On a drizzly Thursday night last week, I had the cosy pleasure of catching one of the most lovely and intimate gigs I’ve been to in quite some time. The venue was in Kings Cross, just down from the sparkly red giant we fondly know as the Coke sign.
Bar Me slash El Roccos reminds me of some underground haunt in NYC, but completely minus any sleaze factor. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes all you want is a bit of sleaze, but tonight the room was darkly ambient and full of innocent warmth.
I only just caught the end of a set by Cello Kate – someone completely unknown to me, a girl with a folky trill of a voice, accompanied by, surprise surprise, a big fat cello and a long haired fellow on guitar. Simple and sparse, punctuated by a few truly beautiful moments.
Next up was Jack Carty, who’s just been signed to Gigpiglet, and rightly so. This guy is a fantastic up and coming singer-songwriter with just the right amount of humbleness and charm. Carty’s on-stage presence is engaging enough, but when matched with his rich, lovely voice and super honest lyrics, it makes for one pretty little package.
The main event of the night though, was one Mr. Chris Pickering. If you say his name fast it sounds like you’re saying Krispy Kreme. Try it. Chris is also a singer-songwriter, from Brisvegas, but he has spent the better part of this year in Nashville working, living and playing. As he took to the stage with his excellent bass player and drummer, you could feel the room heat up, like someone had just chucked a log on the fire and given it a good stoking.
Everyone in that candlelit downstairs den was there to see Chris, and though it wasn’t a full house, you could palpably feel – I don’t want to say ‘love’ in the room, that’s a bit sappy – but a genuine sense of admiration and appreciation for this folky, rootsy, country, poppy, talented muso.
This is also a guy who’s excellent on stage. Comfortable without being cocky, grateful without being trite and above all really loving what he’s on stage doing, which I reckon makes the experience doubly enjoyable for us. I have a feeling Chris Pickering is probably going to disappear back OS for a while, but if you do happen to notice a performance near you, do yourself a favour and check him out.
What’s new in mini-mix land this week? Well I’m sure you’ve been hearing about the much-hyped movie 500 Days Of Summer – upcoming love story with a twist? It’s got the dude who used to be in 3rd Rock From The Sun and the girl with the weirdly spelled name in it. Anyway, it’s got a cute as a button soundtrack to go with it that includes these three gems and a whole lot more:
Us – Regina Spektor
An oldie, but a goodie from this Russian New York doll. The piano melodies in this are almost overwhelming, and I love the image my mind conjures up when I think of dens of thieves.
Mushaboom – Feist
I have no qualms in admitting that I one hundred percent have a girl crush on Feist. She is effortless. This clip makes me wish it was breakfast time and I was burning my toast.
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
One of those morbidly dark and twisted love songs. I bet Romeo & Juliet would have listened to this a lot if they were new-wave indie rockers in the 80’s.