Riverside Tavern Review

Listen To This hosts a weekly new music night called ‘Live Music Wednesday’ at The Riverside Tavern, Newport. Each week a fresh crop of new acts from the region use the night as a place to share their music. Here’s a review by Pete Akinwumni of the last night held on January 21st.

“Last night in the RivTav. As January creeps toward payday so one or two cold little noses of Newport’s musical collective, venture to one of our growing number of exciting live music venues. Well it wasn’t exactly rammed but enough hardy souls trecked thru the door including the ever distractful Sadie Thomas, (Rick) Wac innit?) Dempsey who was back for his first visit in a while Karl was about spreading his particular brand of joi-de-vivre and even Gary the Deac Deacon came, tempting all who know him to ask when he’s gonna play again!! And they all came to see a night of male singer songwriters. Now for every 10 I see of this particular animal I reckon 9 of them I appreciate for what they do or try to do, 3 of them I like ‘coz I share their musical tastes, and maybe 1 I’d want to see again. So it comes as a bit of a dish of warm rhubarb crumble poured over my head on a Baltic winter (ie. a surprise) to find 3, all in one night each of whom exhibited different parts of the songsmith’s art and talent and between them contributed to another excellent Listen To This presentation. Jack Perret, thankfully recovered from the throat that blighted his last performance gave us energy and delighted us with his originals and covers. The shelves in that store, ‘Hooks are Us’ must be empty coz Jack had them all! Matt Workman, just gets better and better, his voice and guitar work display a young man intent on improvement. He’s an authentic talent who performs earnestly and sincerely and you don’t get an awaful lot of that these days! Finally the night rounded off with Stephen Russell, a new name and face for me. Tagged as ‘The Busker’ he’s obviously spent a long time honing his craft in the pedestrian lane! Although he wrong footed me by opening with a great rendition of Worried Man Blues but stayed away from the genre thereafter, I was still utterly impressed with the style and dynamics he brought to the performance which was as soothing as the sweetest and smoothest modern r’n b. So that was last night, brought to us by Listen To This, always worth listening to… oh and all this on a Wednesday – for free!!” — Words by Pete Akinwunmi