RockShot was recently invited to be part of Lost in the Manor’s Blogtober Festival – 31 days of gigs selected by the best online tastemakers – and on 10 October 2016, curated a very special evening of live music at The Finsbury in London’s Manor House. Our team of writers and photographers selected emerging artists Sherika Sherard, William Poyer, Albert Man and Luna Bay for the crowd’s musical consumption – and they didn’t disappoint.
Opening the evening is London based singer-songwriter Sherika Sherard. Sherika is well-known for busking on London’s Southbank, where her velvety voice and infectious creativity not only draws the crowds but recently caught the attention of Seal who invited her to join him on tour. Her Blogtober set engages the crowd from the outset and Sherika writes, and sings, from the heart. With tracks including We Don’t Need a Reason and Give Me A Job her smooth voice sounds even more captivating live.
William Poyer looks like he has arrived from the cast of Heartworn Highways, an urban drifter with Mexican border town styling. His bobble hat (and he likes his hats) slanted across his head, he removes it as he heads for the stage with battered guitar case in hand.
His songs are poetically strong and their simple hooks and one line chorus help to keep you listening to the story in each. It is comforting to think that Dylan has just won the Noble Prize for Literature and here another musician is delivering epic story telling through verse.
He mixes one or two new songs with those from his debut album Born Lucky including in his set On Our Way, Makings Of A Man, Memphis and the antagonistic thriller The Liars The Bitches The Crooks And The Thieves.
William recently got married and he delayed his honeymoon so that he would perform this gig for us. Thanks William!
Albert Man is oft said to be a singer songwriter who equals the quirky American Ben Folds in verse, wit and chord changes. Tonight he has his band ( Ally McDougal, Tom Gledhill and Matt Findlay) back together for the first time in a year and they produce a wonderfully classy amount of songs from the new album Cheap Suit.
Albert Man is continually pushing the boundaries in his songwriting, developing complex songs that have many hooks and ear worms. You will find yourself humming them a lot on the Tube home from a London gig. Albert is a great gig-er and is also appearing at the Oxjam Clapham Takeover on October 22nd 2016.
London-based Indie four-piece Luna Bay headlined the night with a fantastic set of original material. The Connor O’Mara-led quartet kicked off proceedings with up-tempo track Where We Belong before launching into recent single Colours, to knowing cheers from the crowd, O’Mara smiling briefly at the crowd’s reaction as Alex Ross’s heavy drums saw the chorus through to Rye Milligan’s delicate guitar parts, the tall Welshman playing his instrument high.
“Thanks so much for coming down” O’Mara said, addressing the crowd for the first time. “We’re Luna Bay” he continued before introducing next trackHometown, Milligan’s glowing guitar reminiscent of Noah and the Whale but O’Mara’s vocals distinctive enough to end band comparisons at Two Door Cinema Club. Hiding was up next, Milligan and bass player Sammy Penniston complimenting their frontman’s own vocals with their contributions.
Miracles slowed the set down briefly, with honey-slick vocal harmonies from O’Mara, Milligan and Penniston opening the track before it took off in an uplifting direction, the continuing fast-slow pace change throughout the song leaving a lasting impression of a band so tight, they look as though they’ve been doing this for years.
“This next one’s a little more upbeat” O’Mara said to chuckles. “I want to say a massive thank you to RockShot for having us here tonight” he continued, before introducing Little Amsterdam, a more upbeat cut as promised, the crowd visibly bopping along. Fire was up next before the band closed the night with forthcoming single Smoke And Mirrors.
Watching Luna Bay play one of their first live shows, it was easy to visualise the four-piece playing to crowds at much larger venues with audience members singing along to every word, or at a summer music festival with people dancing around or sat on each other’s shoulders as the sun sets in the distance. The songs are fantastic, the instrumentation is interesting and the mood created uplifting. “I’m looking forward their next gig already” was overheard from the crowd.
Once there was a time in London where a diverse line up of artists would be almost common place, think back to the days when The Human League, The Fall & Simple Minds were all on the same bill. Not only is it great credit to The Finsbury and Lost In The Manor to allow us to put a busker, a country-folk man, a keyboard-led band and an up-and-coming rock band on the same bill but also a credit to all the artists for wanting to be involved and mixes the genres. Maybe people will be able say I was there when…
Live Review by Nicola Greenbrook, Kalpesh Patel & Simon Jay Price.
Photography by Edyta K, Kalpesh Patel & Simon Jay Price.
#Blogtober Curated by RockShot Magazine on 10 10 16 at The Finsbury.