Ayesha, opening tonight whilst the packed crowds at The Garage were eagerly awaiting Ian Siegal (a daunting prospect for anyone…), managed it well as the crowd listened and enjoyed the music being shared with them. This rising singer song writer from Swansea opened with Doors; Ayesha, loves the blues but is a country girl at heart; Cherry Pie, her vocals and keys worked in perfect harmony her songs told a story with every word being sung with empathy ensuring emotions rose and fell colouring this simple tuneful country ditty.
Off album ‘Hunger for the Taste of Country’ lilt suiting the timbre of her voice followed by the more bluesy Goodnight Mr Jones especially the lyrics. Her final song was first public performance of a mournful melody suiting the tale of love lost… Sweet Dreams Darling. Only cover of the night was the Eagles number ‘Wasted Time’ the varied set demonstrated the depth of this talented artist who has been recognised by BBC’s Whispering Bob Harris. Ayesha tonight was minus her band showing a different reflection of her songs cut down versions, and has the stage presence to make this a really intimate and full live music experience.
Short break with anticipation rising and the club filling Ian Siegal – A man and tonight two guitars step onto the stage to warm applause before a note was struck. Opening with Silver Spurs a favourite to open is solo set, then whilst re-tuning an opportunity for Ian to thank Ayesha and chat with audience. He describes himself as more country than blues, let’s not bother with genre and setting this musical talent in aspic, we love his playing, storytelling, a stylish raconteur Ian Siegal is a superb musician his live performance whether solo or with a band is superb.. Tonight showcasing tracks from his live solo album recorded by The BBC at The Albert Hall; in between tracks from Man and Guitar including ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’ and a solo version from swagger of ‘Mortal Coil Shuffle’. We were treated to a Big George Tribute reflecting on a year since the passing of the big man himself Ian’s self-confessed mentor including ‘Take A Walk in The Wilderness‘. The Garage and the audience were introduced to guitar named Charlie; after Charlie Patton and a great version of ‘Pony Blues’ an example of Ian’s wit with a version of the sound heard on the original recordings of this early bluesman.
Whilst tuning ‘because I care’; we were treated to lots of tales from the road and about another forthcoming album due out in the Autumn and recorded over a couple of days with friends from Mississippi has in Ian’s words been crudely recorded with one microphone in centre room including a talking blues track written in the cabin shared with Alvin Youngblood Hart which was played for the first time tonight – ‘Talking Overseas Pirate Blues‘ (Overseas is Ian’s nickname in Mississippi) if this is an example, I’m already looking forward to his second recorded offering of 2014.
His farewell encore song was ‘Flyaway‘ a wonderful song and no-one wanted Ian to fly away but play on into the night; but as ever the gig came to a close. What a troubadour, he sings, plays, tells a mean tale, and above all Ian is a superb entertainer. Never trapped in an iron box of genre but free as an artistic bird he melds and crosses styles to make them Siegal’s own.
Ian Siegal is on tour Solo and with the band – he is a class act not to be missed – to get a feeling of a live performance then his latest album Man & Guitar fills the bill.