First on was Ingrid Andrews, who had a lovely all-ages band that included a mandolin player, two guitarists (and her too) and a tabla player who turned up just in time for the last song. Her songs are gentle rambles, not punchy or catchy, but very dreamy and introverted. Her band loves her music- they seemed together even though, as she admitted, they were under-rehearsed. But they all seemed very contented to be there. Ingrid is an older artist, and she is very determined and dedicated, and her spirit is admirable.
Next up was Apache John, a 3-piece; once again, good-humoured, but very different musically. I think they were a busking band- he had a guitarist/uke player, and his wife on the floor drum (it was utterly sweet the way she sang along to every song and smiled to herself at the funny bits). It was as though they had been plonked straight into 2008 from the sixties, without experiencing any of those life horrors that turn people into nasty cynics. Their songs were really catchy and they were very tight- you could tell because it all seemed so simple but if you watched carefully you could see all sorts of quite complicated musical stuff going on.
Then there was me- not too bad considering my lack of sleep altho' I messed up Heaven Avenue and rescued it again. Sorry Daintees fan who is a prude and didn't realise Heaven Avenue was a drugs song!
Lastly, Guitar Fever played- two very competent guitarists who played blues-flavoured songs very skilfully.
But I only managed to listen to three songs before completely flaking out and driving home in a contented daze, thankfully on the right side of the road.
It was a perfect night for a January evening, warm and relaxed, in spite of the fact that Hannah knocked over a bench and five minutes later I knocked over a pint of water. I like the Cross Kings- I'm sure it was a youth club in another life.