Solo acoustic artist Nicola Jayne took to the stage of Fat Cats Cafe Bar tonight to release her massively anticipated E.P Bird In A Cage. After signing with Venombase, the team have been working tirelessly to freshen up the E.P and get the sound of Nicola out there and now the time has come to unleash that sound. Support for Nicola came in the form of Elly Kingdon, Brains For Breakfast and John MacLeod, and all of these solo artists gave the stage a good warm up before Nicola’s hour-long set.
Elly Kingdon, with her trademark ukulele, impressed the small crowd with her up beat tunes and quirky melodies about life and love in Stoke-on-Trent, whilst Brains For Breakfast brought to the table his set of great tunes on his acoustic guitar, whilst also playing a lovely song on his ukulele. The song is great for getting the crowd involved, but unfortunately the crowd was rather small, but Andy Webster was in high spirits as always and had a laugh about trying to get the crowd singing along to the chorus.
John MacLeod, long a popular musician on the local scene, played his talented and estranged set with vigour, taking the crowd through his set of emotional songs, on an adventurous and emotional roller coaster. Taking the crowd through this set, John also threw in between songs a number of jokes to keep the audience more entertained. If music takes its toll on John, he could most certainly enrol in the comedian industry.
Nicola Jayne had been waiting for this moment for quite some time, and it was known to those close to her how hard she had worked and of ordeals she has been through to get here, but now she is finally here, and that moment has finally arrived for Nicola. She and Venombase had clearly put a lot of time and thought into the show, with good use of lighting around the stage and birds in pretty cages littered all around the venue working to great effect. Not real birds, I must add. No birds were harmed in the making of this set.
A lot of thought had clearly gone into Nicola’s entrance on to the stage, with a walk on song playing for her as she walked from just out of the venue and made her way through the applauding crowd to take to the stage. Unfortunately, there was a technical issue regarding Nicola’s acoustic guitar and so after the great entrance, she was forced to wait a few minutes until she could actually kick in with her set.
This had clearly vexed Nicola a little and left her slightly anxious and nervous, but she hid it well and raced into her first song, quickly ridding herself of any nerves. In the set, Nicola played songs from her E.P, songs which are already fans favourites and tonight go down better than any other. Nicola has obviously spent an awful lot of time practising and arranging this set, throwing in some inspirational songs from artists such as The Smiths and Blur, giving each a slant of a twist of Nicola Jayne which go down well with the crowd. Thinking of Nicola’s original material, she has always had a style all of her own, a personality which shows through in all of her songs, and tonight this personality is on fire. Everyone at Fat Cats is shown how passionate Nicola is in her music, and indeed how passionate Venombase are about their little solo artist.
Nicola does need to work on the dynamics of her songs, just to make each song have its own little roller coaster, perhaps a few backing instruments could easily sort this out, but, judging from this set and certainly from this great E.P, Nicola Jayne has a bright future ahead of her and will go down a very welcome treat at October’s Hippy Horror Festival.