Solid Air Ladies Night

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Rachel Henson @ Solid Air Cellar Bar 16 JanAfter some time with the dive club, off to the Cellar Bar for another Solid Air installment. I’ve missed Juno Jakob, and Rachel Henson takes to the stage as I arrive. She starts with a soft ballad, and despite this being her first ever gig, comes across OK over the mic with stage presence, not faltering, just a bit of wordplay with the song titles (“This song is No Good…”), which shows burgeoning confidence. The next songs are slightly faltering with the guitar chord work, but is otherwise are fun little up tempo numbers. She professes to not know many chords, the capo use soon sorts that out! She has a rich timbre to her voice, and has some good melodies in her songs.

Fawnamarine @ Solid Air Cellar Bar 16 JanFawnamarine is next on stage after a very slick handover. She’s playing some good tunes on an acoustic bass of all things, and again gives her voice a chance to shine. She’s playing the bass quite fast, finger tapping lightly with the right hand, such that she almost seems to be playing chords, a very unusual and unexpected sound, especially when she does switch to strumming said chords.

Fawnamarine & Ottie @ Solid Air Cellar Bar 16 JanShe sings Movin’ On, which is the track I’ve played out on air a few times (well, the remixed version). Its good to hear an unadulterated acoustic version in this live context. For the last couple of numbers she invites friend Ottie to join her on guitar, and the already good rhythms improve with him carrying the melody.

SnowWolf @ Solid Air Cellar Bar 16 JanSnow Wolf (Jemma & Annie) are our closer tonight, they are excitedly giggly before starting their set proper, this atmosphere continues through the lovely songs. Its also a clean set – I might well have to stop mentioning that, if they continue in this vein. It’s just as I write this that Jemma then tells the bar she’s on good behaviour because of me! Perhaps I will mention it after all ;). As per the radio show last week, they’re augmenting the single shared guitar with some simple percussion instruments, prompting Fawnamarine to offer her services to turn them into a trio, with drums.  I leave after four songs or so, been a busy day…


November’s Solid Air Show then Open Mic


Its the turn of Connie from Solid Air to be my co-host on the show tonight; we had Paul Tucker entertaining us with stories old and new, and playing songs from some of his former bands. Between Paul and Conrad there isn’t much that’s happened in the music scene in the area that hasn’t escaped their attention; makes for a very interconnected view of the circuit, since they can link all the various muso’s together with the assorted bands they had, are or have been in.

On to Chaplins for the regular open mic, and a couple of new artists I’ve not seen before, but need to see again – Fawnamarine (Jacqueline Hanna) does a quiet couple of songs; she normally plays acoustic bass, and yet is a multi-instrumentalist – samples are on Soundcloud (check out Movin’ On). Linford Dunston takes the mic after Jacqueline and amazes with his presence.  Alisha does some covers showing off a very sweet voice, then, unusually for an Open Mic, a full band set themselves up.

Milk Machine @ Chaplins 9 Nov — with (l-r) Flemming Fiol, The Crowman, Hawkeye Houlihan, Thomas Taff Morse and Andy Jack Ratt.The Milk Machine (Hawkeye Houlihan & friends) have decided to do a rare UK set – they normally only play in Denmark. Its very Irish in nature, a blend of country punk folk and all good fun and lively. Their version of Another Brick In The Wall is very surprising; totally unguessable by the intro that is given to it. They also look so serious while performing so humorously. Next up Kraftwerk’s The Model, totally originally covered as is The Doors’ (People are) Strange. What I like is one of the chaps just starts, and the others immediately know what’s being played – no flaff. They announce “a waltz” and all immediately launch into yes, a slow waltz version of Anarchy In The UK, full harmonies and everything! What a great night.