Well then. Here we were, and back they came. Letham Nights besties and best band on the planet, Sinderins, all packed in for a steamy summer sell-out. And, didn’t it all go swimmingly? Oh yes!
First up was local(ish) boy Euan Stamper who got us off and running with an unexpected but brilliantly soulful cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggety. Nifty original numbers such as The Firewalk combined nicely with well selected covers such as a beautiful version of This Charming Man and encore Kanye West’s Stronger. One man, one guitar, one love. Nice one, Euan!
Singer, songwriter and piano champ, Ed Muirhead, hails from Dundee and the city flavours his songs performance and outlook. A self-aware cheeky slapdashery belies Ed’s rampant musicality and his piano chops are there for all to hear from the earnest loveliness of Life They Dreamed Of through the haunting homage to The Tay Bridge, The High Girders, to set closer Where Is The Love. Ed is one of the most engaging performers you’ll see with easy #bantz and laughs coming as frequently as the songs. Do go see him. You’ll be entertained.
So, what can I say that hasn’t been written already in these pages about out headliners, Sinderins. We’ve skirted around hyperbole in the past for decency’s sake but it’s time to go big. If you haven’t seen Sinderins play then go, because there isn’t a better experience in live music in the whole of Scotland right now. What are you waiting for? Dave Webster has the greatest voice in the world, Stevie Anderson is the best guitarist, Tom Barbour and Billy Fisher are unsurpassable in the engine room and Gavin McGinty is the monstrous Machiavelli of musical theatricality. Put it together with great song-writing and commitment to the cause and you have one hell of a band at the peak of their powers. They will be huge!
Oh, and they’re quite good to dance to (if you sit out the 5/4 timings, that is).
Top tunes, top night, top people. It’s what we do, right?
12th September will stick in our minds and hearts for years to come after a truly magnificent Letham Night with the Chloe Hall Trio and Vivienne Bern.
It was written on the stars that Chloe Hall and Letham Nights would come together. From the moment we received Chloe’s first email from the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia, asking to ‘take a punt’ on our venue, we knew she was a woman of great taste and discernment, not to mention talent and OH! how right we were!
Together with Chris Mildren on bass and Teal Bain-Roben on his tea-chest drum kit, the Chloe Hall Trio enthralled us from start to finish with their beautiful melodies and spine-tingling 3-part harmonies. Chloe’s lyrics tugged at our heartstrings, made us sigh wistfully, smile, sometimes laugh out loud and when combined with the stories behind each song well, – you could feel the love in the hall! For her first set, Chloe went straight into a series of songs from her new album ‘Outside’ including the title track and ‘Shipwreck’ (Are you the one I’ve been waiting for? Are you the shipwreck, or the shore?”) and ‘Walking after Midnight’.
After this first set, Vivienne Bern from Glenrothes took to the stage and sat down with her acoustic guitar. She was nervous about having to follow on from such a great performance yet as soon as she began to pick out the introduction to ‘Your Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’ by Bob Dylan, we knew we had another great performance to look forward to. Vivienne’s voice and guitar playing were effortless and she continued with a series of covers and self-penned songs. In ‘Forgive You’ she slipped effortlessly from a fragile, cracked style to gutsy blues. A cover of the Beatles’ ‘Help’ gave a great song new life and her rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘I’m Feeling Good’ left us all breathless. What a great talent she is and we look forward to hearing more of her own songs next time she plays Letham Nights – there WILL be a next time!
Chloe and the boys then returned to the stage and we were carried off again on a journey with the songs. The highpoint was the achingly beautiful and inspiring ‘Dance With Me’, a celebration of the power of love in the face of great adversity. Hear Chloe tell the story and then sing the song.
As Chloe says – ”a rare and precious moment of real connection and love”.
Thank you to Chloe, Teal and Chris – and of course Vivienne for … well, as it says in the final encore song, sometimes you need no words….
P.S. don’t forget – this ozzie lot, while quite good, are just not quite up to the sheer class of the Chloe McHall Trio….Take a wee peek at this!
**Next gig is Sat 17 Oct 2009 Letham Nights #8 – Spanky’s Heroes & Guests**