On Saturday, I looked in on the Super Humanz music marathon at Bar 303, where my friend Liam Limebucket was playing. Arriving for Liam's set at lunchtime, I was delighted, as ever to hear Liam do his blend of yearning, soaring vocals and passionate guitar.
After this, I caught a band of young men around 1:30, whose name I didn't catch, but who were definitely Yes enthusiasts, and whose prog rock inspired tunes were interesting and satisfying to the ear. They had a humour and rapport with the audience which appealed too.
Later, after a late lunch of Vietnamese fare at Bang Bang, I headed back to hear Kyle Taylor, whose heart-wrenching lyrics and dramatic guitar, piano, and occasional blues harp were mesmerising and moving. An inspired act indeed.
Next, I heard Grand Prismatic. These guys had a fantastic sound, somewhat reminiscent of Velvet Underground, and also of the Cure. Incredibly solid drumming underpinned a wash of sound in which, if closed your eyes, you could lose yourself completely. I was really impressed.
In the evening, sitting at a table in the front bar, drawing with coloured pencils on paper with my friends' children, I was blown away by the blues styling of Alastair Tyrell. He played a lap guitar, with a tambourine on his foot, but apart from his stunning blues guitar, the sheer power of his voice was unmistakable. Opening with the blues classic I've got a woman, and going from there to his own brand of original numbers, Alastair gave strong performance which had the room captivated.
Lastly, I was lucky enough you hear a young woman named Nicolette Forte. Walking onto the stage in bare feet, and accompanying herself on guitar, Nicolette opened witha rendition of I will survive which had all eyes and ears on her. Joined by two drummers and an electric violin player, she proceeded to deliver a warm, big-hearted and vocally fantastic set to the appreciative room. This woman is one to watch.
We had to leave before the night was over and take Liam Limebucket and the Lovely Lea's children home to bed, but this was an absolutely fantastic showcase of talent, mainly from the Bendigo and Ballarat regions. I will definitely urge my City friends to get along to the next one!