A Leap In The Dark

TV21 / Sam Barber and the Outcasts / Iain Shaw / Shock and Awe – Henry’s Cellar Bar, Thursday 21st October, 2010

Supposedly this was meant to be an acoustic type of show. And for Shock and Awe to play songs stretching past 2 minutes , it’s probably the equivalent of an acoustic show, despite the electric guitars, bass and drums! It’s actually the first time I’ve seen the World Famous Shock and Awe and they’re every bit as good fun as I’d imagined.

Turning up with just his acoustic guitar for company, Iain  Shaw is slightly bemused by the array of electric guitars being brandished by the other acts being clearly a man of his word! An engaging singer songwriter, Iain mainly plays covers which is slightly baffling since the originals he does play are very intriguing.

Sam Barber and the Outcasts follow. Rather bizarrely he reminds me of a more sensible Red Organ Serpent Sound which maybe suggests a Bowie comparison somewhere. Whatever, he’s enjoyable with a set of confident catchy pop. Worth checking out since you can download his Valley of Silence 1 EP (much of which was featured last night) for nowt here.

Finally TV21. It’s not an acoustic show at all – indeed anyone who took their advice to leave the earplugs at home may have regretted that by the end of the evening. Essentially it’s an amped up version of their April Avalanche show with a decent number of their jangly tunes including ‘Ambition’ as a set opener.

But there are a couple of things which make this show stand out. First of all there is indeed a new song – ‘Girl On The Moon’ which sounds perhaps a little more influenced by contemporary sounds than did the new ones on ‘Forever 22’. There are also, due to the acoustic roots of the show,  rearranged, quieter versions of both ‘Something’s Wrong’ and ‘Look To The Sun’. Whilst the latter eventually did kick pretty much into full rock mode, it was intriguing to hear the band trying something different since up until now they’ve usually brought variety to the set by changing the songs.

By the end of the set, any notion of a quiet, acoustic night out was shattered as pretty much from an impressive ‘What’s Going On?’, things really start to get cranked up. But it all works!

PS As a footnote to this show, look out for a post on Monday as part of Keepingitpeel.


  1. Jerry Hepburn says:

    Sorry not to be there
    (Was working )
    Look forward to Xmas show!

  2. Cheers for coming along in time to see us ! It was a grand night all round, I was playing acoustically in the sense that there was no distortion or effects pedals, and simon had a special quiet kit. But ally seemed keen to see how much drive he could get out of my amp !

    I’d forgotten they played a new song, I’ll need to sort out the tapes, possibly tonight ….

  3. Jerry – the Christmas show should be a good one – looking forward to that immensely. I suspect I may not be able to get quit the latitude to pick the best spot as at the Beat support!

    Bobby – finally made it to see you. At last. Will hopefully make it again before 2014!

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