Following the new year birthing celebrations, The Angel, Woodbridge, closed its doors for a couple of days quick refurbishment to lighten the wooden floors, install some new furniture and freshen-up paintwork. And like shaving the beard off a nun, there’s a noticeable difference. On Monday 7th January it hosted the first Music Monday of a fledgling 2013. But things did not get off to a great start.
The act booked to play that evening, the splendid Jacko Hooper, had to cancel at short notice due to him going viral. Or something. Anyway, all was not lost as the event changed to an open mic invitation which was generously supported by some wonderful local artists.
Woodbridge music impresario and the man behind the Blue Bus Tour, Peter Hepworth, kicked the night off in fine style with his deft playing and melodic vocals, before handing over to the gathered acts. These included the always excellent instrumental folk duo, Aartwork, who know how to get your feet tapping; a terrific set of songs from rock-folk maestro Kevin Walford and a flying visit from bluesy songstress Justine De Mierre. Ian Smith provided a spellbinding interlude amidst the voices with some brilliant classical Spanish guitar.
However, as with Paper Aeroplanes previously, it was an act unknown to most present who stole the show and got everybody talking. A lovely, slightly built, insanely gifted girl by the name of Rhiannon Mair. An Angel virgin, she took to the microphone for the first time, almost apologetically, and introduced herself while tuning her guitar. Then she started to play and the bar fell silent, completely mesmerised by the beautiful, raw quality of her voice and energetic guitar work. Slighty quirky, original, unique and powerful this young lady has talent to spare and was utterly engaging throughout her set. Everybody loved her – the young and not so young alike – and couldn’t get enough of her bewitching performance. Rhiannon Mair is something special and was the name on everyone’s lips.
Now back in Suffolk after several years in London, Rhiannon has an album release due in March and a gig diary which is filling rapidly. If you enjoy live music you must see this girl play. As with all the acts mentioned (and apologies to those I missed), you won’t be disappointed.
Many thanks to The Angel, Woodbridge, and Blue Bus Tour for hosting another great night of music, and big love to all the performers (who can be liked/followed on facebook/twitter/soundcloud etc). Why not pop your head through the door for one of the regular music nights? Who knows – you might even enjoy it.