Last night was a good one and requires a bit of Back story:
12 weeks ago a friends Jack Russell gave birth to 2 pups. the music for the event was provided by Sophie Barker; the album 'Seagull' to be released in May: http://www.sophiebarker.com/music/seagull/ ). I'd heard the name before from her Zero7 days but had not heard any of her solo stuff.
Last night I was lucky enough to get to go to Sophie's press/invite only gig at Ronnie Scott's. I went with the Jack Russells Mistress (the puppy stuff makes sense now doesn't it). I intentionally did not listen to any of her stuff beforehand; I much prefer to hear someone live the first time, free from bias or pre-conceptions. In the cab on the way there I learned something new about stiletto heels
The room upstairs is fine for small occasions (but it turned out to be no small occasion) with the band set up under a skylight (it was early evening and still light outside) providing an odd combination of Jazz Club and daylight. Ms Jack Russell knew enough people there to make it a friendly event from the outset. A good number of Sophie's friends appeared to be there too. There was also a slightly spooky coincidental 'small world' moment for me: Long story, won't bore you with it here.
Sophie is a talented lady with a great voice, she has (in 'Seagull') produce that rare thing: An album of consistently good songs most of which she performed beautifully last night, backed by a very tight and very competent set of musicians. All in all it was a delightful surprise to hear grown up music for a change. If you ever want a demonstration of how to showcase versatility in both song-writing and performance you could do no better than to get to one of her live shows. Early on in the proceedings Sophie was momentarily distracted by a pigeon flying overhead which caused her to produce a memorable smile and set the tone for evening. Her set was too short for my liking. I left happily clutching a promo copy of her album; it will be played regularly!
All in all a joyful event.
We tried to get a tri-shaw back to Notting Hill but made do with a cab. I'll tell you about the stiletto heels another day.