Solid Air Acoustic Dreamscapes

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Chris Hopgood @ Solid Air @ Cellar Bar 18 feb 2013 The amazing Chris Hopgood is on stage when I arrive after a fun earlier skittles evening with my dive club friends. Toby Thorne (All About Tobe) has already played (yes, I missed his set) and is also marvelling at Chris‘ clever techniques and delicate finger picking. Chris is playing Roseflower, the title track from his wonderful album, then Wrecking Ball (another he played live on the radio show late last year) then into the instrumental song Brian (for his son). While Chris might be missing wingman David Lambert tonight, his performance is not lacking in any way, another great example of how fantastic one man and a simple acoustic guitar can be.

Yui Karlberg @ Solid Air @ Cellar Bar, 18 feb 2013Last act tonight is Yui Karlberg, who’s brought a bass player along for the ride, together they’re playing some rather funky tunes, bit of slapbeat on the acoustic, later on the bass too, with Yui‘s falsetto voice rising over the top of every thing, sometimes clear lyrics, at other times cool wails and “ahhs”. Rendering covers or originals, while blending in sound mixtures from other songs, in this unique vocal style. The overall effect is very dreamy, if you allow your mind to wander while the entrancing sounds work their way around you.

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Solid Air MCs & Beat Poets

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Toby Thorne @ Solid Air 9 JanI only catch the last song from opener Toby Thorne, he’s playing a half-capo open style tuning with the guitar on his lap, singing a fairly sweet ballad.

Next up we have some acoustic led rap from City Of Wolves (no photo, sorry). They sing in unison for a bit, before vocalist Rio starts a rap – its like a sung chorus with rapped verse, all throughout accompanied by straightforward chord on the guitar, with enough of a rhythm and beat syncopation to make one want to jig along. They’ve brought a sizable crowd with them too. They’ve also put in hours behind the scenes, as later on they kick off with some laptop sourced loops to complement the guitar, which work the crowd up well. it’s a good sound, the only thing I’m unsure about is their unison singing, as its slightly too monotone for my tastes. Their crowd love it though. They have tracks on Soundcloud.

Amp Box Blues @ Solid Air 9 JanThird for tonight are Amp Box Blues, Xander (Allen) and George (Bills). This is a strong outlet for Xander’s full personality, he postures and gurns at us in the audience; both of them also have the capability to look totally serious while singing wonderfully inane lyrics to some pretty tunes courtsey of their laptop, and dual guitar or guitar bass combo. The music is chirpy and upbeat, lots of beat loops going on and their voices work well together. They’re name checking themselves throughout the set, always a good thing in my book. Check out their soundcloud for interest.

Selby & friends @ Solid Air 9 JanSelby (MC) & friends Tim (drums) & Lewis (bass) are an improvising jam band with no name at present, starting with a Boscombe-sourced poem from Selby, before they kick off into a very gentle drum & bass sequence that Selby riffs over with his beat poetry-come-MC’ing. Again they’ve brought a sizable crowd with them, who are mulching out to the beats. As we progress they move more into some clever jazz rhythms on the drums and the bass, while Selby carries on the beat poems. Good.