Review: Acoustics Underground

Jenni Reid 4 March 2013

The third ever Acoustics Underground saw three acts playing a mix of original songs and covers. Each of their styles were sufficiently different so as to keep things fresh, but folksy twangs and soft vocals gave the evening a pleasant continuity.

The audience was plunged into darkness as Dr Coto took to the stage: introduced as a “bluegrass extravaganza”, their 6-piece group featured banjo, guitar, harmonica and male and female vocals. Despite their extremely talented musicians and effective harmonies, there was something a little raw and unpolished about Dr. Coto, but this was all part of the fun and did not detract from how enjoyable their music was. They ploughed their way through a long set of toe-tapping numbers (excuse the cliche, but they really were), including Johnny Cash’s Jackson.

The next act, Will and Alex, were perhaps my favourite performers of the night. Their soft, tuneful voices sang perfectly in time and harmony alongside their skilful guitar melodies. They had an unassuming stage presence and were the epitome of easy-listening, playing their own songs and classics such as Jolene, Son of a Preacher Man and Galway Girl.

After a short interval, headliner Sophie Jamieson was up. Her speaking voice may have been so quiet that it was impossible to hear from my spot in the back of the room, but her singing voice was simply stunning. The audience sat in total silence, captivated by the lone figure onstage with her guitar. Jamieson is an effortless performer, in vocals and action, and was a joy to watch.

Considering its great atmosphere, professional quality sound and lighting, and nearly three hours of music, the £3 ticket price for Acoustics Underground is undoubtedly a bargain. Do catch the next one if you can.

Jenni Reid