Haunting bluegrass and pop/folk filling the reception of a MK office block on an icy Wednesday lunchtime. Louise Petit (a 3 person band with Louise as vocalist and ukulele/ guitarist) took a majority of their set from their Fear and My Other Friends EP. To be fair it wasn’t a standard office reception they were playing, the venue Acorn House is the local voluntary sector hub and they do have within their foyer a small gallery space as well as their reception desk. The trio had some interesting and attractive modern art from Calibre Graphics as their back drop.
The waif like vocalist had an attractive vulnerability about her during the performance, coming in part as she revealed during the banter from the completely unplugged nature of the event and the lack of a mic.
The first track Ghosts had a gentle jazz feel and was soft to the ear. The next Demons had a much more definite bluegrass feel to it with the drum and double bass giving a sound which was a little reminiscent of Old Crow Medicine Show. It had a really catchy chorus.
Damn This Part of Me had an enchanting and extremely haunting melody. It was an example of that sound which comes out of the way gospel and bluegrass have come together in the past. Listening to the soft sounds caressing me I could feel the music gently washing over me and nourishing my soul. It was an extremely beautiful song, which to me was the highlight of the set.
Then it was on to a cheesy but fun rendition of White Christmas. Louise, the singer, seemed to relax during this song which was being sung as patches of snow lay with the ice on the pavement outside. The audience were given shakers and bells to jingle at this point. At the end of it the drummer’s mum shouted out a request – which was played later. It was lovely watching the enthusiasm this woman had for the music as well as the pride she had for her son, (as well as seeing said son slump down behind his drums with that look embarrassed children of any age have).
You Love Me First was an easy listening love song with that timeless feel which means you would be hard pressed to identify exactly which era since the 1950’s it came from. It sounded like it should have been plucked out of a romcom sound track.
Christmas Time With You was what the drummer’s mum had requested and is also the new single and the link I’ve put in to the title will take you to the You Tube video. It is a good simple Christmas song which has the chorus “I like Christmas time, more than that I like Christmas time with you.” It’s a tune which wouldn’t have been out of place on Tracey Thorn’s Tinsel and Lights Christmas album which is currently out. Both Thorn’s new material from this album and the Petit tune reflect the more chilled out approach to Christmas music which appears to have come back into vogue. Appreciated the free download code for Christmas Time With You which was given out at the end of the gig.
The last track they played was Love is Pure which was another bluegrassy number and which was one of those taken from the EP.
Overall a really good lunchtime gig which generally worked well, although at one point the noise of those at the reception desk was a little distracting. Apparently it was the first gig of this type they’ve put on at Acorn House, but I certainly hope it won’t be the last. Really enjoyed this treat of discovering a new act on a cold and miserable day when I’d only popped out to go to Sainsbury’s. The couple of pictures from Ambrose Hudson Arts which were also on display in the gallery area were also interesting to look at although I personally preferred the Calibre Graphics ones.