One of my favourite venues in London hosted this week’s Laid Bare Live. Rami Radi showcased seven acts on Thursday evening in this beautifully converted 19th-century warehouse space. With musicians performing on two floors, we were given some beautiful solo acoustic acts in the attic and the bottom floor rocked with some of the best new bands of South London.
The evening began with a mellow performance from the quirky singer-songwriter Chris Brambley. His intriguing banter of unfinished stories that seemed to peeter out before they began added humour to his set. With a gentle vibrato his voice has a fragility reminiscent of Neil Young or Devendra Banhart. A perfect start to the night.
Next up we were ushered downstairs for lively folk-influenced songs from Shaunagh Duncan. On guitar and voice, and joined by her father, she brought a light-hearted vibe to the room. Lots of happy songs and playful discourse between Shaunagh and her dad.
Our third treat for the evening was William Poyer. Recently returned from Mexico, this was William’s first performance since coming back. With a definite Americana vibe, the driving guitar strumming and a smoky gravelliness in his voice, the upstairs room was bouncing along during his set. Look out for an imminent album.
This was followed by a real favourite of mine. Our Man in the Field (aka Alexander Ellis) returned to Laid Bare, but this time he brought a band with him. He began by pleasing the audience with a solo set, then the band joined him for the last two numbers. This was only their second gig as a band but you wouldn’t know it. A wonderfully tight performance, adding a whole new level to Alexander’s music.
The next act really took my breath away. Chisara Agor on voice and ukulele brought some real soul to the evening. Bringing echoes of Cleo Laine and Nina Simone into her performance, she described her song writing process as beginning with the words and then allowing the music to build from there. From this process came some spoken word accents and almost scat stylings into her songs. A really memorable set.
The last two acts of the night took us downstairs again for some full band action. King Compass brought an indie vibe to the room with deep vocals that gave the band a real National, Interpol feel. With five band members playing they definitely changed the vibe of the evening. Citing Radiohead, Bon Iver, Ben Howard and Modest Mouse as their influences, the indie folk mix was delivered beautifully.
With six acts already having performed, I am always surprised when yet another musical surprise appears. CLUBBS closed the evening with a beautifully individual sound. Dark and penetrative music that captivated the room. They left me wanting more!
Check out all of Petra’s photos below.