I first came across Sam Eason a couple of months ago when he supported Scott Matthews at the Colston Hall in Bristol, and was really impressed with his short set. So when I saw a poster for Sam Eason & Friends at this super venue, I decided to pop along last night to see how he would be as a headliner.
At the Colston Hall, he performed his own songs with a friendly and relaxed air. He quickly built a good rapport with his audience, raising a smile with his occasionally self-deprecating little links between the songs. Armed with acoustic guitar and looper, his music is very much in tune with the current crop of singer/songwriters, with observations on life and love, told from the viewpoint of an observer who appreciates the lighter side to life. He was joined there for the last two songs by his wife, Beth, whose harmonies fit his vocals perfectly, and it is easy to see where the inspiration for his uncomplicated love songs comes from.
He has produced three EPs since 2011, plus a digital album of demos and covers, and I bought the latest EP called Leave the Dark Low that night, the title track being the opener for his set at the Old Theatre Royal, and one well-deserving a wider audience. Continue Reading
The problem with Arts Festivals is they are a bit like grapeshot, lots of up-and-coming performers taking their opportunity to put themselves in the limelight at small venues around a town, but ultimately competing against larger heavily-sponsored events. Which is why, as a festival-goer, it sometimes pays to ignore the big-banger ‘do’ that is advertised weeks ahead on every billboard, and look instead for that potential hidden gem. Which is how I found Matt Cook at the Bath Fringe last night.
The Old Theatre Royal in Bath is another hidden gem. It is tucked down a quiet cobbled side street behind Marks & Spencers’ loading bay, so you would be lucky to stumble across it. It is also quite an anonymous building that has been the local Masonic Hall for nearly 150 years, but originally came into being as the City’s first purpose-built Theatre in 1750, becoming the inaugural home of the Theatre Royal company in 1768. The original auditorium space, along with its superb acoustics, still exists and is the part used for their annual series of Festival gigs.
The Metropolitan Police have today announced that the death of MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams, whose body was found in a padlocked sports bag, was probably an accident. An internal evidence review concluded it was unlikely that any other person was present when he died in his London flat.
Part of that evidence-review was later leaked to the media and included a video, apparently shot some years earlier, showing new equipment being developed by the intelligence services:
“Now listen carefully Bond: as your assistant here has already discovered, we have installed in this flat twenty thousand pounds-worth of female clothes and eight wigs for disguises. For concealing one of you in an emergency, you press the little button here and this suitcase expands into a sports holdall. Whoever uses it must take the keys inside as they contain a miniature transmitter that activates the exploding bolts on the padlocks. Now be careful because this is the prototype, and it isn’t fully-developed, so we haven’t yet resolved a problem with the signal transmitter adjacent to porcelain, so whatever you do, do not use it in the bath………”
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