There were three booked acts, and four encores at the latest Moonshine Live night at The Troubadour Club in Earl’s Court, London, on 23rd March 2019.
An especially strong line up was led off by Jade Like The Stone, who starred in The Voice 2018 and who is more seen in festival environments with her band, Du Bellows. The tight underground intimacy of the historic former coffee shop and Folk music cradle that is The Troubadour Club gave her and her guitarist for the night an entirely different complexion to the band sound. Jade’s set ended with the first encore of the night, after a highly enjoyable experience heavy on emotional and expressive singing and eloquent lyrics. Her one cover was an interesting choice in this venue that is already associated with The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, their song ‘Dead Flowers’. See www.jadedaniellewilliams.com
Moonshine Presents works with Saiichi Sugiyama, who was on next, and we’re are proud to present him at the Troubadour Club and elsewhere. That does make him hard to write about, whereas with Jade (above) and Hollie (below) there was the novelty, to us, of seeing what they do live for the first time in this context and there was clearly a lot to say. Even so, it was clear that Saiichi’s set received its usual warm welcome from the Troubadour audience. Saiichi’s set on the night was well judged, with light and shade. His slower songs frequently have the audience in emotional tears (a little unusual in a male performer, it could be said; Ray Charles, a hero of Saiichi’s, being an exception). On this night, it was too dark for us to see if they had their usual effect. Highlights included his ‘Wings For A Dove’ and ‘Night Indigo’ and his cover of Graham Nash’s ‘Myself At Last’, which suits his delivery utterly. It was good to see Saiichi again having the Troubadour audience singing along with him at the close, just before and during his own encore. See www.saiichi.com
There was time to feature a brief and impromptu song by visiting Ukranian singer, Yulia, whose Katie Melua like tones went down very well with the crowd and led to an ovation, demands for an encore, and a second, again striking, song.
Hollie Rogers, whose appearance on DJ Whispering Bob Harris’s Under The Apple Tree only came out a day before the gig (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7SyXsKqAZs), completed the evening. A lively, varied, and beautifully sung run through most of her repertoire, which has a good deal more spice and edge to it than the Americana-related artists we’ve come across before, was combined with a quality to match any of them. With the night running late, Hollie swiftly went to put her guitar away at the end of her set, but she too was caught by an encore demand. Hollie’s website – www.hollierogers.com – and reviews emphasise the power of her voice. Yes, it is powerful, but there is a lot more to Hollie, and seeing her solo – a format which she doesn’t do very often – emphasised that, and allowed her to run through a new song that was just 23 hours old, ‘The Man You Had To Be’. Another recent, and very fine, song that Hollie rolled out towards the end currently plays when you visit her website, the lovely ‘Criminal Heart’.
Encores apart, this was a memorable night, summed up by a lady as she left. ‘Thank you for putting this on, they’re all great’, she said.
The next great night is on 26th April, again at the Troubadour Club, with Connor Selby, Saiichi Sugiyama, and O & O Duo, an outstanding Country-Americana act.