Jul 21, 2007

Old Man River @ The Vanguard

Playing the second night in a row of sold out shows at The Vanguard in Newtown, Old Man River put on a thoroughly entertaining and rewarding show on Friday night. Finishing the show at midnight they delighted with their eclectic blend of rock, country, folk and sixties style pop. Ohad Rein has recently augmented the band with two more members which has fleshed out the sound out even more, especially with the magical addition of a Sitar, which opened the show. The band play an upbeat, happy type of music which is certain to always make you smile. Ohad's songs are fairly simple lyrically but are very personal and convey a good amount of emotion. Also he is a wonderful guitarist (his jams are great) and a powerful and soulful singer. Highlight songs were "Wedding Song", "Sunshine" and the crowd pleaser "LA", where is had support acts Cuthbert & The Night Walkers and Lisa Mitchell join him on stage for a rousing send off.

Although the headline act was very entertaining and enjoyable, my greatest delight and joy of the night was seeing, for the first time, support act Cuthbert & The Night Walkers. They were a surprise and certainly a band I will follow with great interest. Colourful to the extreme, they were light on instrumentation but big on heart, soul and harmonies. Oh, the harmonies were amazing. Lead singer Richard, strumming an acoustic guitar, led the way with his personal tales of everyday life. Backing him up were four female singers who chimed in with beautiful vocals that made each song an extravaganza of melody and rhythm. To further augment the sound and colour there were two percussionists dressed in clown faces who were not only funny but chimed in with little touches that suited the sound perfectly. This is a band that is original and daring, making beautiful music that is very hard to resist.

This was my first night to The Vanguard and I had a wonderful time. Intimate and cosy, the decor is very European with candlelit tables, red decor and just an warm and luxurious feel. Dinner is served before the music starts and the food is quite good, providing excellent value once you take in the combination price of meal and show. My only complaint. If you attend this venue, or any other similar style dinner/show venues please try to be quiet for the duration of the performers' sets. I find it so disrespectful to fellow show goers and particularly to the performers themselves.

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