The Man Whom plays to an absorbed audience. Photo: Jake Threadgould

Music is Love & ArtSoc present: Matchless Minds ‘Undiscovered Places’ Showcase

On a windswept Tuesday evening the Barron Theatre offered an oasis of calm. ArtSoc and Music is Love, in conjunction with Matchless Minds, brought three solo musicians to play for a chilled out session of creativity and relaxation, providing a range of materials to a small group of artists of all calibres to use during the performances. What ensued was a homely and friendly production where, with cushions set out on the floor, the audience flowed up to the feet of the musicians and creative pulses seemed to leak between the two. The Barron became a snug, warm nucleus in the bitter evening; fully packed by an audience whose respectful quiet was not a replacement for enthusiasm. If seats stood empty, it was because artists had taken to the floor, or to easels set up around the stage.

The show started after a slight delay, which allowed everyone to get settled, with Cedric Has a Name quickly getting down to business and kicking off the music. Sitting for his whole set, he established a laid back atmosphere, with skilful guitar music and a charmingly unsure demeanour. The artists got to work, giving the show a unique, quiet feeling often commented on by the musicians; VerseChorusVerse told The Saint that he was ‘bowled over’ by the atmosphere, a nice change from the ‘noisy battle’ with the audience of most shows.

The first short set was followed by VerseChorusVerse with a much livelier and energetic performance; his valiant battles with the microphone were well handled and humorous. The cameras came out for his spirited renditions, punctuated by enjoyable anecdotes and enjoyable banter. With a set that had more variety than the other two musicians and consistently backed by his strong vocals, the audience were easily drawn in. Though he effused praise for the other musicians, his flowing compliments could not prevent his set from being the highlight of the evening, alternating between the wild ecstasy of music and the slow and moving, each more intense for the intimate venue.

Photo: Jake Threadgould

The bar was set for the final act, The Man Whom, with his self confessed catalogue of ‘quiet depressing songs.’ Perhaps he failed to do himself credit, with a number of lively tunes to counteract his more muted and subdued set. However, for all his apparent casual spirit, The Man Whom presented the most professional music of the show, with a clean yet impassioned sound. As the evening closed, The Man Whom was a fitting conclusion; his gentle, subdued songs supporting an audience artistically spent until an overwhelming last performance of his song ‘Autopilot’ attacked like the storm in waves of intense sound, leaving the audience quite alive.

Hailed as ‘great fun’ by The Man Whom, the event then was a wonderful success and a chance for a relaxed evening of top quality live music and creativity and an unusual opportunity for the musicians involved. The strong sense of collaboration between musician and audience gave the show a unique feel, with all three artists praising the ’good vibe’ of the place and the ’fantastic audience’ to The Saint.

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