Lauren Housley | Megan O’Neill | Saturday 03 September 2016

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It’s always a special night at Little Rabbit Barn but this night it was J&L’s wedding anniversary…some 33years.

I know it does not seem possible…they must have tied the knot early on!

Editor: Thank you Chris…flattery will get you everywhere!

Most people would take it easy, go on holiday or perhaps go out to dinner? Nope… they arrange a mega night of live music and invite all LRB guests to enjoy of UK’s finest cross genre singers in Lauren Housley and her top UK band. Testament to a second consecutive appearance at BluesFest coming up.

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Lauren says….One of many posters around the London Underground promoting this years Live Nation UK BluesFest at The O2 American Express!!! I’m pretty gobsmacked to see my name right there in the middle of all these legends!!! Chuffed to bits :) Myself, Jo Harman and Hollie Stephenson Music are playing Brooklyn Bowl London on Saturday 29th Oct.

Editor: And a third appearance at LRB!!

First up tonight is Megan and The Common Threads, who are new to and most welcome at the Little Rabbit Barn.

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Megan O’Neill is fresh from a busy festival season and recording a new album at Mark Knopfler’s studio with Guy Fletcher the former Dire Straits keyboard player producing.

They opened with the up tempo Now that you’re mine which set the tone for the quality we were about to experience.

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Megan has lived in Nashville and has since moved to London where the band started as a trio and then went on to become a six piece.

But tonight we had the trio of Megan on vocals, Tom Smith acoustic guitar, Dan Clark electric guitar. It’s hard getting used to being a trio again Megan tells the audience…I miss the drums and was expecting the keys to come in here.

They played London City as a tribute to their home town followed by a cover of Marvin Gaye’s I heard it through the grapevine.

The stage was getting warm which led to a water bottle share party, the beers would have to wait…. there was more music to play…..

They played tracks from the excellent debut EP COMING HOME and from the forth coming pledge funded album STORIES TO TELL. Two pledgers were in the audience tonight, those guys have great taste in music and foresight.

We were treated to some great harmonies reminiscent of Jackson Browne and they liked the way the audience listen at The Little Rabbit Barn. Megan tells everyone that it makes a welcome change from the bar chatter of some London gigs.

That was fantastic and I for one hope Megan O’Neill makes a welcome return.

Lyn was busy preparing food and assisting in no small way with the construction of the LRB.

So tonight we had lovely pulled pork buns with all the trimmings… sage and onion, French bean, tomato, pickled cucumber and potato salad…Black Forest gateau…all served by the lady herself with help from LRB friend Chris.

We couldn’t ask for more. I must also mention the gentlemen, Brian and Richard serving refreshments from the Little Rabbit Bar, without whom many a thirst would go un quenched. Not forgetting our raffle girls, Sally and Chris who do a fine job. It’s not a fiddle as I didn’t win again. Finally, Stan and Fran who manage the door, run the artist merch table and more besides.

Editor: David too on Saturday morning duty and cameras and your good self Chris with Karen

This is the third visit to LRB for Lauren Housley.

As a duo, a trio and this time Lauren comes with the full band.

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Thomas Dibb on Guitar and Banjo (He only went out to buy guitar strings) John Hurst on Drums (and spoons) Chris Hillman on Lap steel and Dobro and Mark Lewis on Bass, backing vocals and acoustic guitar.

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Nice to see ya opened the set and yes Lauren, it’s always nice to see ya. But that was a statement of intent; we were going to get something very special and we would enjoy it.

The band played current songs from SWEET SURRENDER and new songs from the forthcoming release.

We also had a new song Lauren wrote after a dream. A departed friend came to Lauren with a positive message Well bless his Soul was born. Brilliant!

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John found a moth happily sleeping on his cymbal probably just enjoying the music with the rest of us. You can’t blame him.

Playing It ain’t about you invited audience participation and Elvis Presley Blues was just wow!

The band also play as a fun side project, the splendidly-named CHORLTON COUNTRY CLUB a country act, would you believe, where they change instruments and so we had some acoustic country in the form of Paul Simons Graceland with John on The Spoons and a terrific version of Dolly Parton’s Jolene with Tom’s first ever live Banjo solo. Remember he only went to buy strings. Look what happens if you follow your heart.

Used to rule the world from Bonnie Raitt’s SLIPSTREAM album was just so Funky, another magic moment. This band can really groove. John did a great drum solo here too.

The last number came all too quickly with All you need is a friend. Was that really an hour and a half? It’s funny how you only listen to the lyrics of a song when you need them, remarked Lauren as she conducted the Little Rabbit Barn audience like a choir.

But we couldn’t let things stop now, we demanded more.

So now we experience the best cover of The Weight I have ever heard live. Unfortunately, I never got to hear The Band play the original.

This really was special.

Lauren Housley and her band are a force to be reckoned with. You need to see them live and I promise you will hear more from them.

Editor: Thanks Chris for another from the heart review with some great photos and video camera work….multi-tasking again. Both myself, Terry and Simon on sound thought Lauren’s take on Jolene was stunning.  Terry says…so often when someone says they are going to do a version of that song your heart sinks but Lauren just gave it a whole new depth and SOUL…amazing.

Mark Ede describes Lauren as ‘a soul singer backed by an awesome country band’

Thanks Andy Sheard for some quality photos. Andy has shared his pictures on Facebook. Access via the Facebook icon on our homepage.

NEXT UP AT LRB on SATURDAY 01 OCTOBER we look forward to welcome

BABAJACK | HANNAH ROSE PLATT | ORFILA

Places are filling quickly.

Thanks for supporting live original music and see you again soon.

 

Posted in Gig Reviews