorgeous, rich, slightly bluesy voice that, at times, reminded me of a female Jeff Buckley. Like Anna, in fact like all the bands tonight, they've got some seriously good self penned songs, the highlight of which, Hush, has naggingly been going round in my head for some weeks now.

Next, and a band I've raved about before, were Reverie just Reverie. It seems like they've not quite settled on that matter, they are, in my humble opinion, one of the strongest Midlands bands around at the moment. There's something about Ian's voice and songs (earthy and real) with the strings (classy and elegant) that just works. I'd love to see them in the Symphony Hall with a full orchestra, or maybe even the Town Hall. I can hear it now...a small choir in the background, a huge string section...a bit of brass...those big drums...anyway, they were (and are) ace. Music to live, love and die by. This was the best performance of theirs so far and if they get any better I'm going to have to sell my house and sign them to my imaginary record label. So there.

Finally, Finding Calcutta...SEVEN...SEVEN...SEVEN...SEVEN...not quite sure what came over me there...(you had to be there). Finding Calcutta have a kind of Prog Folk thing going on. As I like both Folk and Prog, this was all rather good news. The more they played the better it got and the more I got into it...which is the thing with both Prog and Folk. Bags of energy, some rather good finger picking and a bass player who did that cool one handed thing that bass players sometimes do. They've got a new EP out too (which is probably available through their My Space thingy).

So there we go - pianos, folk, prog, strings, blues, mandolins and all manner of lovely stuff. These nights are a great showcase for just some of the talent we have in our city and, judging by the impressive audiences, the word is finally starting to spread.

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