Omnibus Theatre was the venue in August for the first of hopefully many Music Makers Festivals. The cute little theatre was the perfect setting for the two days of music, which were brilliantly organized by Albert Man and Manoja Ullmann. The festival showcased some of the underrated (and even quirky) talent from around the UK and Ireland.
Here’s a run down of some of the artists who formed.
Opening the festival was Hertfordshire’s Steve Young. Steve is picking up quite a following now with his country-pop styled music. Steve shared tales from his time traveling, including when he was a troubadour on a cruise ship.
His latest EP, The Great North Road, is out now and available from his website.
Matt Perriment is a regular among the festivals. The young Londoner soothed us with his emotional indie-folk songs.
He’s heading out to New Zealand for a tour before the end of the year, and I’m sure he’ll pick up some new fans out there!
Adam seems to have been around forever. This guy just oozes with coolness. I really enjoy his laid-back ’60s style and could have happily sat back and listened to him for a lot longer!
He’s in the process of recording some new material, so keep an eye out for that.
Stepping in for Illona who sadly pulled out, we were blessed with an appearance from the legend that is Tony Moore. Once a member of Iron Maiden, Tony knows exactly how to own the stage and he rocked the place out. Tony has a new single coming soon. There’s a little teaser on his website, so go have a look.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Australian siblings! Soundcheck was going horribly wrong, and almost straight after starting Matty lost a guitar string. Despite all this, they persisted and gave us a brilliant set. One of the highlights of my weekend, as they had the crowd in stitches with their story about a lonely Christmas in France.
After hearing Dani, my phone battery took a battering as I listened to her song “Free” non-stop for about a week! It’s a brilliant tune. She’s funny and has a very powerful and beautiful voice. Expect to see big things of her in the future.
Up Down Go Machine
Usually a four-piece band, UDGM were a duo for the weekend with Sam and Stephen on acoustic guitar and drums. The powerful gruff vocals told the tales in their songs, and they provided a memorable set late on Saturday night.
The Manchester Trio had been treating people to impromptu sets on the piano in the foyer throughout the day, but they were back to close the first day of Music Makers. Their acoustic music mixed with hip-hop has been drawing in the plaudits this year.
Their next EP Empty Hands is being released later this year, and will definitely be one to get your hands on.
Sunday’s opening act Mark Sullivan appears to be a guy who feels and shows all the emotions in his songs. This was the first time I’ve come across Mark, which is strange considering he’s from the same town as me! He got the day off to a brilliant start with his well rehearsed loop pedaling.
Irish Tara sat at keys for her set as she sang her beautifully dark songs. Probably best known for her acting in The Fall, Tara is really breaking through in the music scene and her upcoming EP, Paradise, will be one to look out for.
Another one from Ireland, Brian is a well established musician in his country hitting the top end of their charts numerous times. Brian was joined on the stage by Gavin James much to the audiences delight as they sang a rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in The Dark”.
I could listen to Anna talk all day, and I’d imagine she probably would do it if you let her! She’s very popular within the folk scene at the moment and her beautiful personality is only be part of the reason. The room was in complete silence as she unplugged her guitar and sung without a mic for one of her songs. Definitely on my list of artists I’ll be looking to see again.
The City and Us
Usually a four-piece, we had a solo treat from Mark Hogan. Mark played a selection from the band’s latest songs as he sat uncomfortably. Turned out he was uncomfortable because he has split his trousers and was ensure he didn’t flash the crowd! I’ll be looking out for a performance from the whole band when I can.
The main man himself hit the stage with his band and got the party in full flow with his upbeat tunes. Albert released an album earlier in the year that was recorded live at St. Pancras Old Church. Definitely worth checking out!
The man with the golden smile! Tom had the room swaying along with his wonderful tunes and infectious smile.
One half of the Magic Numbers, Michele was one of the artists I was most looking forward to seeing. She didn’t disappoint! Her distinctive voice was the perfect end to a wonderful festival, as she delighted the crowd with her band consisting of old friends.
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