Technically, I'm a rock girl. Technically, t's a rock club, but having seen the write up, I was curious and quite looking forward to seeing the Oli Brown Band at the Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale, last Friday. You see I do like a bit of blues rock, even if I don't really "invest" in it much.
I've seen some fabulous acts up there, but I was not really prepared for this one. I was "doing my face" in the ladies and chatting to someone who told me she'd been so impressed by the first time she saw him (at the ripe old age of 17, I found out later that this was less than 4 years ago) that she'd followed him ever since. Cue raised eyebrow.
Oli Brown, and his handsome, dapper, suited band of one drummer and one bassist, played a set of about 2 hour. It could have been a lot more, time was irrelevant to a packed crowd who were ALL instantly blown away. I have never seen such immediate love for an act from all ages/genres, the noise between tracks from the crowd was unbelievable, totally unprecedented.
Very few people I have seen have made music so visually elegant and seem so effortless. If you look in the dictionary under the word "tight" you will see "Oli Brown live - even with a dodgy lead". The quality of musicianship I have not seen the likes of for a very long time, maybe ever. I defy ANYONE who even just likes good music, to not fall in love within 2 songs.
Oli Brown's cover of Blackstreet's "No Digitty" (I shit you not) was incredible. And I wager that this handsome young chap will be packing out the Albert Hall in 5 years, although how he's going to manage his off stage guitar serenading there will be interesting to see. If Oli Brown plays ANYWHERE near you, I beseech you to seek him out and I defy you to not be blown away.
Ebbw Vale certainly loves him and I for one will be first in line for tickets for the next performance he puts anywhere even remotely accessible, even if I have to crawl.