It’s not often, if at all, that you get a number one selling artist performing in a Lune Valley village.
So I was quite surprised to see so few people at Luke Concannon’s show at Halton Mill in Halton last Thursday night.
Any lack in attendance however was more than compensated for by the quality of the music, and the response of the 30 or so people there.
After recently refurbishing Halton Mill as eco-friendly small business units, Green Elephant, the co-operative that runs it, has turned its attention to events.
The set up was informal, with old pub tables and chairs scattered around, and a makeshift bar in the adjoining room, complete with a real ale pump and a keg of Borough Brewery ale. So far so good.
After an introduction, Luke Concannon, who was responsible for The JCB Song (I’m Luke I’m five and my dad’s Brice Lee, drives me round in his JCB) took to the floor - bare footed and wearing what could only be described as “rainbow bloomers”.
With him was vocalist Jimmy Davis and a guitarist.
There were no mic stands, and no amplification of any sort.
Davis led the first half of the show, rapping and singing words reminiscent of Gil Scott Heron and Scroobius Pip, with Concannon providing backing melodies and guitar.
The show was fast paced with Davis covering topics ranging from social injustice, poverty, fraud, truth, corruption and environmental catastrophe.
His delivery was impressive and gritty, his voice clear, and inbetween songs he spoke openly about his own lifes’ challenges.
After a short break Luke Concannon brought the tempo down a notch, singing ballads and drawing the audience into his singular world.
He talked about the fine line between “preaching” and music, and at times it felt like the duo were preaching to the converted, but it was great to hear all the same.
Concannon has a voice reminiscent of Tracy Chapman, with a lot of soul, and although occasionally veering towards “happy clappy” his style is infectious.
As the set moved forward the tempo picked up again, and during the new track Around The World the singer proceeded to pull people up from the audience for a dance, while Davis took to the cajon.
He finished with The JCB Song to much applause in what was a unique and intimate night of musical performance, with Concannon proving he is by no means a one hit wonder.
Jimmy Davis’ Existence is the Sound of Love, and Luke Concannon’s Give It All, both albums, are out now.
By Nick Lakin