I find myself in an odd position where I find myself not really wanting to shout about a fantastic gig because I want The Chattery in Swansea to remain a hidden gem of quality music. I want it to remain intimate & cosy and continue to be a fine purveyor of live (mainly - but not exclusively) acoustic based music.
It's tucked away in the Uplands area of Swansea. Run by lovely, friendly people who know your name as you return and also know their music. It is a welcoming venue and you can have a nice meal or drink before the show. They are selective in their artists and concentrate on quality not quantity. It reminds me a bit of what the Greenwich Village scene must have been like in the early 1960s. And any venue that has paintings of a early 60s Bob Dylan on the wall has credibility in my book.
The Chattery pulled off quite a coup with a songwriters circle of Danny George Wilson (leader of the band Danny & the Champions of the World), singer/songwriter Peter Bruntnell and Neil Halstead (solo artist and band member of Mojave 3)
The show was split into 2 halves, with each singer playing 4 songs in rotation in each half. With such a large canon of work to choose from, the night just seemed to fly by.
The guys played songs from throughout their careers. Danny played songs from both Grand Drive and Danny & the Champions of the World, Neil Halstead played songs by Mojave 3 and his solo albums and Peter Bruntnell mined the rich seam of his 11 albums for his 8 songs.
The format worked really well and the boys have obviously enjoyed their short week tour together in this new format. With banter aplenty and with each musician contributing to various songs.
Danny dubbed it the '50 Shades of Plaid Tour' - due to the shirts!
It was Neil's first visit to The Chattery, Danny's second and Peter's umpteenth!
The songs were varied and the 3 voices contrasted and complimented one another beautifully. The format gave the songs a chance to breathe and be seen in their stripped down versions, as they must have been written.
The boys finished with an encore of the John Prine classic - The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness - although I only managed to get 2 minutes on video before my recorder ran out.
So I've included my favourite version by Nanci Griffith to highlight the song in full.
It was a fantastic evening of great music at what is becoming my favourite venue. So check out the Chattery website below for more musical treats in 2014. I'm sure to see you down there.