I experienced a busy spell in the 3 days leading up to my July gig in London, and had dipped a toe (leg) back into the murky waters of caffeine to support my activities. I guess we can all agree a bit of this is OK? But this body is a lot more sensitive than it once was and I woke up with a decidedly foggy brain that slowed my movements as I packed the car for the gig.
I swung by the studio to pick up a few bits before leaving town and met my dear friend Ryan who’d received the awful news that a friend of his had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Ryan was shaken and clearly upset, the kind of shocking news that makes you want to stop the world spinning, and just ‘be’ for a time. We sat and spoke about his friend and the heartbroken family he has left behind.
Eventually I found myself on the M1 Southbound and headed to the capital for this intimate little gig with Paul Mosley at The Harrison Kings Cross. I think it’s almost 10 years ago now I met Paul, introduced by a Medievel babe named Esther Dee. Esther possesses the kind of grand canyon epic voice that you.will. not.Forget! a former member of the MBs and composer of a very beautiful solo record ‘The Carousel’. The three of us, along side others (Hi! Rebecca De Winter) played a series of gigs together at one time and enjoyed collaborating on each other’s sets – so I was excited to get us all back in a room again. Paul had invited me to sing ‘Dear January’ a duet with him tonight – a love letter to the ‘soundless sound’ and peace of the Winter season.
Halfway there I stopped off at Bedford to collect Chris Cleverley from his home in Bedford. Chris had offered me to stay over – we are big mates but hadn’t seen each other in ages so it felt so good to do this. Talking of which, I’d specifically put in a request to Paul for a big hug upon arrival – and he delivered! We embraced and it felt so lovely to be in his company and a guest within the community of music lovers he has cultivated at his monthly shows at The Harrison.
Paul’s songs are laden with emotion, and his dynamic delivery can both soothe and shake you to your core. A fluid pianist, there’s a theatrical flair to his playing that transports you to another time, perfectly balanced with his sharp dry wit and in-between song banter. Paul seems so comfortable, it puts his crowd at ease and in this basement venue in the heart of the capital the tone is set for a house party-come-concert tonight!
Tom OC Wilson is Paul’s first guest, and contributes a delicate counter melody with the crystal clear, ‘chiming bell’ tone of his Red Stratocaster to one of Paul’s songs before sharing his own work. Whilst I can hear echoes of Ray Davies’ songwriting in some of the chord progressions Tom is a unique creative voice, and this short set was a great introduction to his work and I’m enjoying listening to his album Tell A Friend on Bandcamp
In addition to my own set Paul played piano on ‘ Dreamland’. Like a child with their first sparkler he appeared to gleefully draw the arpeggios freehand in the air above his piano… we ventured through this song together and I exhaled, letting the notes flow.
I felt a connection with the audience as I explained Jen Bricker’s story of being separated at birth from her acrobat sister and how their journey inspired ‘Teach You How To Fly’ – it’s so interesting isn’t it – how we develop, how we find our calling? it feels important to consider what price we pay for abandoning the dreams of our childhood and in that sense it feels timely to ask What are London’s dreams? Do we really want to loose all the tiny bespoke venues and unique pubs such as The Harrison? London has always had such a vibrant music scene, it feels such a waste to let that go.
It’s clear Paul has cultivated a community of thoughtful music lovers, folks willing to dig a little deeper than surface level and receive the fulsome experience live music can offer.
The Harrison music venue is under threat after losing their legal fight with Tory donors against Covid rent back-payments
Paul Mosley has curated something beautiful here in the centre of town with his monthly residency. This intimate event feels like a wild flower blossoming through the cracks in the pavement. Don’t let the greedy guys guzzle this one up – if you can afford to please consider donating to the Save The Harrison fundraising appeal or buy a ticket for their shows HERE.
Until next time – Sunday 13th August – The Secret Garden, Totnes TICKETS HERE