Gig Review: BEAUTIFUL DAYS Charity Fundraiser @ St Ives House – 24/07/2015

LE - Jul - Beautiful Late Nights One of our CARABAS SPECIAL RECOMMEND‘s BEAUTIFUL LATE NIGHTS was the work of ALISON GRAY of the London Indie Music Meetup, a great night of bands at St Ives House, Clerkenwell and a charity fundraiser for a great cause. Mark K got along to sample the delights…

Tonight’s gig is a fundraiser for Body & Soul, a pioneering charity that supports children, teenagers and families living with, or affected by HIV, and is held on the third floor of their offices. The room lends itself surprisingly well to live music, having great acoustics. Meanwhile the low lighting and the tables decorated with candles add to a wonderful ‘club’ atmosphere. So, the stage is set…

BD - Belle & The Busker The entertainment commences with Belle and the Busker, whose line-up consists of a female singer, a guitarist and a bass player. Their glorious, intuitive harmonies decorate the lovely Summer Song, and also the relationship song It Takes Two. They show that a drummer would be superfluous as the guitar and bass add all the subtle percussion that these songs require.
Next up we have Cinimo. Or rather we have Dominic bravely representing his band! A fine job he makes of it too, presenting the most delicate singer-songwriterly material I’ve ever heard played on a Les Paul guitar. It’s exquisitely beautiful. There’s no other possible description. BD - Cinimo
BD - Malunga Malunga uncompromisingly grabs the evening by the throat with her rap-tinged r’n’b. She’s an astonishing ball of energy and emotion. Again there’s no drummer, but the band (featuring Dominic from Cinimo) handle mid-song tempo changes effortlessly. Malunga has a beautiful voice: tender one moment, and jaw-droppingly powerful the next. There’s even the odd bit of scat singing. She clearly has lots of diverse influences, but ultimately this is soul baby!
Without wishing to be in any way biased, the highlight of the evening for me (although it was a close-run thing with Malunga) is Maz O’Connor. Maz is the BBC Folk Newcomer of the Year, and has appeared at Glastonbury Festival. She is very much a rising star, and has a very relaxed and easy approach to performing. Her voice is clearer than the water of a lake in her native Cumbria, and she delivers wonderfully delicate finger-picked acoustic folk songs. BD - Maz O'Connor

Particular stand-outs are In The Crook Of His Arm, which is about a father holding his small baby, and The Mississippi Woman, an alternative creation story for which Maz retunes to an open tuning. She’s a superb performer, and I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from Maz O’Connor.

BD - Jessie Kilguss Apparently Jessie Kilguss only flew in from Brooklyn today, and thank goodness she did for it’s a trip that we benefit from mightily! Jessie plays with a full band (featuring Jon Landau, of whom more later) who are tight, restrained, powerful and taut simultaneously – which is no mean feat! Again there are a variety of influences on display here: indie, blues and absolutely rocking Americana. You Didn’t Do Right By Me has a blues feel, whilst Don’t Let’s Go To The To The Dogs Tonight could only be more Americana if it was waving the stars and stripes!!! They didn’t quite tear the roof off, but to quote the Duke Of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo: “it was a damn close run thing!”
Tonight’s headliners, John Landau and the Giants take the stage. They’re wonderfully unpretentious, matter of fact and to the point. They rock. Actually, they swing in a way that reminds me of Little Feat, and John’s guitar-playing is pleasantly reminiscent of the great Lowell George. They cover Big Star’s 13, which is a particular highlight for me. I’ve always been a big fan of three-piece bands as the musicians have to work so much harder, and there’s sufficient space in the music for the players to do interesting stuff. John Landau and the Giants do not disappoint in this area, and I shall certainly make the effort to see them again. BD - John Landau


This has been a superb evening of diverse and interesting music, and most importantly it has been for a great cause. Praise should go to Alison Gray for putting such an interesting bill together. However, some kind of citation should go to John Landau, who had been very ill the day and night before. However, despite feeling like death he organised the sound, played in Jessie Kilguss’s band, and then again in his own band. What a stout fellow!!!!

As we left, the same question seemed to be on everyone’s lips: when’s the next one???

Mark Kelly


Discover more and follow these great folk via the Twitter links here – #follow! 🙂


Cinimo (on Tumblr)