Fiona Fox joined me in the studio tonight. I don’t know what she’s done, but whatever it was worked as there were a couple of emails waiting for me on the studio system, and during the show texts came in.

Normally all my emails happen offline as I do my preparation, I rarely get them duuring the show. Whether they are Fans, Friends or Family I don’t know, but Fi scores highly with each of them.

We’re chatting away, and its just too easy to lose track of time – she’s had some amazing experiences in her young life and generously shares many of the more palatable ones with us.

She plays a few songs live, and I’m gobsmacked. I’ve heard her play in rough bars and over dodgy PA’s which have done her voice no justice at all. Hearing her pure and unplugged is delightful, she has a very sweet yet strong vocal, and plays well enough too (one of the conversations we’ve had is over her feeling that she had lessons on lots of instruments, and never got along with any of them!)

Something I pick up on is what I term an “endearing giggle” at certain points within songs – she dismisses this as a bad habit yet not as a put down. Some have obviously suggested to her that this is irritating, I still beg to differ.

After the show I’m talking with the people in reception who’ve heard the show, and they’ve been impressed with her voice and playing, in much the same way I have been previously mesmerised.

On to the Dubs part of this post – Dubnium have arranged a fundraiser for Haiti at The Winchester and Dubheart are playing live (DJ’s later).

The crowd are all up for it, bobbing and swaying to the beats, Dubheart rise to this and know how to play their crowd. Interruptions to announce raffle prizes are all taken in their stride.

How to describe Dubheart for thoe who don’t know their style? Take the necessary thumping bass and add backstabbed beats from a harsh guitar. Mix in stonking drums (particularly crisp toms) and you’d have any old reggae band.

To turn this into Dubheart add keyboard synth blended with sampled noises interjecting the gaps in the rhythm, add in a Djembe and throw some designedly meaningful lyrics, and I’m still only half way to describing their vibe.

Haiti is close to my heart (Samaritans Purse do a lot of work there, and 3 friends have been out with them there as relief and aid workers) and its clearly on the minds of Dubheart and the crowd – every mention of the country gets a cheer.

Halfway through and Dubheart debut a new track. By this time whole place is jumping and rammed – even at the bar there’s no refuge, and eveeryone seems to be here for a party even though it’s a school night!

I leave that hopping atmosphere to enter another one at the Chaplins Open Mic. Poet HiHo is on, followed by Poet David. Jonathan Cotton is in the crowd which is a nice surprise, especially as I’ve just played one of his tracks on the show. JC is talking to Fiona, who has also gravitated to Chaplins the same as I eventually have.

Tina and Lynford are up next. He plays percussive guitar chords while she croons away building to a fever pitched crescendo. What’s particulaly noticeable about Tina is her animation as she sings , she moves along to her song like a mime performing, really refreshing to see and hear. Talking to them afterwards they have no promotional material or online presence, they are just starting something so watch out for that…

Graham Jones is up next with a twist – Michael (rest unknown) gets up to do some MC work on the mic and it works really well with the style Graham’s chosen to play in. At the end Mike gets a huge acclaim, then Graham continues doing his regular blues. I take my leave at that point, bumping into Fiona and partner Phil on the stairs as they prepare something for the Open Mic that regretfully I’m going to miss.