The Show Must Go On.
On a cold and blustery night in Cardiff, Paul Zervas & Kathryn Pepper came back to Wales for a hometown gig.
The show opened with a set by Welsh songstress Gabrielle Murphy - although I only managed to catch the last song, she sang well and the crowd seemed to appreciate her set.
Next up was another Welsh singer/songwriter, Merthyr's Chris King.
I really enjoyed Chris' set and he reminded me a little of David Gray in his vocal style. He played several songs including a song called True - which is about the Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas coming out as gay. It is due to be featured in the Mickey Rourke movie.
He warmed the crowd up nicely and achieved some well earned applause at the end of his set.
So, Zervas & Pepper took to the stage and it was apparent right from the off the Paul Zervas was suffering from a bout of man-flu. But, the trooper he is, he carried on with the show and did the best he could.
It was nice to catch the duo in a full band set up that included guitar, keyboards, bass & drums.
Fresh from a summer of successful festival circuit performances all over the UK and most recently India & their first Ireland gigs, the band are growing into accomplished performers.
The band opened up with Buffalo Crow and worked their way through songs from both their albums Somewhere in the City & Lifebringer.
The sound was excellent and it was an added bonus to see that Paul is playing an electric 12 string to compliment and beef up the sound. Some of the songs seem to have a rockier edge than they have in the past gigs. Is this pointing to a slightly more rock direction in the future?
One of the biggest cheers of the night came for the song Living In A Small Town
The banter between Kathryn & Paul on stage obviously comes from love and Paul came out with some really funny lines, although he was obviously suffering for his art tonight.
There was some debate as to whether Starting Over was Pop (Kathryn) or AOR (Paul) - I'd say AOR myself.
They also played my favourite song from Lifebringer
They battled on through Paul's throat problems and got a rousing ovation at the end of their set. It was great to see an almost full Glee Club - which can hold a good few hundred people. It was the largest crowd I've seen so far for a Zervas & Pepper gig - outside of the Festival circuit and is testament to their growing popularity as songwiters and performers. And they are still being supported on the airwaves from luminaries such as Whispering Bob Harris and Bethan Elfyn, who continue to play their music.
The band returned for a one song encore with Jerome, due to Paul almost being unable to sing at that point.
So, a triumphant return to their hometown and their largest show to date in Wales.
You really couldn't ask for more.
Twitter - @zervaspepper