Rrrants events happen in the smallest rooms above pubs in Camden, which gives them an exciting secret vibe and for the performers, an intimacy that makes you feel at one with the audience. This could be terrifying anywhere larger, but it actually makes for a refreshing feeling of authenticity and spontaneity in the London live music scene.
The first act was a three-piece close harmony group, missing the top piece but still beautiful singers. Their a capella style was fortiesish, but they did a cover of Amy Winehouse's Rehab that was very effective. I can't remember their name and I've checked on their poster- I'll find out because they really were very good. It was lovely to hear mature-sounding female voices that weren't desperately reaching for gospel or Britney; their performance was self-assured and I love the way they melted out of the audience on to the stage: Bravo!
After that was a succession of poets (including the Anti Poet who host the show, and who performed their Gentlemen Duellers sketch, my fave, especially because I originally misheard it as Gentleman Jewellers and couldn't understand why there were no diamonds and emeralds in the dialogue). I liked Keith Jarrett's poem about the gay poem (yes, he did).
After a short break, the Caution Horses crammed the stage to overflowing and played their good-natured harmony pop. They nod in the direction of the Byrds and they play with a lovely gentle flow that Matthew's Southern Comfort could learn a lot from (I went to see them a while back and left in disappointment after Matthew's rant about pedal steel guitars and how he hated them; such a pity because the music had been great up till then).
Martin and I took to the stage. We started with Sunny and Blue, then Martin played Stansted Ground and I did Mr and Mrs Songsmith. Most of the songs were from Hamilton Square and Cafe of Tiny Kindnesses although we did the Cannonball Rag and The Airship Song. Martin had never played The Cafe of Tiny Kindnesses live before and he 'sang it lovely'!
We have never played a gig billed as a duo and this was a good place to start. There was the odd stumble and fumble here and there but the audience was on our side and that helped.
Big thanks to Paul and Donna for inviting us to play!
We understand that they made a lot of money for the Bardaid Project that puts poetry books into schools that night. It was an honour to play.
Shouts to Wilky and Karen (and her mates) and everyone who came along to support us!