Review: Tom Brosseau at the Slaughtered Lamb

What a pleasant, unexpected show. I only found out that Tom was playing earlier this afternoon, and I’m so very glad I did.

I think it perhaps was a last minute thing for Tom Brosseau, hence why it was barely advertised. For those who don’t know, I’ve been interning at FatCat records for the past couple of months and one of the artists I have had the pleasure of promoting is Tom Brosseau. In fact, out of every artist and release I’ve promoted, Tom’s forthcoming release Posthumous Success is my favourite. Been True is the second track on the album and you can hear it on his Myspace. I really love the song and for some reason it makes me feel nostalgic. 

The show was put on by The Local. They had the comfy sofa out at the front and I took a seat. The first two acts were of no interest to me. Conveniently, the light near on me was on, so I was able to flesh out a whole skeleton of a comic during the first two sets. 

So finally came Nance Wallace, accompanied by her friend on the violin. I had a heard a few of her songs before, and I was recently given a copy of her CD (which I am yet to listen to, but will soon). She played very English folk songs, a couple with banjo and a couple with a little accordion and a couple with guitar. I enjoyed her set. Here is her Myspace and here is a photo from the show.

The change around times were fast and Tom Brosseau took to the stage. He’s effortlessly charming. Tall, blonde, wearing his denim collar turned up; he was polite and cheerful and very endearing. He opened with Favourite Colour Blue. He has witty, interesting lyrics that held my attention wonderfully. He wanted to tell us a story about a train journey but thought it was a bit too extreme to share. During Nancy Wallace’s set her violinist expressed her excitement about being on the bill with Tom Brosseau and jokingly asked Nancy if they would play with him, and she laughed and replied ‘I don’t think so’. Tom did want her to play with him, and beckoned for the ‘red haired lady’ (whose name he apologetically forgot) to come join him on stage for a song. She was shy and said she didn’t know his songs well enough to play along. He encouraged her and said they’d do an easy Woody Guthrie cover. It took alot of clapping and persuasion before she finally got up and joined him for the song, which he insisted was very easy and simply in the key of E. It was very lovely and the violin parts were brilliant, she was obviously being modest when she said she wasn’t good at this kind of thing. He closed with Been True, which was, for me, the perfect end to the show.

If you’re not at St Vincent on Tuesday I would recommend catching him at Bush Hall. He has a few more UK shows before he heads home to the States, then returns later in May for a couple of Paris shows. Tour dates and songs on his Myspace.

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