Sunday, 3 March 2013

3/3/2013 Jelly, Scant Regard, Special Branch & Anna-Christina @ The Dublin Castle

SubjectJelly, Scant Regard, Special Branch & Anna-Christina @ The Dublin Castle
DateCreated3/14/2013 4:01:00 PM

Sunday night finds me in Camden for a varied bill at the Dublin Castle. A surprise last minute addition to the bill is Anna-Christina - more usually to be seen fronting Lilygun 

This very late addition to the bill is part of a series of solo acoustic gigs the enigmatic Anna-Christina is playing under the guise 'Pretty Little Lady?'. This is also the title of her opening song - the question mark is deliberate and becomes clearer (a bit) when you actually hear the song.

This lady has some issues she needs to get out of her system and these songs (especially the first two) would seem to be her therapy.

It's interesting to see another side of this somewhat mysterious artiste, and her voice sounds quite different in this musical medium than her more usual rock mode - and better for it in my opinion although not everyone would agree. The lady is obviously doing something right though as her songs are well recieved by this early evening Camden crowd.

At only five songs Anna-Christina's set is short but (bitter)sweet and finishes with the lady revealing one of her musical influences with cover of the Garbage song 'Fix Me Now' - form an orderly queue gentlemen.

Next up is something unusual for this venue - a cover band. Special Branch kick out a set of high charged R&B songs - some well known, others less so. They are tight as a duck's arse and have a lot more energy than most bands you'll see playing covers in pubs.

This is 1970's style pub rock in a style similar to Dr Feelgood, and they throw in one or two of that great band's songs. This lot are certainly worth checking out if they pop up playing in your local.

It's back to more usual Dublin Castle fare as Jelly take to the stage.

Like the previous band this lot's influences are mainly from the past - think American alt-rock and New Wave. They are all good musicians who have obviously paid their dues and play in a relaxed and confident manner.

Their engaging and theatrical frontman draws you into their slightly Bohemian world and their bassist adds some laid back glamour.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the stage some sharp riffs are jagged leads are being hurled in our direction - there is plenty going on to keep the attention.

The final act of the night sends things off in another direction. The the second night out in a row I see a member of Rachel Stamp playing in a Camden pub! After seeing drummer Robin Guy on Friday night now here is guitarist Will Crewdson in solo guise as 'Scant Regard'.

Playing to a backing track he kicks out a barrage of 60's style surf riffs and the odd vocal. He's a pretty decent guitarist and carries it off well - playing quite a long mainly intrumental set without running out of steam.

It's been a good night of varied but quality music at the Dublin Castle for around a fiver, and for once I actually remember that the trains stop earlier on a Sunday night and leave early enough after a few pints of Weston's.

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