It was the first time I can recall going to see a gig at the Old Queens Head and I have to say it seems to be well set up, really the only complaint about the venue is the overpriced burgers, expensive for what they are.
The music venue is a decent sized room upstairs with good sound and lit for atmosphere, really emphasising some great Victorian features, both on the stage and in the room.
I'm here to see the launch of "Voices" the latest album from Ranagri and they've put together quite a night, to make sure it gets the kick off it deserves.
Ranagri take to the stage to give the new album, "Voices" it's welcome to the world. It's already attracting good attention having garnered an album of the week accolade or two and a host of good reviews.
They have found a sound that sits comfortably between the Celtic and the showband and placed in a bar, walls emblazoned with Victoriana just seems like the perfect place to show it off.
"Voices" is an album that switches fluidly across the intensities and shades which makes it almost perfect for a show. The comparatively unusual instrument combinations, mainly, harp, bodhran, guitar and whistles, including the rarely heard and played bass flute, an instrument that deserves better opportunities, giving Ranagri their own distinctive sound.
I'm a great fan of narrative in song and historically there is a feeling that that can sometimes dent the atmosphere in the live environment, if that's true, it's certainly not the case here, stories and song combine in a way that helps to charge the room. "Voices" is getting a great welcoming party, no doubt and it deserves nothing less.
Rangari, both on the new album, "Voices" and on the stage are a band that deliver a great sound, if they're not playing near you, buy the album, if they are, buy the album and go see.
Starting the night was a singer-songwriter, Alex Starling, which I managed to mishear as Darling, causing a bemused lovey joke or two
Alex is a new name to me, performing here as a solo artist, but hailing from a background of involvement in bands.
He's got a good voice and a stage presence that helps give it emphasis. He also appears to have a good selection of songs, ones that I would like to become more familiar with. He definitely caught the attention of the room with his performance and provided a great start to the night.
Next up, Steve Dagleish, performing with his son, award winning actor John. I've seen Steve perform solo and enjoyed his album "Only Losers Write On Bridges", apparently, there is another one due imminently, but this was the first time I'd seen him perform as part of a duo and I must say is really works as a dynamic.
Steve knows how to put a good song together and they work really well having that extra voice and guitar. It may be because of his acting background, but when John sings, you notice that you hear every word in a very natural way.
The duo seemed to thrive on delivering to a big room and hopefully they'll get out and about more as a duo, worth checking out.
All in all a great night.
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many gigs we can get to. We'd really like to expand our national coverage of the live scene as it remains the life blood of music.
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