REVIEW –Tamsin Quin/ Andrew Hurst @ Hillworth and Andy Juan @ The White Bear, Devizes – Sunday 21st July 2019

Laid-back musical Sunday afternoon in The Vize

Andy Fawthrop

 

Yet again it’s a Sunday, the weather is balmy, and the hangover is starting to recede a little. There seems to be a recurring theme here. Whatever.

After last night’s stunning free show in the Market Place, delivered by The Fulltone Orchestra, today was a day when there was a need to get very much chilled out and calmed down. I mean – singing along to Queen’s greatest hits, and dancing along to the Ibiza set are all very well, to say nothing of the odd jar of liquid refreshment – but since the crowds had all dispersed into the night a few hours previously, something a little more relaxed was very much required.

But not to worry. As ever, our little town, punched above its weight yet again and delivered just what was required.

Firstly to Hillworth Park for Fantasy Radio’s Month of Sundays, featuring a live on-air radio show, showcasing the talents of a couple of local artists. This was the third Sunday show for July (last one is next week 28th July), and it was the turn of Tamsin Quin and Andrew Hurst.

Tamsin’s two short sets included songs from her album Gypsy Blood. Her gentle, simple songs rang out across the park, and behind each one was a personal story, a thought, a feeling. Her delivery was both clear and heart-warming, and she (as always) established a friendly rapport with her audience. Perfect.

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Andrew Hurst is also no stranger to the park, having played here for Fantasy last year too. Only last week I enjoyed Andrew’s longer session in the White Bear, but today it was a couple of shorter sets. He played both covers and self-penned numbers, ranging from the quiet and intimate, through to the noisier upbeat numbers. I was left wondering how two hands can play quite so many notes so quickly. Close your eyes sometimes and it sounded like two guitars – fantastic stuff.

Next week, the final one of the Month of Sundays, will feature the very entertaining Rockin’ Bandits. So get yourself along there!

I left the crowd enjoying their Sunday afternoon in the park because a) I wanted to check out another artist playing in the White Bear’s Sunday afternoon sessions, and b) it was time for a beer! The artist in question was Bristol-based Andy Juan – new to me, but glad I made the trip.

Andy is a singer/ songwriter of some considerable talent. His songs were well-crafted, his vocals intense, and his guitar-playing spot on. He’s one of those artists who, when he’s playing a song, gets completely in the zone, completely in the moment. His focus, his concentration, were wonderful to behold. Playing mostly his own beautiful songs, he wasn’t afraid to throw in the occasional cover as well. But this wasn’t done as a mere afterthought. I’ve long been of the opinion that, if you’re going to cover a well-known song, you need to do one of two things – either replicate the original very exactly (to show how well you can actually listen to another artist’s work), or else give the original a complete re-working (to show how you can re-interpret the meaning, or the feeling, of the original song, to add something entirely new). Andy was definitely in the latter category, and the results were truly stunning. I shall definitely be listening to this guy again.

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On top of all that he delivered his sets with warmth and humour, engaging the audience throughout. And he was a nice bloke too.

Next Sunday (28th July) the White Bear’s Sunday session at 5pm will feature the very talented, and very versatile, Ian O’Regan. One not to be missed.

So there you go – one afternoon, three acoustic artists. Three different styles, but all united in being very talented, very entertaining and (thankfully) very laid-back – perfect! What’s not to like?


© 2017-2019 Devizine (Andy Fawthrop)
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