We are really pleased with the response to our first ‘Open Evening’ and will definitely be doing another as everyone enjoyed it. The feedback we’ve had indicates the format was a success, with the variety of performances being positively commented on. Well done everyone! Thank you to Pete the Poet for doing a brilliant job of hosting the evening, keeping the audience well informed, and entertaining us with his unique delivery that included illustrations to accompany his poems.
After Pete the Poet welcomed everyone and set the scene for the evening, Alex York entertained us with an uplifting acapella song, followed by his radical take on the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’, and then his own composition ‘A Lament For A Lost Love’. Alex shared the context to this piece prior to its delivery with Jason accompanying on guitar. Alex was rightly pleased with his debut.
Next up was Josh, one of Jonathan’s young piano students taking the opportunity to share the skills he’s learning. He played his piece excellently. Here is a short recording of his recital, from the UCan Studios Soundcloud page.
Hannah Golightly and her Imaginary Band were next up. Hannah has a new drummer, Poots, and this was their first show together. They travelled over from Chester to join us and presented three original songs, ‘The Bathroom’, ‘See You In The Shadows’ and ‘The Edge of Love’ all of which can be seen on Hannah’s YouTube Channel. It’s the first time Hannah has experienced UCan Studios space, and we are really pleased that she is keen to promote some live music events at our venue next year.
Daniel from VocalArtUK gave us two fantastic extended voice compositions. Apart from some digital drum sounds Daniel used his voice to build his timbres and melodies on a Roland RC-505 loop station. He also used this device to break the tracks down to end his pieces. The first piece titled ‘Ope Boye’ was inspired by Eastern Music and his attendance at a workshop by Anna Helena McLean from Gardzienice Theatre Company. The second piece ‘Yungala – Song of Travel’ was inspired by the work of Lisa Gerrard, in particular her score with Hans Zimmer for the film Gladiator. We will be recording these pieces in the studio soon.
Morning Star, currently a singer and guitarist combo, treated us to some cover versions of songs they have been rehearsing in the studio during their Sunday late afternoon bookings. It was the first time they had shared this work with an audience and we were privileged to hear it at this stage of development. Alison received complements for her delicate yet emotionally loaded vocal style.
Vistie Marsden, who has been using YouTube videos to learn to play a Ukulele donated by UCan Play, gave us her rendition of the pop ballad ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ originally recorded by Elvis Presley. This was followed by her friend Lucy’s acapella version of the theme from the 2012 James Bond film ‘Skyfall’, originally sung and co-written by Adele. Both Year 11 students impressed, particularly as they had been called upon on the night as they weren’t billed.
To close the evening Carl, who uses the moniker C6T8, performed three songs on his guitar, singing two numbers as a tribute to a friend who recently died who performed the songs himself, and another song dear to Carl. After working hard at the studio over the past months to develop his performing techniques Carl was able to relax into his songs, and take the pressure of being last on. He delivered confident, technically competent songs that were very well received. I personally have to thank Carl for then swapping to his 12 string acoustic guitar to play a version of ‘Song to the Siren’ by Tim Buckley, lyrics by Larry Beckett, which is very dear to me. We played it a couple of times during Carl’s sessions in the studio and I really enjoyed being able to sing it at this event.
Pete finished with a last poem and asked Josh to play his piano piece once again for everyone as a fitting conclusion, before declaring ‘What a top night!’
Here’s one message from the audience that sums it up ‘I really enjoyed tonight, thought all the turns were superb, plenty of variety and skill. Well done you all!’