Gig write up for Sarah, a friend of from back home – ‘The Kathryn Wheel’

The best sort of gig is always the one in a tiny, dingy underground bar in the back streets of a city and Manchester is as good as any! I haven’t had time to attend many of these little events recently so it was a welcome change which led to an absolutely fantastic evening in ‘The Retro Bar’. Although a few local bands were on, ‘The Kathryn Wheel’ headlining the evening with an extended slot, is one particularly close to my heart; front- woman Sarah Woodcock is a close friend whose gig’s I’ve been attending since we started  sixth form, meaning I’ve seen her grow and develop as an artist. Sarah has always stood out as she has a really unusual voice, especially now having reached the age of twenty, as I listened I really struggled to find artists to compare her to. Her voice is much lower with a more sultry tone than most modern female singers, a woman at the venue in fact pointed out how it reminded her of Stevie Nicks which seemed an apt comparison. Top songs of the night were in my opinion ‘Save the world tonight’ and ‘A world away’, receiving an impressive response from a very enthusiastic audience!

The addition of the country-esque bass and guitar sounds of Peter Woodcock and Geoffrey Peach respectively, gives a strong hint of a Fleetwood Mac or REM style, their music sounds so brilliantly raw and perhaps reminiscent of a variety of seventies southern American groups. Tracks are available to listen to on youtube and their debut album ‘It’s only life’ can be downloaded on Itunes or Amazon. My Favorite from the album has to be ‘Welcome to Hell’, definitely worth a listen! For more information visit their website http://www.reverbnation.com/thekathrynwheel.

Review of new german artist ‘Nessi’.

Nessi Tausendschoen is a German singer, her new EP was created with Canadian guitar player William MacKenzie, collaborating for the first time in their respective careers. To add even more to the mix, they’ve teamed up with various guest muscians like Harry Manx and Kevin Breit, the teamwork behind this EP has resulted in a fantastic piece of work, described as a ‘minamalistic blend of jazzy, folky, rootsy tunes’. When listening to it for the first time I found all of these qualities and more, beautifully mellow with an almost dreamlike feeling to blend of voice and guitar. I have to admit that heartfelt, acoustic music is not usually my cup of tea, but despite the inevitable cliche, ‘Nessi’ contradicts that completely. ‘Twenty Three Years’ is an EP I could listen to repeatedly, particularly when in a chilled out mood as her vocals have such a calm and soothing feel. On the flip side, the tracks don’t get boring at all as the tempo changes intermittently especially in ‘just a line’ or ‘you’, keeping your attention with more upbeat moments between the gentle parts.

So far in her career, Nessi has been compared to the likes of Ellie Goulding or Paloma Faith but she has also been congratulated on not resorting to the ‘thoughtless lyrics’ or ‘high pitched trilling’ that modern female singers are frequently accused of. Overall the EP has been highly praised, especially for ‘Hush Hush’, her biggest single yet which is included, personally I’m in complete agreement as it’s my favorite of the EP, a perfect summary of her feminine yet powerful voice and collaboration of acoustic and upbeat elements.