The world of Acoustic Performance is all new to me, and has only really piqued an interest since seeing James Phillips perform his set once or twice in his Bangor adopted-homeland…
I had previously managed to successfully avoid just about EVERY acoustic opener at any of the thousands of gigs I’ve attended… Even down to turning up as they finished, or being deeply embroiled in conversations at the bar, outside, in the toilet, anywhere, so long as I wasn’t watching an acoustic set.
James kind of changed this for me… Made me realise there’s more to an acoustic set than just some sad old twat warbling about their long lost love or some wannabe open-chordmonger churning out WonderfuckingWall.
I started inviting acoustic artistes onto my Monday night radio show (see/hear sessions list) and this world opened up before me… Either that, or it’s my age..!
The James PM Phillips album ‘Sheep On The Downs’ is a heart-warming collection of songs about death, sadness and loss, some of which were beautifully renditioned here, tonight at The North. With his erstwhile sidekick on cajon, 3-stringed guitar and swooshy thing, James’ natural charm and warmth won the crowd over before the end of the opening song.
Listeners to my show will know the high regard I hold for Give Me Wings – but he not a one-song wonder, Marjorie Says, Sheep On The Downs, Four Years, Tea And Hangovers and more all share that esteem.