Gig review: Laid Bare Presents at Brixton East, 17 June

On Wednesday last week Laid Bare took up residency in the stunning Brixton East venue for the night. Hosted and curated by Rami Radi, this was a showcase for some of the best Laid Bare talent, playing acoustically in this gorgeously intimate setting – words and pictures by Petra Gent.

Our Man in the Field aka Alex Ellis
Our Man in the Field aka Alex Ellis

The evening opened with a warm and quirky performance from Vincent Burke on acoustic guitar. His story-telling style of introduction before each song enamoured him to his audience throughout. This, along with the promise of a packet of Chewits to the most attentive listener, set the scene for an evening of intimacy and good humour.

But as well as his convivial connection with the room, Vincent also delivered on the musical side. With some heart-ripping key changes he wove underlying tones of sweet sentiment into his lyrics. At the end of his set the prize of a packet of Chewits was duly awarded and shared out.

Gabriel Moreno
Gabriel Moreno

Gabriel Moreno, our next act, is a regular performer at The Betsey Trotwood pub in Clerkenwell and as well as being an accomplished singer-songwriter, he is also a poet and spoken word performer.

He began his set by treating us to some amusingly wry readings from his new book The Moon and the Sparrow, accompanied by Rami himself on acoustic guitar.

Gabriel also performed some of his love songs. With a slight Spanish twang to his guitar playing, he built up deep, slow, almost hypnotic rhythms to accompany his melodies. His humorous comments on sex, decadence, love and politics kept the audience giggling throughout.

Sadie Walker was on next, and her smoky, vibrato voice and soulful tones, with occasional echoes of a Cleo Laine’s huskiness, left the room mesmerised.

“I write about my life not a false reality,” Sadie told us, in what seemed to be a way of justifying her ‘unhappy’ songs. I don’t think the audience required an apology.


Next up was Burnz. The sound that came out of this young, tousled-haired baseball-capped guy was totally unexpected. He had an amazing vocal range with easy power behind his key changes – from smoky whispers to heartfelt screams. It was soulful with a bit of rock and funk thrown in.

Along with supporting Rami in the organisation of the evening, Our Man in the Field (aka Alex Ellis) also came along to launch his new EP – And Over to Our Man in the Field.

Looking a little bit like a cross between Jack Savoretti and Jon Snow, this Middlesborough singer-songwriter sounds a bit like it too – his husky singing tones and northern lilts captivated the room.

Our penultimate performer for the evening, Harry Keyworth, initially reminded me of Jon Martyn with some Nick Drake guitar lines thrown in. His unusual and intricate guitar plucking as well as his interesting use of staccato established him as an individual sound.

Our last and headlining act was platinum-selling Benny Tipene from New Zealand. With his infectiously chirpy, but super-speed banter, he energised the room perfectly to end the evening.  He punctuating his vocals with sudden sharp shouts and a staccato guitar style that gave an almost dance rhythm to his songs, ending the night on a really upbeat note.

The next event will be at The Ritzy on Wednesday June 24th.

Check out more pictures from the night in our gallery below.

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  1. Warm words and stunning pictures… perfectly formed review which portrays very well the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the night filled with unassuming talent. Look forward to the next one! N.B. Love the little slideshow at the end.

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