Chris Cleverley Trio, Lilo’s Wall and Elisha Esquivel at The Big Comfy Bookshop

Chris Cleverley Trio, Lilo’s Wall and Elisha Esquivel at The Big Comfy Bookshop

‘January’s a dead month’

‘No-one goes out in January’

‘Put an event on in January and you’ll struggle’…

Well, it seems like the Big Comfy Bookshop audience didn’t get that memo. Four days into the new year and the bookshop was sold out with a capacity crowd turning up to show their support and appreciation for live music at one of the premier acoustic music venues in the country.

The success of the evening was undoubtedly in part due to some smart billing from bookshop owner, entrepreneur and all round music mogul, Michael McEntee, but in the main it was down to quality music fans turning out to see quality acts. First up was Elisha Esquivel who, along with her backing vocalists, set the tone for the evening opening with a classy acapella cover of Amber Run’s ‘I Found’. Elisha treated BCB to some gorgeous piano-pop; I particularly liked the new song ‘Do Different’ and ‘Meet Me Here’ taken from her EP ‘From The Ground Up’.

Up next were the slightly kooky but wonderfully endearing Lilo’s Wall. The duo first came to BCB two years ago to film a Big Comfy session; their cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘America’ has been one of the most popular Comfy Covers we’ve filmed. Playing their second gig at the bookshop, they played a mixture of new and established songs. Some of the songs were so new, they involved an electric guitar that according to the duo ‘hadn’t even been christened with a name yet’. Wow…that’s new!

Headlining the evening were the Chris Cleverley Trio, featuring Kim Lowings and Kathy Pilkington. In the interests of transparency I will declare that I have some previous with this outfit, but not withstanding that, they were just fabulous. Also choosing to open with an acapella number, the folky ‘When I Was No But Sweet Sixteen’, the trio followed it with a upbeat version of Simone Felice’s ‘You And I Belong’.

Mixing in a few tracks from Chris’ ‘Apparitions’ album especially arranged for the trio, they went on to perform an fantastic unamplified version of ‘I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground’. A punchy arrangement of Wild Mountain Thyme with a big finish preceded the finale; a track called ‘Rachel’ taken from Chris’ forthcoming album. Based on tonight’s performance I’m now looking forward to that release even more! Cracking stuff.

What an awesome way to start to the new year. With live music happening at the Bookshop every two weeks throughout 2019, it looks like it’s going to be another cracking year of music at BCB. Don’t dawdle buying your tickets

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