Hannah White, Redvers Bailey, Dermot and Angharad
Miss Fliss 30/11/2009
Where else can you hear djembe, xlylophone, and triangle, and see a grown man dressed as an orange cat - all in one night and all for £2.50? Witnessing all this after last week's news of its impending live music closure, hit home with great poignancy how vital, lovely, and above all unique a venue The HalfMoon in Putney is. Support for unsigned and/or fledgling artists is scant as it is, let alone down in south west London where venues - bar the odd pub gig - are pretty much non-existent, save for this wonderful retreat. Live music is so north-London-centric, and down this side of the river indie pretension and posing would stand out like a sore thumb; it's all about the music here. The HalfMoon has a history that dates back to blues, folk, and 60s rock, to see that go and for the venue to be turned into a 'gastro' pub would make many weep - we need another one of those round here like we need a hole in the head. The campaign is on to save this place, with supporters so far including Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd, Eddi Reader, The Incredible String Band, and countless impassioned punters.
Tonight was another of the HalfMoon's weekly unsigned, largely acoustic, nights, and it's a very pleasant experience to surrender your ears to the new and unexpected. There was everything from a soul songstress belting her heart out, to passionate folky singer-songwriters, to 50s rock and roll done female style, to sweet acoustic indie pop.
Highlights included Dermot and Angharad, Dermot in cat suit with furry orange ears and tail, whiskers and nose painted on whilst playing complex folk guitar, with Angharad on sumptuous vocals and lovely little instruments like a triangle or an egg-shaker, whilst xylophone tinkered in the background and a second guitarist kept a steady beat.
Solo artist Hannah White had a breathtaking voice, and played one of the most interesting guitars I've seen in quite some time, whilst a djembe player patted out neat rhythms.
Redvers Bailey played an array of songs - some with playful lyrics - on electric guitar which, combined with his feathered haircut, took us back to the 60s.
It all added up to the fact that the HalfMoon showcases some eclectic talent, and is a wonderful joint, a vital dot on the map of live music in London. There is so much potential for the place for the future. The fight is on to save the place, and you can join in by using the following links:
halfMoon Unplugged Myspace
Hannah White Myspace
Redvers Bailey Myspace