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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

LIVE REVIEW: THE SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - ROBYN RED

The very first Signature Brew Americana Showcase, curated by the good folk at Cumbrae Promotions, ( seemingly the masters of the afternoon gig) would take place at the Signature Brew brewery in Walthamstow E17 home of er East 17. Based on a trading estate seemingly packed with other breweries and eateries scattered among the DIY depots, on parking the car it seemed a slightly incongruous place for such an event to take place - but how wrong we were. On entering we were met with a high ceiling venue, pews to the right of the stage and standing space to the left. Banners detailing past and future events hung down like medieval pageantry while the back drop and further to the right of the seating were giant stainless steel vats containing the very fine fermenting liquid that was on sale outside. With a high stage and the sound masterly controlled by a sympathetic sound engineer - it would prove to be an ideal setting.


SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - ROBYN RED

Robyn Red already comes with such a strong image, that most UK Americana fans would know of her even if they had not heard her sing a note. For anyone still unsure her guitar strap was largely emblazoned with her name. Our previous encounter with her had been an acoustic one at Buckle & Boots where she had vowed "Wait till you see me with the band" and she was not wrong. A highly efficient unit, driven from the back by the impressive drummer, given light and shade by a guitarist whose contributions were always well chosen and a fiddle / tambourine player who seemed a little under utilised at times but added another dimension to the sound when her contributions came to the fore. They also showed the sign of a good band, in that even when they were not required to they were visibly mouthing along the lyrics with Robyn.


The lady of the hour though was Robyn Red, dressed in a sparkling black suit, her long blonde locks tussling down underneath her trademark red hat, she looked every inch a star in waiting.




SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - ROBYN RED

The set would open to a fast thunderous pounding drum beat and a heavy riffing guitar. Robyn would sing "Looking Good On You" with the microphone in her hand - it was a sound that could easily overpower a lesser vocalist but Robyn was clearly heard out in front. With a chorus that seemed to explode into action this was an immediate statement of intent. The second track started in a similar forthright manner, it took a few moments for #TEAMw21 to realise that this was actually Robyn's debut single, "Like A Bullet", so superior was it to the recorded version. Robyn would don an acoustic guitar adding to the overall wall of noise It was high on impact, if low on subtlety but hugely enjoyable- She would close the song with a quiet "thank you".


There would be a total change of pace for the next song "10 Years On", opening initially mainly to Robyn's acoustic guitar. the band would gradually join in but for the start at least it was a ballad. Three clicks of the drumsticks half way through would see things speed up to a bit of power pop. It would see Robyn's vocals soar upwards in the most impressive of ways.


SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - ROBYN RED

Things would turn distinctly country for the "Thigh slapper" joy of "Country Road Blues", with the fiddle much more prominent. A veritable knees up indeed which received a great reaction. The mood would stay country, though slow a little for "My World Is Yours", the guitar work was low key letting the fiddle and Robyn really shine. This was big country ballad territory, and Robyn shone throughout.


The next single looks set to be a smash "Between The Two Of Us" , initially slow and brooding, developed into something almost anthemic. Surely set to be topping country charts as soon as it is ready to be set free. The final batch of songs of the set would see Robyn's two other singles released so far appear - The country comeuppance of "Luke Jackson", gloriously led by Robyn , and enhanced by prominent fiddle playing was joined by the unique crowd singalong that is "When The Sun Sets" - it was the single that first introduced us to Robyn and it sounds as good as ever. The set would close with "Just Need The Wine", a mid paced rocker with the line "I want to go where the Devil goes"


It was not an afternoon for studying the lyrics just for enjoying the presence of an artist who clearly enjoyed playing as much we enjoyed listening. Robyn Red seems destined to shine throughout the rest of this year and beyond.


Robyn Red would be the first act of four in what was a well conceived, well produced and well performed showcase - hopefully it will be the start of something regular - events like this deserve every bit of support they can get.


Full kudos to both Signature Brew & Cumbrae Promotions for putting on such a successful afternoon.


Hope to be back to for a pint of the Rhubarb cider if nothing else!!

Opmerkingen


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