Now lets be honest, there is one thing that Bank Holidays are famous for in this country, and that’s the weather, but that didn’t stop me heading off for some Bank Holiday fun at the Golden Fleece Chelmsford. They were holding ‘Fleece Fest 10’ from the 26th to the 30th of May, with an eclectic mix of music over the five days. There was a metal night, indie/rock night, and on the Sunday an acoustic line-up out in the Garden, which was where I found myself.
As I arrived, Panic Awards Best Solo Award winner Paolo Morena was coming towards the end of his acoustic/indie set, which attracted a warm response from the crowd. He was replaced at the mike by Lizzie B, known to many for her radio shows on Saint FM, but also a singer-songwriter as well. She took us through a more chilled out blues/soul acoustic set, peppered with mellow, melancholy, reflective tracks, and a few tongue in cheek lyrics as well. There was a song entitled ‘Plasticine Man’ (with many different lyrical interpretations), and ‘Honest Never Met You’, which is apparently about a stalker. There was also a cover of the classic ‘Summertime’, which unfortunately didn’t really bring the sun out, but was a nice addition to Lizzie’s set. After Lizzie came a guy called Russ, who looks a bit like the frontman of the ‘John Butler Trio’, and certainly had a playing style not all that dissimilar. He was followed by Jakob Deist Oelofse whose set contained an interesting mix of covers and original material. Jakob has a really nice tone to his voice, emotive lyrics, and an acoustic melody in his songs that instantly draws you in. Definitely an artist I look forward to hearing more of, and one that brought to an end a pleasant few hours of live music. I left to the mellow sounds of the Lemon Kurd Kid, and went home to prepare for the next gig.
Monday dawned even more cloudy and dull than before, and just a little bit cold, but I put my best foot forward, and went to the Chelmsford Social Club open day to see Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective. Jamie is well known in Chelmsford, both as a solo artist, band member, and organiser of the Acoustic Soul Night at St Annes Castle in Great Leighs, Essex. This was the first time I had seen him perform with his new band the Roots Collective, and although I don’t normally listen to blues/folk/country music, the band still managed to get my toes tapping. Drums, keys, guitar, percussion, and a mouth organ, all combine to create a lively music style, which all ages seemed to enjoy.
All in all it was an eclectic weekends worth of music, peppered with a nice atmosphere, good company, and a wee bit of networking! All the styles on show at both venues, were not ones I would normally listen to on a personal level, but one of the interesting things about being a music writer is that you get to broaden your horizons, and sometimes find a few surprising gems to watch out for too. Look out for a review of Jakobs CD, ‘As Bold As The World’, on music.co.uk soon.