Tom Hingley - The Cellar Bar, Draperstown
Tom Hingley, Rory McKee, Junior Johnson
The Cellar Bar, Draperstown
Sunday 8th April 2012
From the city lights to The Cellar Bar, Draperstown - famous on the local scene for the G Sessions. First on tonight’s bill is Randalstown’s Junior Johnson - one man and his guitar. In his element amongst the craic of a rammed front bar, JJ happily sets us up for a night of acoustic folk and blues. Occasionally it’s mere background but more than often there’s plenty of clapping and knee slapping as way of encouragement. We’re treated to his take on Cashier No 9’s ‘Good Bye Friend’ and an equally unexpected and brilliant version of ‘Everyday People’ by Sly and The Stone. His own ‘Colder Ground’ shows what he’s really made of, baring modest resemblance to Willie Nelson. A little rough around the edges for sure, but therein lies the charm.
Next up is Rory McKee, adding a looped iPad to the evening’s acoustic theme. A very clean performance and impressive on some levels - strong layered vocals and impressive guitar work, for a start. While what’s missing is unclear, we end up more than a little distracted.
Our headliner tonight is Inspiral Carpets frontman and pre-britpop legend Tom Hingley. Within moments of ‘Most Beautiful Woman Alive’ we know we’ve a confident, experienced performer in our midst. Some of the more appropriate Inspiral Carpets moments are reworked in amongst his own solo work. At one point, he even references ‘Summer Lovin’’ from Grease - a welcoming move. His passionate take on ‘Don’t Want to be the Fighter Anymore’ is dedicated to anyone who has ever lost a parent - a poignant moment. By the time a banjo is introduced for ‘Dogsuit’ - we’re onboard. The perfect headliner for a relaxed Easter evening.