Friday, April 29, 2016

LIve sessions at the square: Christian Devaux + Elle Chante

Every Friday afternoon the square in Birmingham (that dishevelled shopping bunch of shops above the old Birmingham Ballroom and right opposite Oasis)  is holding live music sessions from local unsigned artists. It's a mix of all sorts of genres and all of these events are free. Earlier today on my way back from buying King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard's, unbelievably good 'Nonagon Infinity' (On Vinyl, Obviously).
I caught a brief DJ  Set  and later on a performance from Local rapper Chrstian Deavaux.* While hip hop in the UK seems to be currently all about The grime revival, Christian's music (rapped over backing tracks on his phone) seems to be much more in line with the current American sound. Although less trap and closer to the trippy yet commercially friendly sound you can find on Drake's recent albums. It felt a bit odd watching a rapper perform to only a handful of people, and people walking past on the way to other shops. There was a bit of a cruel irony in the situation but he handled it with good grace and asked the few of us to wave our hands in the air. He's got a decent flow, which has some room for improvement. His songs felt upbeat but rather personal at the same time. There's nothing that original about his sound or style but today he made the best of a crappy situation. He's a lovely guy and I think he's definitely worth keeping an eye on.
The other performance I caught today was from a young singer-songwriter called Elle Chante. Her finger-picked acoustic songs reminded me a bit of Corinne Bailey Rae or Lianne Li Havas. Her songs are beautifully delicate and  melancholy in tone.  I really like her voice which is distinctive yet quiet almost like a whisper. I liked her Cover of Frank Ocean's 'Thinkin Bout you'. Overall  both sets were both seeing despite the cold and I'm looking forward to whatever sessions come up next. 

*I think he said he was from Barbados.


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