The Mic has reached the end of a very successful musical and academic year seeing a massive variety of talented local artists every week at Acoustic Rooms and those special featured artists from further afield. We have given you a run-down of the happenings at each night including special birthday celebrations and jazz jams, and, now the university year is at an end, this is the final round up until we re-join Acoustic Rooms in October.
Going all the way back to the start of the month, Acoustic Rooms kicked off early due to a Tom Morello after party which was happening later on in the evening. The night was packed full of top-quality acts from the local music scene including George Gadd who was performing solo after his full band headliner at The Playwright the previous Friday. George had also just announced another headline show at The Bodega in December and went on to play his classic ‘Shake A Ghost’ as well as ‘Runaway’ which always pleases the crowd.
Another local artist, Morton Piercewright from Good Hustles, played a couple of covers including ‘Say It Ain’t So’ by Weezer and ‘The One’ by Foo Fighters. Morton naturally puts his own personality into his covers making them fun and enjoyable, whilst showcasing his talent as a musician.
Shaman made appearances over a few of the nights in June, combining his singing and rapping with his guitar. He played a mixture of covers which featured ‘Gimme Shelter’ by The Rolling Stones and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ by Bill Withers, which demonstrated his ability to play a variety of genres, and also adding his own rap pieces into his covers which gives them a new and unique twist.
Following the already packed line up of amazing talent was another local act – Joey Collins. He started with a cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ which was slowed right down and barely recognisable as the original, and then followed on with Editors’ ‘Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors.’ He finished with a Richard Ashcroft cover of ‘This Is How It Feels’ who he proclaimed is the best artist in the world.
The guest artist for the first week in June was Callum Kerrigan from Staffordshire. Callum’s sound is influenced by the likes of Bon Iver, Seahaven and Modern Baseball and he played a collection of his own songs including the powerful ‘Relapsing’ which focuses on the struggles of mental health. He also played a more intense version of his song ‘Daisies’ which he filled with emotion and pain and further enthralled the audience into his performance. Callum was a great end to the night and enjoyed his time playing Acoustic Rooms.
The second week in June featured even more local artists as well as some of the faces we had already seen in previous weeks. Highlights included Cal Brown from Doncaster who started the night off with a cover of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ which immediately energised the crowd and got everybody singing along. He then went on to perform his own song ‘Rooftops’ which got a good reaction and set the night up for more performers.
Karolina, a singer-songwriter from London/Derby performed for the first time at Acoustic Rooms and her incredible voice filled the entire room effortlessly. She started her performance with a cover of ‘All I Want’ by Kodaline and then went on to sing an incredibly moving original piece which she dedicated to her dad who passed away a year ago. The audience were captivated by the set and the room was silent, listening to the carefully crafted lyrics packed with emotion.
Another highlight of the evening was Jacque Seviour who played some of his well-known covers including ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ by Bob Dylan, a popular opening song for Jacque. He also played ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ which added energy back into the room and picked up the mood, encouraging the audience to get involved and sing along, and then continued the high energy with a cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ which mixed into ‘Party Rock Anthem’ by LMFAO. Jacque is a very talented musician and his covers never fail to provide a laugh with the crowd.
The final night that The Mic attended this academic year was on the 17th June and started with much-loved regulars Stella and Chris who performed some of their covers of classic rock songs to get the night going.
A few artists who stood out from the night included Isaac Anderson who played some of his original songs including ‘Goodnight Darling,’ a melodic indie tune which he originally wrote for piano but was attempting to transfer to guitar. He informed the audience that the song was “A polite way to tell somebody to f*ck off,” but that didn’t translate to the heartbreak story he was telling. He ended with a cover of ‘Africa’ by Toto – a song which in his opinion is the best song ever written.
Another highlight of the night was local singer-songwriter Remy who was last year’s Notts Factor winner and is a finalist in the Future Sound of Nottingham competition. Remy had just finished his A Levels that day and so had reason to celebrate and his set was a nice pick-me-up of melodic covers with his own twist on them. He also performed one of his original songs about a ‘tea stained coffee cup’ which was more emotional and filled with longing.
For Remy’s final song he performed a rendition of ‘Candy’ by Paolo Nutini where he was accompanied by Acoustic Rooms host Laurie Illingworth. The pair together sounded incredible with their voices complementing each other and adding an extra depth and dimension to the song. It was refreshing to see the pair enjoying themselves whilst also creating great music and it would be great to see more spontaneous collaborations between acts like that in future.
The first of the guest artists of the evening was Vincent Knight all the way from Suffolk. This night was a part of his and Christian Smith’s tour promoting Christian’s latest album and they had already played Norwich and Cambridge before heading up to Nottingham. Vincent Knight performed a collection of his own songs and a couple of covers including Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ and his music had inspiration from the likes of Sticky Fingers and James Bay. Vincent even included a cover of Catfish and the Bottlemen in his set and exclaimed that one of the audience members looked exactly like Van McCann.
The headline guest artist was Christian himself, a singer-songwriter from Cambridge who is heavily influenced by the likes of Brian Fallon, Dave Hause and Jason Isbell. He has been featured on BBC Cambridgeshire and he played a variety of his own songs and covers, as well as promoting his recently released album ‘Revival.’ One of the standout songs of his was ‘A Reason to Believe’ which successfully grabbed the audience’s attention which he then managed to maintain for the remainder of his set. He also performed a cover of Springsteen’s ‘No Surrender’ and treated the audience to a rare performance of his old song ‘Blessing in Disguise’ which he had only recently performed at Dot to Dot festival, but before then had not played it in years. He ended with ‘Chains’ from his new album and then a cover of Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’ to give the audience a chance to sing along.
The Mic have thoroughly enjoyed this year at Acoustic Rooms having seen such a wide variety of talented musicians. The night never fails to entertain and has even included surprises such as the night Deaf Havana were part of the audience. Acoustic Rooms will still be running over the summer period so don’t miss out every Monday evening 8 till late at Rescue Rooms bar, and keep an eye out around October for when The Mic returns to keep you updated on the nights you can’t make!