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Josh Pyke

The Gloucester

5 June 2007

The first support of the night was Some Best Friend a solo act with a Noel Gallagher style appreciation for nice little melodies. Ed Ling tonight played on his own as warm up to the next two acts. The sound was good and Ed played well to a handful of people, people who were clearly enjoying the performance. Now it would be very cynical of me to say the audience who were showing their support tonight were friends of Mr Ling so I wont. All in all his tunes were nice and catchy and a good warm up to the next act but a lot needs to be done before Ed Ling manages to break a very difficult market. There are so many acts that are similar and draw their influence from the same people as Some Best Friend do. He was given a good reception and he finished to good applause.

The problem with going to so many gigs is that after a while you begin to forget what makes a truly great performance. There are so many ok bands out there that you almost become numbed and go through the motions. Occasionally though you come across something that hits you immediately and resonates. Nat Jenkins is very young but his music comes from a variety of influence though hard to pick one though there is a familiarity to the sound which captivates. The great thing about this set was that the tunes were catchy and I never felt like the set was dragging which can happen when you see new and developing acts. As a support act I was impressed, this band could headline any modest music venue in Brighton and the audience would enjoy the act and feel they had witnessed an emerging talent. Nat dresses in a style reminiscent 1970s downtown New York; he swaggers the stage with authority and looks at ease with himself and his more than competent band. They recently supported the Kooks and you can see that their confidence has rubbed off, Nat Jenkins and the Delmars command the stage and captivate the audience immediately. The music is fast, loud and very exciting leaving no one looking at their watch or using the opportunity to get a drink whilst the bars quiet. When the band finish you wonder where the time went, this in my opinion is when you know you have seen something which given time will progress beyond a support band and for Nat Jenkins and the Delmars very rightly so.

The main act tonight is Josh Pyke an Australian singer songwriter, the problem with coming on after a good act is you really have to keep up the momentum, unfortunately Josh failed. Dont get me wrong he had a fair reception but not really what youd expect for a headline act. I have been to many gigs in Brighton and elsewhere and can honestly say I have never ever seen what I saw tonight. Sounds good so far but what happened was unique for all the wrong reasons. Midway through a laborious set which had me thinking of a second rate Scott Matthews a couple of girls waltzed up to the stage (whilst Josh was still singing) and put their arms around each other and posed for a photo. These girls proclaimed themselves as fans though they made poor old Josh look absolutely ridiculous. I chuckled to myself in disbelief; Josh could hardly believe it himself though it was by far the most interesting part of the act. Dont get me wrong perhaps Josh had one of those dodgy nights all performers get but I had I not been standing I may have nodded off. The gig ended and Josh was given a pleasant applause though I really dont think Id be rushing to go and see him play again.

The night for me was ultimately saved by Nat Jenkins, which just goes to show its worth arriving early and catching the support because sometimes you never really know what you might find.

Words: Neil McLennan
Photos: Justin Evans
More photos: Josh Pyke, Nat Jenkins, Some Best Friend

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