Small underground bar and an intimate atmosphere with subdued lighting, candles and gilt lined mirrors – bit like being in a Sherlock Holmes story. The upstairs is a pizza/bar fashioned on 1950′s rock ‘n’ roll era. All in all an impressive venue and with many live music venues disappearing in London good to see this one keeping music live. Definitely one of the better live music venues currently in London.
Onto the music…first up singer/songwriter Alejandra Ribera who hails from Canada and currently resides in Paris. Her voice is the first thing that hits you, a little of Bjork and Joni Mitchell in there, certainly a voice that makes you sit up and take notice. Although she seemed to be struggling with a cold (she was a fan of Day Nurse!), it didn’t seem to affect her performance and I for one will be seeking to listen to more of her music based on tonight’s performance.
Luke Elliot is another singer/songwriter with a vocal that demands your attention. Backed by a violinist and bass player on a few songs, it was mainly Luke on guitar and keyboard. This was a stripped back run through highlights of his impressive ‘Dressed For The Occasion’.
He drips cool and class from his looks and musical style, how many artists open a show with a song where the protagonist is mourning the loss of his wife? ‘Trouble’ is that song and what a way to set the bar high for the rest of the evening. The timely ‘This Gun Of Mine’ was next and then came the song I personally think has radio airplay potential, ‘Get Them While Their Hot’.
He picked ‘People Like You’ as his personal favourite song of the album and I am with him on that (along with the aforementioned ‘Get Them While Their Hot’). His vocal and keyboard made for an attention grabbing performance.
What an impressive and moving performance, reinforcing all that I love about music and you can’t beat a live performance, especially when it features two rising talents like this evening. Luke Elliot is already making a name for himself in Norway and mainland Europe who seem to love his Americana/songwriter music. Have a listen to him and then go see him live, you won’t be disappointed.
Review by Jason Ritchie