Artist: Civil Wray / James Clark Institute  - Misdirection….
Venue: C’est What

As many if you will know, randomness plays a big part in where we go and who we see. So it will come as no surprise that a pencilled in trip to the Dakota on Friday May 20th, should turn into a visit to C'est What to see two acts, we’d never seen before. What a great decision that turned out to be.

First up were the James Clark Institute who remarked that their last album release was exactly 8 years ago in the same venue. With a new release in the works, the set was a combination of upbeat tunes and ballads, drawn from earlier releases and that new material. Described in the flyer as a songwriter in the Elvis Costello/John Lennon tradition, we felt there was to them than that with hints of Joe Jackson and The Beatles in the mix. Either way they proved to be masters of original tunes, beautifully and clearly sung with tremendous harmonies, well-structured and delivered in a manner that demanded your attention. ‘Big Shoes’ and ‘Girl Heroine’ were part of the older material and these were ably supported by ‘Yellow’, ‘Charlie Schulz’ (a ballad) and ‘Devils Punchbowl’ amongst others. The final song was ‘Cake’ which again was once again delivered in the same tight format of the previous songs and which goes to prove, you can have your cake and eat it.

SynBrit Rating: 4/5


Site: James Clark Institute
Twitter: @thejci

You Tube: Company Hearse
Shows: Upcoming Events

The other half of an amazing bill was Civil Wray, the latest creation from Andrea de Boer (blueVenus). Accompanied by Gareth on acoustic guitar, the ten song set was composed of blueVenus songs, new material and a remarkable cover, more of which shortly. Firstly, let us state that de Boer possesses one of the best voices we’ve heard in a long time, full of soul, blues and pure emotion, each song was delivered with great pitch and power, but without drowning out the performance, a balance rarely seen these days. From the opener ‘Grin’, through ‘About Face’ and ‘Numb’, each sing was delivered with crystal clear vocals, not easy to do when you’re singing with power. A new song ‘Fie’ was next with ‘Follow Me’ and ‘No time to Waste’ thereafter. ‘Shadow of A Doubt’ featured some really nice slide guitar, which showed the variety on offer before a reverb driven ‘Sparkle’ set the emotions racing once more. When an Amy Winehouse cover was announced as the next song, we genuinely felt disappointed, but this passed almost immediately as an extraordinarily powerful and poignant version of ‘You Know I’m No Good’ was delivered, leaving us in awe. The final song ‘Heaven Rings’ saw de Boer use the violin in full issuing a full on statement as violin and guitar worked in perfect harmony. A remarkable ending to an incredible evening.

SynBrit Rating: 5/5


Site: Civil Wray
Twitter: @civlwraymusic
You Tube:
Shows: Upcoming Events

Until next time......The Moose
James Clark Institute - C'ést What - May 2016

James Clark Institute

Civil Wray - C'ést What - May 2016

Civil Wray