FlipThe Lid at Brewdog
As another cold week in Nottingham drew to a close, a small handful of locals looking to wind down with some of Nottingham’s finest singer-songwriters gathered at BrewDog for an evening of exquisite beer and exquisite music. Flip the Lid is a new night hosted by I’m not from London, with four assembled acts who, although similar in performance, provided the crowd with a range of styles to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
First on was fresh-faced eighteen-year-old Josh Wheatley, who loosened the crowd with smooth pure vocals and sincere heartfelt tracks that gave the audience a flavour of what was in store. Dressed in a smart checked shirt, Wheatley set calming mood for the remaining night and in turn showed a real maturity in tracks like Sail Away that, coupled with the mellow tones of his voice, made for an enjoyable opening.
Matt Henshaw took the reins next, and shifted the tone onto more provocative but equally emotional lyricism that stepped the night up a gear. The most suave of the bunch, Henshaw dressed smartly in a grey blazer filled the room with his own self-proclaimed gospel and offered more diversity in his choice of song, from the hard-hitting As A Matter Of Fact to the politically themed Calling You Out, a track he comically attributed to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. With a fresh melodic vibe throughout, Matt Henshaw continued to set the pace and show why he’s been getting column inches in The Guardian and NME.
Filling in after the unfortunate withdrawal of Whisky Stain, Ben Fowkes presented his own style of song writing, rich in imagination. Recovering well from a broken string in his first track, Fowkes’ own brand of metaphor laden tunes provided a fascinating alternative to the more direct lyrical approach taken by the previous acts. Dressed in a vibrant cardigan, he befitted the venue.
Martin Sanders provided to provide the undoubted highlight of the night with his expert slice of sleazy blues and sixties guitar solos that really captivated the crowd and offered them a great high to end both the show and their week. Playing on a guitar that looked like it had been constructed out on an old trash can, his rough around the edges performance continuously laid down more and more groovier guitar solos that really made you feel like you’d been taken out of Nottingham and were swigging moonshine in a bar in the Deep South. Joined by Joe Barber for a mammoth finale of a track, Sanders showed that is more capable at matching the younger generation of performers that preceded him.
Overall then a fantastic plethora of talent that made for a hugely entertaining and warming end to the week. The future bodes well for next generation of Nottingham’s songwriters.
Flip the Lid was at BrewDog on Sunday 19 January 2014.