First of all, I wandered into the city, bracing myself for the Grand Prix crowds, although it didn't turn out to be so bad after all. The Killjoys and Ice Cream Hands were playing a free gig on the Arts Centre lawn.
After this it was time to go and see, at long last, Grand Salvo at the Builders Arms. As a complete bonus, Richard Andrew was one of the support acts, along with Sarah-Jane Wenstki, who I hadn't heard of, but given the company she keeps I figured she'd be interesting.
Richard Andrew started off with Army Letters, one of my favourite tracks from his label's fantastic compilation, The Thin Man Bordello. There were a couple of guitar changes, and some odd tunings for one or two songs, Perhaps not as quiet and brooding as the next two artists, but no less wonderful to see in the flesh, at last.
Sarah-Jane Wentski was next, with her red semi-acoustic guitar. Half of her set was unaccompanied, a song called Ten Bucks particularly memorable out of this half with its "ten bucks says you'll be back within a week" dry humour. For the other half, a guy called Seth came and played ambient guitar noise behind her vocals and guitar, which I must say really added another dimension of background scariness to her work. I'll be interested to see more of Sarah-Jane. Very nice.
During the previous act, someone walked in with an unsheathed acoustic guitar and stood awkwardly next to the doorway. He looked a fair bit like somebody called Karl I'd kinda known back at uni, years ago, but this guy really looked ill at ease. This, I figured, just had to be Paddy, otherwise known as Grand Salvo. I didn't expect him to be so shy. He patiently sat at a table while they cleared all the amps and electronics off the stage, leaving a chair, two mikes and a monitor amp. His set was magical, most of the songs I hadn't heard (the Pharmacy records website says his new album's out in April), and in between songs he'd quickly mutter "thanks" and move on to the next one. I could've listened to his simple rhymes and heartbreak all night.
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