Two months between gigs feels like so long! It was lovely to be back at The Horn at The Half Moon for our second show of 2019, one that marks a year since our first show with LOZT in April 2018. Our April 2019 show turned out to be a very local affair, with Harlow College student Josie Stephanie, Broxbourne’s Daniel Lumley and former Bishop’s Stortford schoolboys Tom Lee and Alex Bayly coming together for a memorable night.
Tom Ryder kicked things off with the usual introductions and played ‘Couldn’t Love You More’ by John Martyn. It has been 10 years since John died, leaving behind some of the very finest singer/songwriter music ever recorded. He is an appropriate figure to discuss in the context of Retune; despite the beautiful music he created, he battled with chronic alcohol, food and drug addiction, which was ultimately his undoing. Once more, being creative seems to go hand in hand with psychological turmoil.
Josie Stephanie was the next performer. This was a special gig for her, as it was the first time she had performed original material outside of her college environment. She certainly stepped up to the plate, demonstrating some fine songwriting and a very emotive vocal.
Daniel Lumley was next up. Well-known in the area as the frontman of Dusty Wagons, Dan has turned his attention to his solo project recently. Accompanied by cajon and an additional guitarist, he treated the Retune crowd to some deftly-arranged and wonderfully delivered material, plus an innovative reworking of the Black Keys tune ‘Lonely Boy’.
Tom Lee has been an avid supporter of Retune from the outset. He was the videographer for our first gig and has also been involved in producing the Retune Online YouTube video series with Natasha Devon and Jonny Benjamin. He is a creative through-and-through, and for this gig he recited some of his haikus and free form poetry. Having some spoken word at our event provided a very refreshing new direction from the music, as it did with Erin Golding at one of our 2018 shows. Tom has a unique way with words and the audience were captivated by his compositions.
Alex Bayly rounded off the evening. Like Dan, he has been involved with a number of projects over the years but finds himself very much at home in the solo singer/songwriter realm. He has just finished recording his debut album at Highfield Studio in Great Leighs and showcased a lot of this material at Retune, ably assisted by Josh on double bass. Alex has a vocal tone that is uniquely his and a pleasing style on the acoustic guitar. Like the vast majority of our performers, his views on music and its transformative power align closely with the views of Retune. It was great to hear him.
Our next show is Sunday 2nd June and it’s our first all-dater featuring an open mic, comedy and a very special headliner. Stick it in the diary now :)