Sunday 25 May 2008

Ryan O'Reilly at the Discovery Centre, Winchester

I used to go to school in Newcastle and seemed to spend the best part of five years waiting for a bus at one end or the other of the Westgate Road. We used to tell a joke - "Why are Newcastle buses like bananas? Because they are yellow and come in bunches." I know, its not that funny. What is funny, though, is that I go for months without recording anything, and then I get three gems in one day.

Ryan O'Reilly's business card says he is a singer/songwriter/musician, and if his short session before Polly and the Billets Doux at the Discovery Centre, Winchester last night is anything to go by, he's very good at all three. Here's a couple of his songs, sung with a smokey voice and a lyrics that hint at a life full of experience.


I know I'm not good enough:

If you like these songs, go check out more of his work on his web site or on Myspace or just buy some of his tracks on iTunes.

Rowlie at the Discovery Centre, Winchester

As I mentioned in my earlier post today, Rowlie opened the evening last night for Polly and the Billets Doux, at the Discovery Centre, Winchester. Rowlie is a print maker at the Winchester College of Fine Art, and, if his printing is as good as his singing and guitar playing, he's going to have a very successful career ahead of him. Shades of Syd Barrett, with similar lightness of touch and quirky lyrics.

Well, since I wrote the previous paragraph on on Sunday, I've seen some of Rowlie's work and I'm really impressed. This piece combines a great piece of fantastical artwork with an imaginative use of a virtual magnifying glass. I'll leave the reader to discover how to navigate the site, but take your time - it'll be worth it. I'd love to see the 1600x1400 dip pen and ink original. You'll find more of Rowlie's work on his web site.

The Queen and I:


Polly and the Billets Doux at The Discovery Centre, Winchester

If you were in Winchester last night, you couldn't have had a better time than I had, listening to Polly and the Billets Doux playing live at The Discovery Centre - Winchester's new, intimate performance venue. After un-billed performances by the multi-talented Rowlie and Ryan O'Reily (surely a star in the making), Polly and her band came on to a rousing welcome and certainly didn't disappoint.

Here are a few samples.

When I get low I get high:

The old blues standard House of the Rising Sun, rendered in a way that makes it sound new, all over again:

The set closed with this - look out for Polly playing the lead guitar!

You can buy PBD's new EP CD at any good record shops or, I'm told, from iTunes, or visit the band web site . Their MySpace profile lists their upcoming gigs, including the GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL on 27 Jun 2008 at 13:00 .

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was thinking of getting a video camera. Well, as you can see, I got one and it's really great. Not too heavy but super quality, though you lose a lot when you compress the movie file for use on YouTube. I'll post some more videos and some music mp3s from the show, so keep a look out.