Live Review: Tom McRae + The Hotel Cafe tour – London KCLSU

By on Thursday, 1st May 2008 at 1:08 pm
 

Tom McRae @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU“These shows are always far too short” moaned Tom McRae as he brought down the curtains on almost 3 hours of non-stop music that, frankly, would put most lesser artists to shame. In those 3 hours, we’d seen beard shaving, mass-singalongs, surprise special guests and more off-the-cuff jokes than most comedians manage in a year. All for a mere £15 too.

This was the second time that the Essex-based singer/songwriter had bought over his motley crew of artists from the US to play the Hotel Cafe tour, named after the famous venue in LA which plays host to a range of a wide range of artists for a cabaret-like performance where anything can happen. As they showed, anything really can happen when they decided to shave the beard of lead organiser Jason, live on stage towards the end.

Each playing one or two songs, Tom introduced each one with amusing tales, and before 9:30 had even swung round we’d already hurtled through three Tom McRae songs as well as songs from Catherine Feeny, Brian Wright, Jim Bianco, Cary Brothers, and Greg Laswell. Poor Greg hobbled around after spraining his ankle in Brighton whilst drunkenly chasing a fox, much to the amusement of the audience.

Part of the tradition of the Hotel Cafe shows are special guests – two years ago we got Aqualung, this time round Turin Brakes played previous single “Dark on Fire” and old favourite “Pain Killer”.

Tom then came back, joined by the rest of the performers for a rousing version of “Dose me Up”, which was quite amazing to hear everyone looping round the haunting chorus of “So dose me up / Once is not enough / I can still see the ground / And from this high rise view looking down on you / Im not the one wasting my time”. Personally, that was my highlight, but with time getting on the performers got back into the swing of things with renewed passion – Jim Bianco’s “striptease” routine provided a moment of amusement as his “smoky backroom” voice fitted the setting perfectly. Greg told us stories of his family, with tales of his Mum and Dad’s worries about him, and Catherine just played amazing songs whilst adding a sexy element to the male-dominated proceedings. Brian, well, what more can I say. The man can play. And has facial hair that would make lesser men weap, it’s so thick. Cary Brothers was the musical genius that needs more credit – amazing songs, he should be able to tour the UK more.

All too soon 11:30 had rolled around, and with one more sing along to “Silent Boulevard”, they were gone – too quickly for my liking, but still – £15 for 3 hours of brilliant entertainment – amazing.

After the jump: A video of Cary Brother’s “Ride” and pictures. If you want large versions of any of the pictures, just yell and I can sort that out for you 🙂

Tom McRae @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Tom McRae

Greg Liswell @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Greg Liswell

Catherine Feeny @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Catherine Feeny

Brian Wright @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Brian Wright

Cary Brothers @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Cary Brothers

The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Do you know this man? I missed his name when he was introduced.

Turin Brakes @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Turin Brakes

Turin Brakes @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Turin Brakes

Catherine Feeny @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Catherin Feeny and Brian Wright.

The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: The Hotel Cafe performers in the middle of the crowd.

Jim Bianco @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU

Above: Jim Bianco

Below: Cary Brothers’ “Ride” live.

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2 Responses

11:32 am
16th May 2008

He’s Olli Cunningham, longtime keyboard player with Tom and half of the famed Oli’s (the other being Oli Kraus, cello player)

[…] Media and review 2 […]

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