When I was doing my stand up comedy thing most of my performances were at the local open mic night at The Red Lion pub, which is literally just round the corner from my house in Shirley. anyway it's mostly local musicians that play, a lot of them come each week to play the same old songs, but they're friends of mine and its a nice thing to do on a Wednesday night. Related to the open mic is the Great Unsigned, a showcase for local talent which is run by Richard Green. I've written blogs about a lot of these acts before, especially 'Duke' who are the most successful group of the scene so far. This gig was recorded for Switch radio, a station which i believe Richard Green does a show for.
Compared with last years great unsigned end of year show, the red lion was very quiet this year, and while we waited for more people to show up, Richard out on his usual set of oldies, he's a massive bowie fan and his voice is very much suited to Bowie's work. It was a rare treat getting to hear 'Running through New York' a very personal and moving song.
Afterwards Ellie Jones played her selection of songs as part of a duo now named 'Dove Heart' and Esther Turner followed with acoustic covers of Lorde, Storm queen and her own material. Both are local young singer songwriters. who write intimate and personal sounding acoustic folk songs.
Andy Wickett was the original singer for Duran Duran, (He wrote ' Girls on Film'). I saw him at the last great unsigned last year and his set was slightly shaky, and he had a hard act to follow from Rohan Delgado. yet this time round he had a backing band and a new sound, singing political folk songs which reminded me of Roy Harper.
Dik Guru is always a pleasure to watch and laugh at. His stories (whether true or not) are believable and hilarious, and alongside old favourites such as'Bullshit Bod' 'The Cobra' and 'My Mate Dave' we got to her a few songs i'm sure i'd not heard before. This night Dik was brilliant as ever.
This left Rohan Delgado and his group Kumari 7 to finish off the night. Rohan is undoubtedly one of the most underrated songwriters in the country right now and his band gave more textures and sounds to his songs. *-they now sound much funkier and Rohans songs have a full band sound. I took this little video with the last of my cameras battery who'll give you an idea of what they're like.
It was a very different gig to the Red Lion Great unsigned End of Year gig I saw last year, and i'm mainly just glad that this is all still happening. there is something very special happening with the Great Unsigned and it's great to be a part of it.