Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Acoustic Folk Highway - March

Decorations at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

Hello and welcome to this month’s The Acoustic Folk Highway post!

If you’re sitting there like, “Um Ellora, what are you talking about..?”, then pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea (or tequila) and listen in.
The Acoustic Folk Highway is a monthly live music event held at The Harrison in Kings Cross, London. Coincidentally one of my favourite bars in London because they stock Old Mout Cider.

Old Mout Cider at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

Yeah, that’s cider from Nelson. 10 points to The Harrison.
Back to the music! It’s organised by a very talented guy who goes by the name Danny Leigh – also the host and a performer. This is only the second time I’ve attended but both times, Matthew Goodsmith & Yi Xin Yan have done an amazing job at making the basement gig venue burst to life with unique decorations and art. This time there was even some adorable jewellery – look!

Handmade jewellery at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Handmade jewellery

How cute is that?! Anyway, with no further ado...


Danny Leigh 


Danny Leigh performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

First up was Danny Leigh. Now he performed a similar set last time so you can check out what I wrote about that in my previous post here, but I can safely assure you he lived up to my expectations. In fact, I think they were exceeded!
My two favourite songs would have to be Your Touch & Leaning Tree. His lyrics are witty and different to your everyday sort of stuff.
I feel if I write any more about Danny, I’ll be repeating what I said last time but you should definitely check out his music! 
I like to listen to it when I’m writing, it’s pretty chill.

Danny Leigh performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Danny Leigh performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London



Ella Brand


Ella Brand performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

Ella was the next musician to grace the stage, filling the room with a hauntingly beautiful sound. When I listened to her play in sound check, I immediately heard a similar style in her voice to Daughter (as did Agata).
(If you don’t know who Daughter is, go and educate yourself now please)
Originally from Essex, Ella studies at The Institute. She uses her talent at finger picking for some really nice intros and outros, while her songs built in the middle.
In saying that, I think a faster intro would have been welcome in a song or two. Her super catchy choruses and slightly country-ish undertones made for a great performance – I’d love to see her play again sometime!

Ella Brand performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Ella Brand performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

You can see more of Ella Brand on Facebook, SoundCloud & Twitter.


Hayley Harland


Hayley Harland performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

As those of you who read my last post will know, Hayley performed at The Acoustic Folk Highway in February. Unfortunately one of the artists that was organised to play this time had to return to Paris early, so Hayley stepped in at last minute to treat our ears (and eyes) to something special. Again, I won’t dive into a lot of detail as I have already talked about Hayley last time, so head over and read that once you’re done here.
Hayley impressed myself and everyone else in attendance once again with her charm, confidence and, of course, gorgeous music.

Hayley Harland performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Hayley Harland performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Hayley Harland performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

You can check out Hayley’s music through Facebook, Twitter & her website. On that note, if you sign up to her newsletter, you’ll receive a free track download in the next few weeks – how cool is that?! Jump on it.


Philip John


Philip John performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

This Bournemouth-based musician took to the stage with a rush of energy and charisma. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but it certainly took me by surprise! Think Matt Corby meets Johnny Cash.. Give or take.
It was obvious that Philip is a natural-born performer from the moment he stepped onto the stage. His jokes came easily and he was great at keeping his cool, even when things didn’t quite go to plan.
Example A: “If you buy my music online, I might be able to one day afford a guitar that stays in tune for more than one song”. Golden.
Combining epic tuning-on-the-go skills, an impressive vocal range and a very husky campfire voice, Philip gave a stellar performance.

Philip John performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Philip John performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

Go and check him out on Facebook, Bandcamp, SoundCloud & Twitter.


Agata


Agata performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

This lovely lady had the honour of headlining, meaning she played an extended set – great news for the audience. I’m totally biased in everything I’m about to write but hey, I’m going to do it anyway.
Agata’s voice paired with the way she uses her guitar makes for a unique sound. I thought it was very sweet that she played the first song she ever wrote– and that was evidence enough that she certainly has talent!
I have no idea if these are actual influences of hers, but I could definitely hear hints of Norah Jones and Kate Nash weaving their way into her music.
As she had a fair bit of time on stage, she tried out some new material as well as her older songs and, just for good measure, a few cheeky covers. A special mention must go to the duet that she and Hayley did of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” – it was breathtaking. They originally filmed it for YouTube, and then made the most of the opportunity of performing at the same gig to show off their talent together live.
My favourite song of the night, however, was a new one called ”Bridges”. Her lyrics are catchy and interesting, and always tell a story which is mirrored by her performance - she is very good at capturing the emotion and making the audience feel that with her.

Agata performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Agata & Hayley Harland performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London
Agata & Hayley Harland performing at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

If you like what you see, discover more of Agata on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & Instagram.

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You can also see more photos I took in full resolution on Flickr here.

Thanks to all of those involved for putting on such a lovely night of music.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Irish jam (completely unrelated to this event, but awesome nonetheless) that was going on upstairs after The Acoustic Folk Highway wrapped up! Super cool.
I’m going to leave you with a nice photo of Agata’s support crew (/The A Team).

Supporters at The Acoustic Folk Highway - The Harrison, London

I’m off to Spain on Friday for 10 whole days and I cannot even put into words how excited I am!!!!!
As always, that means you can expect some (hopefully) interesting posts coming up.

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