It’s our penultimate week here in Sin E and for once it’s a wee bit quiet. The feature act has cancelled at late notice and a couple of the regulars are absent. Tumbleweed-phobia is setting in; rumours of a mysterious Englishman with some sort of guitar/harp hybrid promote intrigue if not comfort. The show rolls on as normal regardless.
The concept of open mic lends itself to anarchy, it invites anyone to come and take centre stage so needless to say we’ve come across one or two colourful characters during our stint in Sin E, none more so than Billy Wood. Billy is from Barcelona, sporting a gas station attendant shirt and red bandana he declares himself a student of the blues while brazenly guzzling a shoulder of something or other from a brown paper bag. Unfortunately by the time Billy takes to the stage the contents of that bag has taken effect. On the up side he can now adopt a classic blues moniker from his performance, Ramblin’ Billy Wood.
Regular Stephen Larkin gets the ball rolling before handing over to Seamus O’Sullivan’s deep, dark blues complete with Screaming Jay Hawkins style shrieks and howls. Paul In Denial is a newcomer to proceedings, he showcases three of the songs from his currently available five-track EP Show Your Hand. Another familiar face, Joe Lynch, is next up, joined on stage by his wife this week, changing the dynamic of his songs completely.
Then my favourite middle digit to the establishment Megaray, Lynchy and the Blast mosey on stage mob-handed. Delivering their set in their own inimitable style, their final song ‘Get Your Kicks’ reminds us that when it comes to romantic conquests it’s not who your with but how much you enjoy it that really counts.
The percussive guitar and quality song writing of Eoin Martin fill the stage next. Well constructed tunes with an emphasis on rhythm coupled with Eoin’s powerful voice make for an impressive performance. Eoin’s original composition ‘Harriet’ is a particular highlight.
Enter the aforementioned mystery Englishman. When Tommy Loose walks in you can tell it’s him by the odd shape of his case, it looks like his guitar’s got a hump. Tommy’s a bit of a wizard with guitar in paw and has a headlock grasp of several different tunings. Rooted in traditional folk (a la Carthy), Tommy’s songs branch out a little further without ever completely losing the smell of pipe tobacco smoke or the itch of a woolly jumper. Tommy also wins the award for song title of the night with his funky instrumental ‘What If Magpies Were Shiny?’.
Wrong Kid drops in again; it’s just the lads this time, no Fiona. An all new masculine-up! News songs too. Brianna Horan closes the show with a cover of Laura Marling’s ‘Ghost’ and her original ‘Belle of the Tiger’, a beautifully written song with a sense of morose foreboding.
It’s our last week next week, come throw some noise in our ear.
This week’s featured tracks are:
Tommy Loose – ‘Change You’
Eoin Martin – ‘Harriet’
Brianna Horan – ‘Belle of the Tiger’