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BURNING SHED 10th Anniversary Show
14 October 2011

no-man, photo by Andrew Lock

An unusual show this one, an anniversary gig for the Burning Shed independent record label founded in 2001 and consisting of five short performances by a diverse selection of artists associated with the label.

Surprisingly with being an Assembly regular I found myself in a room I did not know existed at the venue for the opening performance. The room is a very smart bar area leading off from the balcony and the opening act was a short atmospheric set by The Resonance Association, a duo combining electric guitar, keyboards and sequencing, the music was mostly ambient with touches of fairly heavy industrial guitar work. On display during the performance were framed images by the outstanding photographer Carl Glover whose work has graced album covers by amongst others Marillion and Blackfield.

Giancarlo Erra, photo by Andrew Lock

The rest of the evenings entertainment took place on the main stage and began with a short set by Giancarlo Erra one half of the band Memories of Machines, an impressive 20 minute set with Giancarlo on acoustic guitar and vocals, I very much enjoyed his performance especially the beautiful 'Lucky You Lucky Me', excellent guitar work and a strong vocal delivery.

Theo Travis, photo by Andrew Lock

Next up and showing fully the diversity of artists on display the ambient chilled out sounds of Theo Travis playing a selection of flutes and a saxophone, his CV is very impressive and includes work with Robert Fripp and Porcupine Tree.

With the help of a selection of effect foot pedals including echo the room was filled with the tranquil relaxing sounds of this master instrumentalist who kept the audience mesmerised, certain passages reminded me of snake charmer music, looks like it works on audiences as well!

Bruce Soord & Jon Sykes, photo by Andrew Lock

On stage next two members of The Pineapple Thief, Bruce Soord and Jon Sykes, the full band were magnificent supporting Blackfield at this venue earlier in the year and this set by the reduced version was equally impressive.

Bruce on acoustic guitar and vocals and Jon on a stylish looking acoustic base produced a short but so sweet set of pure musical excellence, their blend of progressive and indie rock which is also full of emotion went down a storm with the enthusiastic crowd.

The set included the dreamily romantic 'I Will Light Up Your Eyes' and the simply stunning 'Remember Us' (the latter with well choreographed crowd clapping at the end) as well as a preview of a track from the next Pineapple Thief album the impressive 'One More Step Away'.

no-man, photo by Andrew Lock

This was my first look at headliners no-man the art-pop duo of vocalist Tim Bowness one of the two founders of the Burning Shed record label and multi instrumentalist Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Blackfield and to say they impressed me would be an understatement (must stop finding more and more bands I like - very costly!).

For this gig - and I assume the norm for live performances - the line-up was stretched to a full band and the numbers performed were selected from the band's back catalogue.

The headliners set included the subtle charms of 'Pretty Genius', and 'Wherever There is Light' and an epic performance of 'Lighthouse', the whole set was beautifully performed by a very special group of musicians and special mentions for the exquisite electric violin work of Steve Bingham, the as always excellent guitar work of Steven Wilson and the superb vocal delivery of Tim Bowness.

Did not know what to expect from this show but came away really impressed after a night of musical excellence covering various musical styles including, progressive rock, pop/rock, indie rock and ambient, and with a little more knowledge of the Burning Shed record label and the quality of music it delivers.

Review and photos by Andrew Lock

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