Rags and Feathers and Eugene McGuinness (4 stars)

Eugene McGuinness

Eugene McGuinness

ROCK FOLK

‘Heckle us if you like!’ was a brave challenge from Rags and Feathers frontman Tom Davis, especially as the band was apparently brought to life in this very venue only a few months previously. But there was nothing to find fault in during a cracking set of sunsoaked boy/girl harmonies, the latter courtesy of Andrea Tomlinson, which mixed folk, country and rounded off with an infectiously enthusiastic hoedown-type ending.

One lyric, ‘you know how that intrigues me’, seemed a fitting summary, and headliner Mr McGuinness had a hard act to follow. But he held his own with a voice that’s part Morrissey, part Billy Bragg and, on the deeper notes, even managing to make ‘sub zero psycho’ sound like a thing of beauty. The word emo also sprung to mind, not just because of the teetering melodies and angsty lyrics, but also an Emo Philips-type hairstyle and thanking the crowd for ‘clapping between songs and being nice to me’. ‘The beginning of this song rips off ‘Stand By Me’,’ he said. ‘But we’ll get over that.’ And we did.

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