As Easter weekends go they are generally miserable with poor weather dampening the spirits of many – but it wasn’t so for residents of Melton Mowbray who turned out to see Juliette Ashby performing at Meltons Live Music Cafe.
The evening started off with songs sung by local musician Matthew Bloomfield. Matthew who’s been playing guitar and singing in and around town for a few years was excited about opening up for the singer. Speaking of the experience Matthew says “I was quite nervous being billed alongside Juliette but also excited, she’s a fantastic artist – I’m honored.” But Matthew really needed have been worried at all as his voice and choice of hits to perform on the night showed raw talent in the making. There’s a sweet innocence about Matthew and when he sings it’s like a flower blooming, his voice enveloping you in beauty and warmth – most evident when he sang opening song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran. I also really enjoyed his version of ‘Whispers’ by Passenger but it was his rip-roaring finale of ‘Uptown Funk’ that got everyone’s toes tapping and ready for the rest of the show.
Next up came Hastings resident Damien Soul, a cheeky chappy with a deceiving look – ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover’ are words well heeded here. Expecting a flurry of poetic-rap verses the crowd were taken aback when Mr Soul begun with a cobweb blasting belter of Paulo Nutini’s ‘Iron Sky’ followed by his own song ‘Because I’m Poor’. The power and vocal range that Damien has makes each song he performs sounds like it was made for him, especially Bonnie Raitt’s hit ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, which is among one of my all time favorites.
But the star of the night was Juliette Ashby accompanied by guitarist Paul Stylianou – who wowed the ladies with his looks and the men with his skills.
Usually backed by a band that add a lively zest to Juliette’s music, it was interesting to hear how her tracks would sound acoustically – and in all honesty it was perfect! Why? because listening to the songs in this way it wasn’t about you dancing around, singing and seeing how you could grind along to ‘Drop A Baby’ it was a time of absorption and really hearing what she had crafted. ‘Hoping’ was enough to bring one listener almost to tears as she listened, feeling the sadness in the song.
I particularly loved getting to hear the new songs ‘So Thankful’ and ‘Fire Burn’ which will be on new album ‘Bittersweet’ due out in May – my copy has been reserved!
In true Juliette style she had the crowd bopping along to songs like ‘Grow Like A Seed’, ‘Shorty’ by Donell Jones and ‘My Father’s Son’ by Connor Reeves. There was plenty of crowd interaction too which added a nice feel to the evening, that by the end of the night people really felt like had gotten to know just who Juliette Ashby was and where she was coming from. I’ve even had requests for her to come back already! you’ll just have to watch this space!
For more information on all the artists see: