Sunday, March 19, 2023

Elles Bailey at The Caves

Edinburgh, Scotland. Thursday 16-March-2023. 

This was our fourth time of seeing Elles and her best concert yet by quite a margin. The previous time was Elles Bailey at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut where the sight lines were poor and the sound guy needed a stern talking to. This venue is s-o-o much better: it is a fascinating vaulted space beneath the city streets of Edinburgh and the sound engineers did a great job - the sound was excellent. As well as great sound both artists talked about how lovely it was backstage.

We treated ourselves to VIP tickets which gave us a small audience, pre-concert set with Elles and the chance to ask questions. It was fascinating to hear about the inspirations for her songs and experiences when touring.

In between chat she sang four songs and was joined for the last one by the singer from the support act, Morganway.

After the private show there was an opportunity for a selfie with Elles. She comes across a lovely lady, genuinely nice and down to earth.

After a short break to refill our glasses Elles reappeared to introduce Morganway. Normally a six piece band, we got the reduced version comprising a husband and wife guitarist and vocalist. They did 45 minutes of Americana, apparently all their own compositions. I was particularly impressed by the guitarist's playing, he elicited a very mellow, melodious sound from his instrument. SJ, as the singer is known, has a really beautiful voice.

Elles Bailey and her band's set was something akin to a greatest hits, but mainly the tour is to promote her latest album Shining in the Half Light (review by Rock and Blues Muse). It is great when I recognise most of the songs as she is a regular on our play list at home. She is very good at the chat, giving the background to the songs and thus adding an extra layer of appreciation.

Her range is impressive from a gentle lullaby for her infant (Spinning Stopped) to a scathing polemic against politicians (Cheats and Liars). She did an interesting cover of a John Martin song (Over The Hill). Given John Martin's unique vocal delivery it was a bold move to cover one of his songs and her version really rocked. What comes through very strongly is her joy at singing to a live audience, her exuberance is infectious and she has a dedicated following, us included.

We bought two CD's: Shining in the Half Light (Delux Edition) and Morgansway's debut album. We do like to support keeping music live by buying direct from the artist. The money goes straight into their pocket, no middle men and better than the rubbish rates that streaming pays.

Because we were going to Edinburgh for this concert we decided to fly straight from there to Puglia (via Milan) so that is what we did the next day!

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