22-20s with support from Cathy Davey & Willy Mason ( Mcr Academy 3) - Live Review
with support from Cathy Davey & Willy Mason ( Mcr Academy 3)
The acoustically melodic Willy Mason from Massachusetts strained his acoustic guitar to produce sounds you wouldn’t expect one man and his instrument to conjure up. Minus accompaniment from usual partner in crime; his 15 year old brother, Mason’s poetic nature lured the blues rock devotees in with his friendly flirtation between the anti-folk and country genres. The scything and cynical ‘Hard Hand To Hold’ illuminated a colourful and philosophical set that featured his raw, youthful and crisp vocal style reminiscent of Adam Green (ex Moldy Peaches2000). Thus ensuring this thinking man provoked thoughts of admiration and set the audience on a voyage to self discovery.
In possession of perennially colourful and captivating qualities the Dublin born Cathy Davey and her band combined the lushness of Bjork with some PJ Harvey sharpness and cynicism, as was propelled in set highlight ‘Trade Secrets’ that added a touch of Tori Amos and gave off a lively feeling. New single ‘Cold Man’s Nightmare’ was just what this crowd wanted, as Cathy caressed the senses and teased the souls of the compelled listeners with her cutting lyrics and stomping instrumentals. She demonstrated to the delight of the onlookers that she is merely a vessel through which greatness flows.
The inclusion early on of the lacerating live favourite ‘Messed Up’ by the 22-20s, Lincolnshire’s answer to The Black Keys (not The White Stripes in my humble opinion) meant that blood was turned blue and hearts to rock very early by this rasping outfit. Front man Martin Trimble seemed in a nostalgic mood tonight, noting that crowd pleasers such as the robust ‘Such A Fool’ and ‘King Bee’ were songs they had been playing for years, a swipe against the hyped up tag that many are placing on them, perhaps?
This raucous set was punctuated (or exclamation marked, if you will?), by the poignant and piercing acoustic ballad; ‘Friends’ that tenders the view that trouble ends not in cash and cheques but with your chums. Trimbles’ slightly course vocals tenderized matters, as nods of approval were exchange from mesmerized audience members. This tour in essence, marks the end of the 22-20s initial offerings that culminated in a 10 track self titled debut album and crowd pleasing shows, but there is still mystery about them, as the bus ride home was full of conjecture as to where they go next? With Trimble’s boldness and the group’s intensity it could be anywhere.