Archive for October, 2018

Retune #7 Sunday 7th October 2018: Sabrina Francis + Minnie Birch + Tom Ryder

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Retune No Comments

We seem to say this every time, but these nights just keep on getting better. Sabrina Francis and her fabulous band joined us all the way from Grenada in the West Indies. The Caribbean four-piece were on a European tour and playing in Madrid and Paris, as well as the illustrious Bishop’s Stortford! Hemel Hempstead’s Minnie Birch was also on the bill, as was local lad and Retune founder Tom Ryder, playing an extended set to open the show.

Tom started with the usual introduction to Retune but added in some more details about his own mental health struggles, and how he used songwriting as a coping mechanism to make sense of what was going on in his head. He played four original songs including One Room At A Time and One For The Team, before calling up Greg Camburn on the tin whistle to play a brand new track – Partners In Crime.

Sabrina’s set was mesmeric and gripping throughout.

Tom Ryder (right) opened the evening, accompanied by Greg Camburn.

Minnie Birch brought some lovely songs and plenty of good humour to Retune.

Minnie was up next. Her musical story is remarkable, not least because she uses her skills to deliver sessions to prison inmates. “I think it’s great that nowadays we can be broken, and it’s OK,” she said. She treated the Retune audience to some powerful originals including Floundering from her debut album. Her vocal is haunting and shiver-inducing, and her songs are incredibly heartfelt. She closed with a rousing acapella number.

We have seen some terrific acts at Retune, but Sabrina Francis’ set was one polished performance, from start to finish. The Grenadian singer’s songwriting is exemplary, and is really brought to life by her excellent band, led by musical director Dieter Burkhalter on keys. The arrangements are super tight and Sabrina’s vocal control is sublime. Her set included This Is Home, a song about Grenada that she has performed in the national stadium, and a newer track called Break that was very powerful and ended on an almost impossible high note that Sabrina delivered with total poise.

Greg Camburn is director and Chair of Retune.

Sabrina’s musical director Dieter Burkhalter has – quite literally – been instrumental in her career.

We haven’t had full on dancing at Retune yet, but there is no doubt that much of the audience wanted to, and there was some enthusiastic jigging in the seats going on, not too mention plenty of singing along!

The atmosphere of this show perfectly encapsulated what the Retune project is all about, and all three artists brought their unique and thoroughly interesting songs and stories to the table.

Retune #6 Sunday 2nd September 2018: Liv Austen + Pat Crilly & Greg Camburn + LACK

Posted on: October 4th, 2018 by Retune No Comments

Our final Retune of the 2018 summer played host to an eclectic trio of songwriters: Norwegian ‘scandi pop/country’ artist Liv Austen, the dynamic duo of Pat Crilly and Greg Camburn, and fresh on the scene LACK ahead of her debut EP release.

Tom Ryder kicked the night off with a cover of John Martyn’s Over The Hill and then introduced Lucy Kinsella, known by her stage name LACK. Joined by acoustic guitarist and drummer Chris Keeling, she performed two covers and a gripping original which featured Chris playing a track pad. The dark electronic song really grabbed the Retune crowd, and we look forward to hearing the LACK EP once it is ready for release.

LACK opened the show

Greg Camburn and Pat Crilly demonstrated why their music has endured so well over decades.

Liv Austen, joined by Jon Wright and Stuart Pringle, closed proceedings brilliantly.

Pat Crilly has penned close to 500 songs over his long musical career, and the imagery that his lyrics conjure up is undeniable. Opening with Old Leather Jacket, his set was both musical and poetic. Greg Camburn plays soprano saxophone and tin whistle, and Pat gives him plenty of opportunities to show us what he can do. There is something about the saxophone that brings an instant smile to the face, and Greg is a fine player. It was a half hour of emotion and beauty.

Headliner Liv Austen was joined on stage by drummer Stuart Pringle and guitarist Jon Wright. Her appearance at Retune came shortly before the release of her debut album A Moment Of Your Time, which has been very well received by critics. First single Window Shopping is a catchy little number, and Stuart and Jon complimented Liv’s endearing vocal very well. Liv is London based and if you can catch her live it will be well worth it.

One highlight of this evening was informing Pat that Liv was Norwegian, at which point Pat launched into a full conversation with Liv, in Norwegian! Turns out Pat has spent quite a bit of time in Norway during his career as an engineer.

Another top evening and we can’t wait for the next.

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