Tonight we saw half of Chasing Owls play at Sneaky Pete’s, alongside Thomas J. Speight and his band, and The Blind Dog. Whilst I’ve seen the former play a few times before in and out of Sneaky’s, the Blind Dog were new to me and Thomas Speight was quite a find, too.
Ben and Naomi (male & female vocals, guitar) from Chasing Owls played what I guess for them, counts as an acoustic set. By this I mean that they changed the tempo on some of the tunes like Wedding Song, which gave my sixth viewing of them a little spice. My review of their latest single is here.
Next were The Blind Dog; a four-piece rock/pop act. They had one or two really fantastic songs – the names of which I can’t tell you, because the band didn’t really speak at all to the audience – but I felt that they were mainly driven by the lead singer. So much so that, if it had just been his solo set, the result would not have been much different.
And finally, we come to Thomas J. Speight. There’s a picture of him on top of Arthur’s Seat, standing there all cocky and Instagrammed. If The Blind Dog acted mute, Thomas sure made up for it with his stage banter.
Reading that back, it sounds bitter and Scroogean, which probably isn’t fair. I just prefer Laura Marling’s approach to stage banter (Her rejoinder to a heckling Mancunian who told her to “get the fucking crowd going, Laura” – I saw her at home about a month ago – was “I think you’re at the wrong show”.)
Anyway, I digress. Thomas J. Speight might have been full of himself but his voice was brilliant, and his songs were lovely. The band complemented him pretty much perfectly; the tracks were original and quietly soulful – a not-inaccurate comparison might include a cross between Tilly and the Wall and Ajimal.