Sessions #4 – Thomas Restaurant – NQ Manchester

Sessions is a regular music event put on by the great people at the Thomas Restaurant in Manchester’s sexy Northern Quarter. It’s a nice place and a damned good event, here is what our boss man Nick thought of the proceedings….

For a start this venue is gorgeous, a large glass front, two levels with the restaurant upstairs, a nice little bar with happy and well presented staff, what more can you ask for? You could ask for a gorgeous waitress holding the door open as you enter, they have that too. Check out the restaurant here, I didn’t eat but going off the drink and the amount of effort put in to this place I can almost certainly guarantee some good eats!

So the music, that’s what you all want to know about right? Well the night kicked off with Josh Kemp a very talented young singer songwriter with a similar sound and feel to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz or Newton Faulker. Josh makes some happy and upbeat songs and combines them with his unique and pretty damned charming voice. On top of that we have the excellent finger picking styles on guitar and some epic looping going on, Josh flawlessly flips through the layers like a mad man, its great to see but a million times better to hear. All in all it was a very strong set from Josh and I know I and a great deal of people in that room will be looking in to Josh more. Check out the website for more details and download his latest EP, it’s damned good!

Next up we had Minor Blues, a young and surprisingly tight band, playing a mix of classic rock and blues with some nice relaxed covers thrown in for good measure. Another strong performance though not perfect (if blues was perfect it wouldn’t be blues though right?) the guys clearly have got what it takes to do well and the feel between the musicians is excellent. Check out the guy’s website and have a listen for yourself, for a young band they are brimming with skill and can only go in one direction, Manchester’s music scene will see more and more of these lads!

Next in line we had a band that blew me away, House Of Trees, a Swedish three-piece that live in a forest. It’s just genius! As far as folk infused jazz soul goes this is it, these guys are a genre on their own with some unbelievably fantastic vocals and incredible guitar I am happy as hell! Then we have some great sax tunes tooting out and I am in heaven! It was a brilliant set from a brilliant band in a brilliant venue and that’s all I have to say on the matter.

Check out House Of Tree’s on their website here and make sure you buy records and see them live, they are amazing and I am lucky to have caught them live!

Finally we had Natalie McCool (this is her real name, how awesome is that?). At first I did a little sigh to myself seeing one young lady take the stage after an incredible band. But Natalie soon shut my judgemental face with her incredible vocals and beautifully written songs. This is how you do music, this is what music is all about. No sooner had Ms. McCool started and I was hooked these songs are flawlessly written and executed and as a live performance it was beautiful. You should all check out Natalie right now on her website and buy the records and see her live, she won’t be a secret for long and I can say with utter conviction that she will be massive this coming year. I don’t really like comparisons when it comes to such established musicians but I have to say that the PJ Harvey vibe was coming through strong and though Ms. McCool is doing her own thing and doing it well I’m sure it’s always nice to be compared to a Mercury winning, mind-blowing woman like PJ Harvey. Anyway buy the records and check out the latest single below…

The night was punctuated with some great poems from the very funny Mr. Dave Viney a local comedian/poet. From the off Dave has the room smirking and giggling away as well as reflecting on what it is to be a Mancunian, as an introduction to Dave this was a great find for me, I love comedy and Dave’s unique perspective on things really took my breath away see Dave’s website here and keep an eye out for his upcoming gig with our favourite Ukulele toting punk!

All in all Sessions#4 was a roaring success for the establishment and the organisers too, I wish them well in what they are doing and salute the fact that they pulled in a good number of people and some truly face melting acts. I look forward to Sessions#5 and I hope to see you all there too!

Join the Facebook group for details and make sure to come along to the next one, it’s a great night!!

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