A filled-to-capacity Big Comfy Bookshop audience were treated to an evening of world-class music on Sunday when UK Americana Awards ‘Artist Of The Year’ Emily Barker, accompanied by the super-talented Lukas Drinkwater, performed two stripped-back sets of material from her acclaimed catalogue.
From the classic Wallander TV theme Nostalgia through to tracks from the Memphis-recorded Sweet Kind Of Blue album, everything was beautifully performed in a showcase of Emily and Lukas’ fantastic Americana-inspired vocals and musicianship.
The emotional Over My Shoulder, co-written with Boo Hewerdine and recently performed at the Americana Awards, was a personal highlight. So too was a stormin’ cover of Springsteen’s Tougher Than The Rest and a performance of Anywhere Away that Emily wrote for the film Hector and that had the bookshop audience spellbound.
The Sweet Kind Of Blue repertoire, performed in it’s original stripped back glory, went down particularly well. If We Forget to Dance and No. 5 Hurricane were just wonderful, while the surprisingly funky album title track showed off Emily’s soul voice and brought the second set to an end all too soon. An encore featuring the audience-requested Pause (the second of Emily’s ‘TV Crime Thriller’ compositions) and The Blackwood rounded off an entirely entertaining evening.
Gotta give a particular shout out to Mr Lukas Drinkwater; his performance, both on guitar and double-bass, was so subtle and yet so wonderfully enriching…it was like watching a masterclass on how to accompany a vocalist. Top job mate.
A beautiful, intimate evening in a wonderfully warm and welcoming place. BCB really is one of the best acoustic venues in the country with one of the best audiences. If you haven’t been yet…well, you really should!