Friday, 24 May 2013

Louise Petit Band - Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham Wednesday 22nd May 2013

Nine months after discovering her playing down the order on a bill at a city centre Birmingham pub, this show at the Kitchen Garden Café was the perfect opportunity to check out the progress of Midlands based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Louise Petit. Since the discovery, her double header gig with Annie Dressner in January has also been covered, so in terms of promotion, this headline show with special guests was a positive measure of the evolution of her live performance.

Although there was a slight hiccup in the availability of the advertised special guests, fellow local singer-songwriter Tim Judson filled the gap by making the relatively short journey from Wolverhampton and thoroughly entertained the audience with his brand of acoustic folk. As well as fascinating tales of his travels, Tim also demonstrated his musical versatility with a simultaneous playing of guitar and sax. Following this lively opening set, the way was paved for Louise and her rhythmic stalwart sidekicks, Russ and Tim, to continue to fulfil the undoubted potential that first alerted me to their sound.

The well written and often metaphorical songs from the pen, and fine vocals, of Louise are interwoven with her string accompaniment and elevated to a superior level with the harmonies and roots infused rhythm from Russ’s double bass and Tim’s flexible percussion. The tight knit sound from the settled trio ensured the fourteen song set list followed its sublime path often interjected with a little insight and some background humour.

Alongside the impressive EP FEAR AND MY OTHER FRIENDS reviewed here, the band has made available a further five of their songs via the live EP recording MAKE A HOUSE A HOME. Amongst these are two sing along numbers which featured memorably in this evening’s set. ‘Louder Than Your Drum’ included a invitation to outshout Tim’s concluding drum solo while show closer ‘Let it Go’ had the novel addition of a lyric sheet distributed around the thirty strong audience to ensure this feel good ditty brought the evening to a joyous conclusion.

Old favourites ‘Ghosts’, ‘Love is Pure’ and ‘Demons’ continue to come over as very strong songs with the later just completing a prime slot on the Fatea Magazine Showcase session. Hopefully this widely available limited time free download brought some positive attention for the band that in the long run will help finance a full length release. The songs are definitely in place for this long term project and tunes such as ‘To the Sharks’, ‘Tree Song’ and ‘Plastic and Glue’ are itching to get some recorded status to share their excellence beyond the live performance.

The decision last September to keep a keen eye on the musical development of Louise Petit, Russ Sargeant and Tim Heymerdinger has certainly been a fruitful one and their future, either on the Midlands or wider gig circuit, is surely only going to maintain this momentum. Getting the funding in place for a debut album is a tough proposition but if there is any justice the desire will become a reality. There is no mistaking that their music deserves a wider exposure and I will be gladly there promoting it when available. 

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