GIG: Anny Celsi & Nelson Bragg
DATE: Wednesday 28th April 2010
VENUE: “What’s Cookin’” @ The Sheep Walk, High Road, Leytonstone, London, E11
COST: free but donations collected for the band
RATING: Volcanic Ash can’t stop these two!


Leytonstone High Road has a bit of a nugget in terms of a music venue, and we found it tonight when we went along to see Anny Celsi and Nelson Bragg on their 2nd European tour. The Icelandic volcanic ash had threatened their whole tour (indeed a few gigs in Holland had been cancelled due to the travel restrictions) but we were certainly pleased that they had managed to get back to the UK for this gig.

From our seat, Anny was almost hidden by a big floral arrangement that framed the stage area. In fact the whole venue looked very much like a Nudie suit, but that did not detract from the music, and they launched into their opening number “Little Black Dress”, the title track from one of Anny’s albums. The set included some songs that are really well embedded firm favourites with us, “She Walks In”, “The Night She Learned To Drive”, “Empty Hangers”, “Tangle Free World” and “Summer Fling”. Some covers were also done, including the ever popular Lee Hazelwood “Some Velvet Morning”. Nelson’s “Forever Days”, a track from his solo album also went down a storm with the audience.

It is amazing to hear how just an acoustic guitar, 2 great voices, a snare drum, 2 tambourines tied to Nelson’s feet, and a shaker around his wrist can give such volume and depth to the sound of an acoustic set. Anny and Nelson’s voices compliment each other and are really harmonious, whether it is Nelson adding a few ooohs and ahhhs and harmony backing to Anny’s songs or Anny adding a bit of backing vocal to Nelson’s songs, the chemistry works.

The audience at the gig was quite sizeable, claiming all of the chairs around the tables, and seating along the back wall, with some standing (because that’s all they could do) and seemed to really enjoy Anny and Nelson’s music. Among the audience were a few of Nelson and Anny’s UK friends they have met along the way and the guy who ran the venue seemed genuinely pleased that Nelson and Anny’s pot of donations was growing.

“What’s Cookin’” is described on their webpage as “its a little bit country, a little bit rock'n'roll, with the best dressed little stage in London” and that describes it completely. Having been to a few pub gigs, we really expected the room above the pub to be dark, dank, and standing only. We were pleasantly surprised to find it carpeted, tables and chairs laid out and a bar too! The stage was decorated with plants and flowers, almost to the point of us asking whose funeral it was (!) but the venue as a whole gets a big thumbs up. Not so sure about the loos though!

This gig was well worth the hours drive each way!

No comments:

Post a Comment