Henry’s Cellar Bar 28/5/14
I had intended to but didn’t manage to pop into Henry’s for the Superhoot on Monday even though I was just across the street at The Usher Hall for The Flaming Lips gig, as you can see from the blog other things transpired.
I had saw that Janette Ayachi was getting some good reviews for her new book, A Choir of Ghosts and so decided quite late in the day to pop along to Henry’s Early Evening Caberet to check her out in action as well as catch up with Lach and the other regulars and some new bands.
Even though it was pretty wet I still found the time to take a few snaps on my way there. It’s quite funny, that you can walk the same road many times and each time spot some new things of interest. I guess, that’s what happens when you become Selfie obsessed, cause I usually like to stick my mug into the shot as well….although I’m guessing you’ve noticed that by now. 😉
I had arrived a bit early though and so went for a drink in the Blue Blazer on Spittal Street. It is a good solid working mans pub, a real pub with real people, not those face people but actual real ones and so I knew the music there would be at least tolerable.
I was more than happy to discover that it was indeed up to scratch with Talking Heads, Blondie and New Order among others played on the stereo.
They had a new Bar Staff member there called Jenni who I think I freaked out a bit when I asked if she would mind if I took her photo without explaining what it was for first. I wanted to get a photo of her on her first day for this blog obviously but then again if I started a new job I don’t think I’d be over delighted to pose for a photo 10 minutes into my first shift for some arsehole I’d never met before.
It turns out that she writes comedy and music reviews for Love Music Love Life website and hopes to write for The Skinny during the Edinburgh Festival so I’m glad I gave her a small tip in case she comes to review me. 😉
When I got to Henry’s I discovered that I had hardly any power left on my camcorder or the extra battery I had brought, so I gave the cable to Neil the barman to charge up only to realise I had forgot to bring the adapter for the European style plug on the charger. Doh!
So I could only record a couple of things with my video camcorder before reverting to using my camera to take a clip or two of each act instead of their whole set, which I normally do. Oh well, can’t win them all, so please accept my apologies for the quality of some of the clips but hopefully if you like what you see you can go and check out the artist in more detail via their website or whatever.
Miss Annabel Sings
Miss Annabel Sings is definately my type of hostess with the mostess. She has a very warm personality that is both very friendly yet a little bit edgy at time which I love. She introduced the acts at the start of the show and then scurried them off before getting the crowd warmed up with some lovely banter. She even had a go at me cause I wasn’t looking at her as I was scrambiling through my bad to see if I had any batteries to film the show. Sorry about that Annabel but needs must. 🙂
She then sang us a song to kick the evening off which I didn’t manage to record as the search was still ongoing. It is a bit of a shame that cause she has a lovely singing voice and got the crowd up for show in great fashion.
Ed Ritchie from Dog On A Swing was the first act on and because I already had videoed him a few times I had to let this one slide to save what little batter power I had for some other acts. However, he sang 3 lovely songs and again proved what a great songwriter he is, I’m sure he’ll be back.
I had seen Janette perform before at Soapbox but as I was on not long after her I was too busy panicking to really focus on her set, so I was really happy to sit in the front row and absorb her magical poetry in full effect.
Miss Annabel Sings introduced her a Sorceress and indeed she is as far as word play goes anyway. She grabbed the audiences attention from the start and there was attentive silence throughout her performance which needless to say went down very well. Check her out below and if you like what you hear then goto her website and purchase her books. She writes the type of poetry you can fully absorb over many reads.
Cherry Fox is a regular at Henry’s Caberet and each week she performs different songs while removing items of clothing. What’s not to like? This week she sang her version of The Cure song ‘Lullaby’. Good choice indeed.
After a 10 minute break Cherry came back on dressed in her normal every day clothes. She explained that the previous week she forgot a very important part of her costume which rendered her strip tease undoable, although I personally wouldn’t have complained. lol.
She said as is the tradition she was made to perform in her normal clothes and in doing so, got some good feedback. So this time she decided to do that off her own back and I must say, although the clothe removing is a nice destraction, without that aspect it allowed us to focus on her voice and the emotion that she put into the song and I thought she was great. Happy to listen to her semi-naked or clothed. Go Cherry!
Next up was another Burlesque artist, the wonderful Aurora Winterborn who runs a night called Candid Caberet. Another fine artist who got more than a few heartbeats racing with her performance, mine included.
Miss Annabell Sings & Cherry Fox
Although I was watching the batteries when Annabell started singing the last song of the caberet I had to switch the video on to capture it and I am really glad I did as I thought this was a great performance from them both.
So that was the end of another wonderful Early Evening Caberet Show. The audience were all very pleased and they promised to come back the following week. Although it kicks off quite early at around 7pm it is a great way to relax after work so if you are in town please pop in and support the acts. Much better than TV any time or day of the week.
That was not the end of the night however, only the beginning because there were a few bands on afterwards to keep the customers satisfied.
Elyssa Vulpes and the Bete Noir
I have seen Elyssa Vulpes and the Bete Noir play a few times now and as I get to know their songs I love them more each time. They are another excellent band on the Edinburgh scene and although Elyssa is Italian I believe, she sang a song about independence at the end of their set with the chorus ‘Come and Join Us on the Front Line’ and although I am not political in the sense that I will be voting, I did have to hold myself back from jumping up on stage with her and singing along.
I couldn’t contain myself at the end and went up and gave her a hug and told her that I wanted to join her earlier and she said I should have. Damn, opportunity missed. I have to be careful cause sometimes I have a tendancy to go too far so I was trying to be respectful but I should have trusted my instinct. Still I was on the Frontline with her briefly and that was cool. To me the frontline is where the people who put themselves out there to make a difference in whatever field they choose hang out and they are my kinda folk regardless of their nationality. Keep Rockin on Elyssa!
Black City Lights
Calum Robb and Julia Catherine Parr — a producer and vocalist duo from Wellington, New Zealand who call themselves Black City Lights were yet another great act. They are doing a tour of Europe and Lach managed to get them to perform at Henry’s. We were very lucky because I think they should have had lots of adoring fans following them around the country.
The Violent Mood Swings
The last act on that evening were The Violent Mood Swings who consist of Baz Simpson – Lead Vocals / Guitar / Harmonica, Ruairidh Morrison – Bass Guitar, Reece Braid – Drums / Percussion and Joe Catterson – Lead Guitar.
Baz does have a sort of underlying menace about him and you may well expect a violent mood swing from him anytime but he channels that energy into the music and although he said they were playing with a new lead guitarist this night you wouldn’t have known that they hadn’t been playing together for years.
This lot are a good old fashioned Hard Rock Blues Band who don’t fuck about. They played some covers like this John Lee Hooker one and the one below it which is a ‘two fingered salute’ to the British Establishment. My camera cuts out after 10 mins videoing so I didn’t realise I had missed the end but still, you can pick up their attitude for sure. Unfortunately I had to leave for the train before the end of their set but I was mightly impressed with them also.
Why can’t we hear these bands on the radio instead of the pap they play 24/7? People’s lives would certainly be enriched so why not pop along to Henry’s any day of the week as I have never left there without being at least entertained and usually blown away by the acts.