Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Love Music Hate Racism Heat 5 Robin Soleimani / Vinesh / Ryan Whitmore / Tom Lockett / Peter Carney

Review by Steve Cooling

Photo by Simon Bamford

The ‘road to Britannia’ singer song writer heat saw 5 solo artists battling it out for a place on the Sugarmill stage at the festival. Although there could have been more of a turn out the pub was busy and there was a good atmosphere, with lots of support for those taking part. Each act had a 30 minute slot to impress the 2 judges and all the bar staff, who were voting on the winning act.

First to play was Robin Soleimani, an acoustic guitar player and singer. He had a good manner and seemed very comfortable on stage and was interesting to watch. His songs were melodic and upbeat, which suited his character. 'No sympathy' – seemed very much a pop song that could have been backed by a band or indeed sold to an agency. Overall I liked his performance and think his songs are enjoyable.

Vinesh was next to play, an electric piano player and singer. His opening song 'Love Shy' seemed to set the pace for the next 30 minutes. An excellent voice singing songs about love and life in an almost story telling fashion. It must be hard to keep a crowd visually interested when stuck behind a piano but his voice and songs tell you a story, and his music is melodic (almost hypnotic) that you cant help but listen even if it makes your mind wonder….. very interesting.

Ryan Whitmore an acoustic guitar, harmonica playing singer took the reins. It’s hard to get visions of Bob Dillon out or your head whenever you see someone singing and playing guitar with a harmonica on one of those stands hanging round their neck. I’m sure I even heard a line in one song that said ‘the times they are changing’ (or was that the beer). His style and songs were interesting with some well worked out guitar parts. He seemed to sing real songs about real life. 'White faces in the snow' is a good example, about people who are suffering the ill effects of alcohol! He had a very full sound often missing with acoustic players, probably helped by having a 12 string guitar and very polished songs

Tom Lockett playing a semi-acoustic guitar was up. 'All at sea on the river' stood out for me as being his strongest song. A quieter singer who may well have benefited from being turned up slightly, had an enjoyable voice and whose music would be ideal for a relaxing Sunday morning (or after a night down the Old Brown Jug). A rarity was getting solo’s which you don’t always get with an acoustic, although I would have liked to hear his guitar either through an amp or with some effects on. A mellow and enjoyable set.

Peter Carney was the last act to play and was an acoustic guitarist / singer. He by far had the best sounding guitar of the night and played it with passion, there was some nice fills. He kept people entertained with his lively style and banter, although it was a little like Oasis, but he was entertaining .

The winner from tonight’s heat was Ryan Whitmore.

Robin Soleimani
Vinesh - no link available
Ryan Whitmore
Tom Lockett
Peter Carney

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