Gig Review – Tell It To The Beer

Old Bakery Studios, Truro 10/11/2017
“Tell It To The Beer” was a charity night raising money on behalf of Cornish charity The Invictus Trust. It was a family friendly, feel-good night with excellent performances from Gaz Brookfield, Auction For The Promise Club and Nick Parker.

The Venue

The Old Bakery Studios is Truro’s newest performance venue and it is a fantastic addition to the city’s night life. Music events are held in an underground dungeon of rock, below the independent artist studios. The bar has its own entrance from the street, via a long glowing corridor daubed with neon graffiti, and mouth watering food is provided in an ante-chamber by Punk Thai. The bar itself is basic but friendly and sells all the necessaries. At the moment there is only one female toilet though, so don’t leave it too late as the venue holds over 300 people! There are plans to expand the facilities in the near future but in the meantime the place is wonderfully almospheric. The dark and dingy, stripped back room places the emphasis on the stage and the music, and invites the audience to just let go and be fully immersed in the show, with no distractions.

Nick Parker

Nick started the evening off and had everyone laughing and singing along within minutes with his hilarious ‘Double Denim Dad’ song written by his long suffering son, followed quickly by a song about how he shouldn’t write protest songs – a protest song written by his even more long suffering dog. Nick’s tongue-in-cheek songs are beautifully crafted and very witty, with choruses that you just can’t ignore. Audience participation was at a high even without Nick providing flash cards to help with the words. For his whimsical love song “Guess I’ll Never Know” however it was unavoidable, with Nick handing out lyric sheets and getting all the men in the room singing against the women, then joining together in a rousing chorus at the end. Warm, funny, uplifting and highly entertaining, Nick is definitely a performer to watch out for.

Nick started his solo career in 2010 and has shared stages with The Wedding Present, Bright Eyes, Ben Marwood, Frank Turner, Mike Peters and Mike Scott among others. He has released three albums and regularly tours Gaz Brookfield.

 

Auction For The Promise Club

Local legends Auction For The Promise Club, from St Agnes then ramped up the energy in the room and got us dancing and cheering with their unique sound which combines the caressing ethereal voice of singer Zoe White Chambers with catchy drum rhythms and heavy, textured, grungy riffs from the two guitars.

AFTPC have played Bestival, Boardmasters, The Great Escape, Y Not Festival, Radio 1’s Big Weekend Showcase, Looe Festival and in 2012 headlined the Emerging Icons Stage in the Olympic Park for the opening day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Gaz Brookfield

Gaz Brookfield rounded the evening off by making the entire room fall head over heels in love with him. His cheeky grin, his infectious laughter and rousing songs creating the perfect end to a perfect evening. To be fair though, I may have been the ONLY person in the room who wasn’t already a devoted fan as everyone else seemed to know all the words and be bantering with him like old friends. As for me, I was completely hooked by “Diabetes Blues” which takes the personal tragedy of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and turns it into a drinking song! The whole audience waving their drinks at him and jeering “No I can’t drink Cider any more!” is quite a sight! This was followed by endearing songs about his van, car problems and the wonderful “I’ve Paid My Money” a far too familiar song about how people behave at gigs.

Since winning Acoustic magazine’s 2010 Singer Songwriter of the year, Gaz has spent his time on the road, touring the UK and Europe. In this time he has shared the stage with the likes of The Levellers, Frank Turner, New Model Army, Nick Harper, Newton Faulkner, Miles Hunt, Seth Lakeman and many more, racking up over 1000 gigs to date. Often playing as many as 200 gigs a year, Gaz’s relentless and never-ending tour schedule takes him to every corner of the country and beyond but his energy is undiminished. After doing the usual encores, and only being forced to stop due to a noise curfew, Gaz left the stage but popped up in the middle of the floor two minutes later to carry on completely unplugged!

“West Country Song” with its chorus “There’s no place I’ll go, where I’ll feel as at home… so you will always know, I will return” becomes a very emotional anthem when sung by hundreds of enthusiastic Cornish folk at a charity gig raising money for young people with problems in the local community!

 

The Invictus Trust

This outstanding evening of music was organised by Marcus Chaplin and all profits from the event, plus 10% of artists merchandise sales are going to The Invictus Trust. The Invictus Trust is a small charity which aims to support and offer services to local teenagers who are suffering from poor mental health and associated issues. Funds raised are used for raising awareness and campaigning.

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