Open mic night at the Crown Inn, St John's, Worcester
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Open mic night at the Crown Inn, St John's, Worcester

I completed my examination of the latest open mic nights going as I called in to the James Gwynne (ex-Poetry In Numbers front-man) hosted event at the lively Crown Inn, St John's, Worcester.

I was tremendously impressed with duo Greg and Danny with their totally original set of bluesy moody numbers like Old Woods and Cold. This was very much a 'work-in-progress' for this quality pairing, who've worked with the likes of The Brethren's Mr Stanley and the John-Joe Murray-fronted Fishfeet. They're definitely ones to keep your eye out for.

A loss for Bristol, but a bonus for us, as the Blue Coma girl herself has relocated back to Hereford - but is still appearing all around the country as she develops her ArtStar project. It was solo mode, tonight, for Ria Parfitt kicking off with her Nancy Sinatra-type Kill Bill version of the Cher classic Bang Bang (nuff said!) before her own quality numbers like Put On A Light and Girl, Interrupted - closing off with her own take on Petula Clark's Down Town - I do like Ria's taste in music!

A thoroughly enjoyable (if slightly damp) evening across the river closed with the usual burst of complete unexpectedness from the Retinal Circus AKA Craigus Barry - brilliant and completely baffling in equal measures thank goodness! He's got some cracking new numbers in Mother Of Pearl and Cold War and has an impromptu ditty about the Transit Of Venus (yes - probably the disappointment of the century!). There was a first outing for the new song about a Zombie apocalypse before his 3/4-time closing number Apes and the 2/4-time Dali. Craigus is one of our treasures who can blow hot and cold in equal measures - and a little bit of both again tonight I thought.

Andy O'Hare

Local gigs and music CD reviews

  • 22 Jan 2013