It was great fun to be a fly-on-the-wall with Sian Cross last Thursday (Nov 6th) along with Graeme Foy [guitar] and Kate Dean [backing vocals], during their stripped-back acoustic gig at the “Midland’s premier live music venue”; The Musician in Leicester. She was supporting singer/songwriter Nick Harper in what became a scintillating evening of quality live music.
Taking full advantage of a 150 mile road trip from Bristol, Sian and Kate rehearsed harmonies in the back of the band-wagon for entertainment (and to keep Graeme’s attention-to-hunger at bay) until a well overdue pit-stop at Hopwood Park services on the M42 (Graeme’s all time favourite). Caffeinated, stretched and on the home straight to Leicester, there was an air of mystery as to what was the evening had in store…
The Musician is an institution. A mecca of live music, where eagle-eyed punters survey the performers on stage with sniper-concentration. Their pleasure is quality, made evident by the dozens of posters and photographs of some of the World’s best musicians adorning the walls. It’s not a huge venue, but the best rarely are; all that’s required is a good view of the stage, quality acoustics and of course an ample bar – three ticks there.
After a vocal and guitar warm up, including an impromptu medley of Bewitched hits (Sian likes to throw the sound guys a curveball every now and then), the doors were opened and the audience filtered in.
Performing a set of songs from her forthcoming debut album (pre-order it HERE), Sian kicked things off with A Memory, the harmony-rich Break the Chain and The World as I – a song that explores the unique views of a boy living with Asperger’s syndrome. The rest of the set ebbed and flowed, with Sian’s vocals hypnotising even the hardest, long-haired, moustachioed Midlands rockers in the crowd. By the time she broke into her penultimate number; What Do You Learn, the room was full of people hanging off every perfectly harmonised lyric and clean-cut acoustic guitar riff. She finished off the set with an homage to home; a cover of ‘Teardrop’, by Bristol-based Massive Attack.
Break the Chain
The World As I
Stare at Me
I’m Not Frightened
What Do You Learn
Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
Watching from the crowd and enjoying every second with the rest of the audience was the headline act, Nick Harper, who said how much he enjoyed Sian’s music in a break during his set. He praised Sian and the band’s commitment having driven for three hours to get to the gig. Nick’s set was a real journey of guitarmanship and fearless vocals. The standout for us was ‘Juicy Fruit Girl’ – pure fun, have a listen!
So the experience at The Musician in Leicester was… great! Sian was genuinely humbled by the reception she received and thanked the venue, especially Malcolm the sound tech’ for making her feel welcome… Maybe she’ll be back soon. Copies of Sian’s EP ‘Leap Year’ were selling like hot cakes during the evening, which is great news too.
Have a listen to Sian’s music by clicking the links above and pre-order her debut album if you like what you hear. Oh, and here’s some photos of Sian Cross and the band at The Musician, Leicester, Thursday November 6th 2014: