It is hard to believe that we are already on our fifth show at Retune, and each one has been a treat. August was no different, as witty singer/songwriter Dan Wilde topped the bill, supported by the soulful Lauren Scudder and local youngster Scarlet Thomas.
Retune founder Tom Ryder started the night with the usual introduction to the project, and played Foy Vance’s ‘Two Shades Of Hope’ following an audience request. He then introduced Scarlet Thomas, a 16-year-old rising vocalist and student at Herts & Essex High School in Bishop’s Stortford. Scarlet was joined on stage by her friend Rosie Savage, who played guitar and contributed some very enjoyable backing vocals. The pair performed Halo by Beyonce and Domino by Jessie J, and in between these two tracks Scarlet delivered a great version of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me.’ Her vocal is effortless; technically adept without being forced or over-the-top. It will be very interesting to see how she develops once she begins writing and performing her own material.
Next up was Lauren Scudder. It is customary at Retune for the middle act to be interviewed by Tom in order to explore how important music has been in the artist’s life and how they came to write their songs. Tom has been performing with Lauren as LOZT over the past 18 months, so here was an opportunity to see Lauren perform as a solo artist in her own definitive style. Lauren’s voice has been described as ‘lilting’ before; it is very soulful and has jazz influences as well as acapella. She specialises in harmonies but here the Retune audience got to listen to her songs in their purest form, just as they were written. Throughout her half hour set we were transported into a place that was super chilled, and Lauren’s inventive use of melody and lyrics was clear to see.
Dan Wilde was our headliner. Already on his third album, Dan is a remarkable writer and in recent years has devoted a lot of his time to producing and even building home studios. We were absorbed into his world of witty stories and unlikely happenings, and his lyrics are so poignant and intelligent that the audience was laughing out loud at several moments. A particularly memorable song is ‘The List’, which proposes that in a relationship we should make a list of all the things that annoy us about our partners! Dan showed great poise on the guitar and as well as having a delightful array of tunes up his sleeve, was a lovely guest to have along who fully supports the message of Retune and what we stand for.
The Retune nights are not to be missed. We are here one Sunday each month, so what are you waiting for? Follow us @RetuneUK to be the first to know about our next show.