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  • Miles Hedley

ROBERT VINCENT at Mycenae House

Robert Vincent has been called the Scouse Springsteen but in fact he’s vastly more than that. Although his Americana-drenched compositions bow to the Boss, they are equally influenced by the likes of Pete Seeger and Buddy Holly and also by his own very English taste for the everyday and the personal. And these elements combine to create a truly unique voice, as a stunning appearance at Mycenae House proved.

Backed brilliantly by Danny Williams on upright bass and Jim Kimberley on drums, he gave us a spellbinding set drawn from his albums Life In Easy Steps and I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins enhanced with songs from his new collection, In This Town You’re Owned, which is due out in February.

And what a set it was, ranging from gorgeous lyricism to foot-stomping rockabilly with every imaginable tone in between, including numbers dripping with melancholy and others filled with the optimism of love. There was also a lot of laughter as he regaled us with often self-deprecatory tales of life as a singer-songwriter and his delight in turning a nice thought into a miserable song.

Vincent, a mean guitarist and harmonica-player, opened the 17-song gig with This Town, the first of a batch of tracks from the new album including the rockabilly anthem My Neighbour’s Ghost and the beautiful love song The Ending.

Other highlights included Lady, All For You, The Kids Don’t Do God Anymore, November – a jaunty song about murder - Burns (Like Cotton In The Fields), So In Love, Denial and a riproaring version of Demons. Vincent ended with the title track of I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins – and rightly sparked a huge ovation.

Earlier, drummer Jim opened the evening – presented by Sonic Promotions - as one half of guitar duo The Kimberleys when he and partner Isobel gave us an exemplary set of folk classics, including fab takes on Elsie Marley and (my favourite) Hard Times Of Old England. The pair will be playing a special a Christmas show at Mycenae House on December 20.

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