Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

The Lexington is a great little venue. Whether it’s drinks and music after work, new lovers on a first gig date or you just simply want to hear some good honest live music - the Lexington is the place for you. I’m really looking forward to tonight I have seen the headline act before but never heard of the two other artists on the bill. I love hearing new music…

The Embarrassing drunk who insists on swearing at you…
The first act is Peter Bibby, an Australian, but I’m not going to hold that against him. In fact, I try very hard to like him.  I listen carefully to his lyrics. It has been said of him that he is a great storyteller, but his words just tell the same old story about drinking too much. I try not to let the terrible tinny guitar sound annoy me, but it does after the endless repetition of the three chords that comprise each song. I want to accept he is a bad boy but the fact that he f**king points its out at every f**king juncture is just too f**king much and makes me think it’s a f**king act - the artist doth cuss too much me thinks. He is the embarrassing drunk who insists on swearing at you on your quiet night out in your favourite bar! The truth is he just doesn’t do it for me!

A New friend we are enjoying a few beers with…
Rory Butler is on next and for a few moments I think John Martyn has graced us with his presence from beyond the grave.  A beautiful, haunting set delivered by an exceptional talent. This is the life after the death of the first act. The antithesis of all that has gone before - carefully crafted lyrics, a creative and ethereal guitar style and sound and an easy and natural rapport with the audience. The ease and naturalness of Butler’s stage presence is a gift. He is not trying too hard to impress or create a persona and his easy introductions have us laughing and feeling like he is a new friend we are enjoying a few beers with.

With head resting on the microphone as he plays the exquisite intro to the second song you know without any explanation or reasoning that this is art not just music.  That this is feeling not just expression. That his heart and soul will be found in this song. 

As with all great nights spent with new friends in a bar, time is called all too soon and we are left wanting more…

A last tipple of single malt dances on your tongue…
I saw Dan Owen - a fresh-faced 20 something - support Wille and the Bandits at the first gig I went to in London last September and was blown away by him. It  was his barmy guitar playing that first attracted my attention but then suddenly, out of nowhere, his voice - which is like a crack of thunder on a hot summer evening - boomed across the venue.

And I am not disappointed second time around. It’s a superb set.  We have been left wanting more from Rory Butler and although this is something different it is of equal quality. His set is fiery and peaty yet with a subtle rich mixture of flavours, like a dram of single malt at the end of a wonderful evening. Owen explodes on stage with a fast and furious blues number. He is a sight to behold seated on a high stool with his left leg bouncing on his stomp box! He is also a sound to be heard as his voice and guitar blend effortlessly on both the raucous and the laid back songs.

We demand more after he finishes his set with a great rendition of Little Red Rooster, and as a last tipple of single malt dances on your tongue so during the encore a couple of audience members dance on stage (much to his amusement) and the rest of us more traditionally clap along. We all loved his set and despite the encore are left, as we were with Rory Butler, wanting more and more.

Meatloaf once declared that two out of three ain’t bad - tonight two out of three were brilliant and the less said about the third the better!

(Photos Stephen Baxter)

Gig: 11 of 50
Date of Gig: Thurs. 4th June 2015

The Lexington

Peter Bibby
Rory Butler
Dan Owen
Running total of artists seen 29

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