Acoustic Night at The David Hall: August 2016

Impromptu jam at the end of the night
Jamming at the end of the evening, 19 August 2016.

The range of performers at this month’s Acoustic Night at The David Hall was fantastic. Professional local musicians shared the stage with accomplished amateurs as well as those just embarking upon their musical careers. Blues, pop, folk, roots and more, featured across the evening. Each artist was warmly received by the enthusiastic South Petherton audience – a great night was had by all!

Alisha Graham and Asia Ferguson from Bishops Foxes school in Taunton play their first gig in South Petherton
Alisha Graham and Asia Ferguson, from Bishops Fox’s School in Taunton, make their successful debut in South Petherton.

The first act on stage, Alisha and Asia, performed pop songs by Emeli Sande, One Direction and Demi Lovato. The duo offered a bare, exposed and compelling performance. Asia’s melodious vocals coupled with Alisha’s mellow harmonies worked well together, and when combined with the gentle guitar strumming the whole performance had an uncluttered quality. You can see the young duo on their YouTube channel: Alisha and Asia Music.

Regular performer, Derek Fox, plays his eclectic mix of music on his ukulele, including John Denver and the Mamas and Papas
Regular Acoustic Night performer, Derek Fox, offers an eclectic mix of music on his ukulele, including songs by John Denver and The Mamas and the Papas.
Kevin Green plays guitar
Kevin ‘Beano’ Green travelled from North Devon to play his self-penned folk songs for the appreciative David Hall audience.

Kevin ‘Beano’ Green hails from the West Midlands, which was evident in his quick and warm wit, and now resides in Bideford, North Devon. Although playing in bands since he was 13 years old, for the past year or so Kevin has been writing his own material and recently released a five track EP. Kevin’s creative and imaginative set included a song taking inspiration from the historic and economic perspective of Bideford’s maritime heritage.

You always know it’s going to be gloomy when it’s in  A minor…

Kevin ‘Beano’ Green

Bob and Lisa play on stage at the David Hall in Somerset
“All the way from Hinton St George…” Bob and Lisa take to the stage for the first time at The David Hall with humour, skill and an assured ease.
Mike Rawlinson on stage with a guitar
Mike Rawlinson performs his original music and inspired poetry for the interactive David Hall crowd.

Back home for tea and oh good, French Blancmange,

Chocolat? Banana? Non, c’est l’orange

(I am practicing pour la Fronch Exchonge)

Mike Rawlinson

Chico Holton
Roots singer-songwriter, Chico Holton, thanks the audience for “giving everyone a great reception this evening.”

Half of the acts chose to perform their own original works. In so doing they all put themselves in a place of vulnerability, for they presented personal forms of creative expression and often their most tender and raw feelings. These are individual acts of courage. For example, Laurence Philips played two songs which he wrote for his youngest son and wife, the latter was so compelling that it moved some members of the audience to tears. Throughout his set the mandolin was beautifully present, during the songs and the spaces in-between. Chico Holton introduced ‘I Can’t Let Go’ – written about a broken heart – with the words “It’s a real miserable song and I’m trying to out do Lenny Cohen with this one”. Through his soulful vocals and flat-picking guitar style, Warminster’s talented storyteller conveyed a painful narrative, handsomely.

Laurence Philips performs songs from his own songbook as well as Irish ballads.
Laurence Philips performs music from his own songbook, as well as traditional Irish ballads.
Kara J Richardson photo
Langport musician, Kara J. Richards, thrills the audience with her powerful and evocative set.

Just back from a successful tour of Ireland, professional musician Kara J. Richards describes her style as ‘Cowgirl jazz’ (which is a syncopated country, blues, folk, soul and jazz combination) and herself as ‘a melodic one woman tragi-comedy’. That’s quite a description, and one which befits this beguiling singer-songwriter from Langport. Kara is a distinctive and accomplished artist whose narrative lyrical style is creative, heartfelt and wonderfully clever. As soon as she stepped on to the stage Kara held the audience. Her song, ‘Dayna’ was inspired by an 18 hour bus-ride in South East Asia and presented Kara’s rich vocals for the first time, after which she stated “Lets do politics next” with her second piece entitled ‘Current Affairs’ – with the simple and repetitive chorus, “Lie”.

It’s easier to keep control if everyone’s living in fear.

Kara J. Richards

The last song of Kara’s set was “a hideous murder ballad from the Quantock Hills” and told the story of a woman deemed worthy of murder. Kara J. Richards is an exceptionally skilled wordsmith, musician and performer. You can follow her on twitter.com/karajrichards and karajrichardsong.wixsite.com

Tom Davies on stage
Petherton Arts Trust chairman, Tom Davies, provides a whimsical set, including a cappella version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Effervescing Elephant’.

Half of the artists who performed this month were new to The David Hall, which is really encouraging. Artists at the Acoustic Nights are invited to perform a 10 minute set, although this can be less if desired. Unlike many venues, The David Hall has a stage, lighting, full sound system with an engineer as well as an MC to host the event, and performers from all genres of the arts are encouraged to take part. The audience is always welcoming and supportive of each act, so whether an artist is just starting out or has been entertaining people for years, the Acoustic Nights provide a professional and friendly atmosphere for all.

If you wish to perform please email: folk@chriswatts.org.uk

The next Acoustic Nights in 2016 are on:

  • Sunday 25th September
  • Friday 28th October
  • Sunday 20th November
  • Sunday 18th December.

Musicians, poets, comedians, dancers, jugglers, magicians and storytellers are all welcome!

These evenings are not to be missed – by performers or by audience members.

Kevin Green and Derek Boles play guitar on stage
Kevin ‘Beano’ Green and Acoustic Night MC, Derek Boles, rip-it-up on stage during an impromptu jam at the end of the night.
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