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12105888_10206744688068646_3742472259487693944_nAnother couple of stalwarts from what I call the Turner-Brookfield Axis, that pool of punked out, folky musicians who have embraced a DIY ethic and a love of New Model Army’s uncompromising passion. Tonight showed how just a core group of friends can turn a regular mid-week acoustic session into an all out party just through sheer enthusiasm. Although Ben Sydes (hence the nome de plume) and Dan O’Dell (aka Heartwork) are both originally from cambridge they had travelled down from Dan’s newly adopted town of residence, Cardiff and got the venue before me.

By the time  they were set up and ready to go people were starting to trickle in and Dan launched into his self-depracating chat and songs about failed relationships, false friendships and losing his cat to his ex-girlfirend. It was then revealed that a couple at the bar who were bopping along on their bar stools were actually on a first date and this became a bit of a theme for the night. I have to say that anyone who has their first date in a pub putting on live, original music are absolute stars in my eyes. Dan even ended his set with a cover of Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, just for them which they seemed to appreciate.

With the crowd growing and now in very vocal party mode, Ben took over proceedings building on the crowds bouyant mood, getting the crowd on their feet dancing and himself on a chair whilst the close friends of the Cambridge musical mafia sang along, cheer and jeered and seemed to have a great time. The first daters were in the thick of it and I just hope it works out for them, they deserve a long and happy life together and to keep on being awesome.

Some nights it just works, songs were sang, heckles were counter, rugs were cut and merchandise was sold, a night exactly as I envisaged when I first took over the bookings for the place. More luck than judgement but some nights seem destined to be a bit special.