On the face of it The Angel is just another local pub. But scratch beneath the surface and you will find so much more. Not only does it offer a large selection of spirits (including more than 120 varieties of gin) and a good choice of real ales (featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2012/2013), it also serves delicious food, prepared on the premises, with ingredients sourced locally wherever possible.
Husband and wife team, Chris and Sarah Mapey, have taken this business from humble beginnings, three and a half years ago, and turned it into a favourite among the many regulars and visiting guests. However, it is their featured music nights I am concerned with here. As someone who attends these events whenever possible (work and restraining orders permitting) I feel well placed to offer an opinion. And the first thing to say is that our strange little town is indeed blessed in having a small, local pub willing to put on such events – free of charge.
Co-hosted by The Angel and Blue Bus Tour, Music Mondays take place fortnightly – not surprisingly, on Mondays. The range and depth of singing/songwriting talent to have graced the stage is quite staggering. Acts including: Paper Aeroplanes; Fiona Bevan; Lucy Sampson; Jake Morley; Antonio Lulic; Kal Lavelle; Liz Lawrence; Rhiannon Mair; Aartwork and Al Lindsay among many others.
On 4th March, Russell Swallow and The Wolf (Australian beauty Jess Kennedy) played for our enjoyment. And how very enjoyable it was too. Russell has a smooth, soothing voice, writes lyrical, moving songs and plays guitar with the relaxed confidence of a skilled musician. Accompanied on keyboards by the quietly gorgeous Jess Kennedy, the sound of the music they produce, together with some lovely vocal harmonies, is simply wonderful. This is what the best contemporary pop/folk sounds like, not a bum note in the whole set, with encore track Paper Aeroplanes providing a perfect finale. A handsome pair on stage they were also lovely to chat with after the show, and I wish them every success in the future.
Now, not wishing to only tell you about what you may have missed, on 18th March (this coming Monday) the utterly brilliant Kevin Pearce is playing. If you have never heard or seen Kevin before (shame on you) I urge you in the strongest possible terms to make the effort. His music has an ethereal quality to it and his voice has the pitch and soul of Art Garfunkel at his best. He is a unique talent and an outrageously gifted singer/songwriter whose fame can only increase. On top of that he’s a bloody nice bloke as well. Do yourself a favour and see him play.
Being a small venue, The Angel is conducive to an intimate atmosphere which really enhances the subtle nuances of the music and enables you to get up close and personal with the artists which, to my mind at least, gives these nights a rather special feeling and ambience that you would be hard pushed to get anywhere else. So, keep an eye on The Angel fb page for details of upcoming gigs, then you won’t miss out.