Friday, 6 July 2007

REVIEW: Shaun, Rikki, Kathryn, Matt

Words by Charlette Hannah
Photo's by Rebecca Holleman

There seems to be a neverending supply of talented solo artists in this city! On this wet and chilly night (what night isn't lately) we ventured down the back alleys to Subnine, home of drum 'n bass and all things electronic. This was evidenced by the slightly shaky sound system the performers had to deal with. It looked like a great set up for a DJ - but couldn't handle a band at this stage.

After a few technical hitches, the evening started with Shaun K Anderson. I have to admit, he's grown on me since I last saw him. Not that I ever disliked his music, by any means, but this time I felt a bit more from it. I would like to see a bit more of a dynamic performance, but Shaun does have a lovely voice, and I think the songs become more appealing each listen.

Each set was very short, only four or five songs, which was actually quite nice. It meant those who a) have a short attention span and b) have to get up the morning, such as myself, got a taste of each performer, a nice evening, and no need to sneak out before the end!

Rikki Doolan

After Shaun, Rikki Doolan took the stage. Rikki has a pleasantly casual aura, and a voice that reminds me somewhat of Mr E of The Eels. He puts on quite a dynamic performance, and tonight that included a John Lennon song - Working Class Hero. Of course, I'm always a bit of a sucker for an English accent!

Kathryn Baker broke the male trend, with her lilting pop voice and finely crafted acoustic songs. I first saw Kathryn with her band Vade, which I would almost liken to a female Radiohead with less keyboards and more rock. Her solo work has interesting melodies, and her voice is lovely. She ended with a song called 'Be Straight With Me' which illustrated the heartfelt nature of her lyrics.

I'm not sure exactly what point the party next door got started, but I first noticed it between Kathryn's songs. It must have been a bit of a challenge to play with loud drum 'n bass in the background, and I admire that they didn't get distracted! Or if they did, they hid it well.
Matt Holleman

Last up was Matt Holleman, with his unique vocal style and skilled guitaring. Matt's songs manage to be unusual somehow, in a scene where different from one thing means the same as something else. I was a bit mystified by the tone of the guitar - what kind of strings do you use, Matt? Again, a very short set meant that it was a brief encounter with Matt's music, but what I heard got my attention which is always a good start!

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