Two chicks from the Bronx

The Grosvenor SW9 on Sidney Road, might not be the music Mecca that every next musical talent dreams of whilst developing blisters on their fingertops practising their guitarskills or going through yet another piano excercise. Despite being close the infamous Brixton Academy and being fully wallpapered with flyers, it was surprisingly quiet when I walked through the doors at 8pm.

Or as my friend Maya described it in her textmessage to me ( when I panicked about being late): “It’s pretty chill.” Chill it was indeed, when I found out I was the only audience member not in a band that was playing this night. On top of that, one band stayed mostly outside on a never-ending nicotine break or hanging on the sofa in the back, whilst the remaining two acts were in fact solo artists. Yet if I paint a picture of a hideous night, you are wrong: if I was the only one there (joined after 20min by another girl) it was still the rest of the world who missed out.

First up was a lady from the Bronx, vacationing in London ( Can you believe that? She ends up playing in the Grosvernor on her holiday!) her name is FeSS and her voice has that lovely mix of power, sweetness and clarity. She played her songs on her guitar and her voice just draws you in. If anyone ever tells you it is scary to play for a massive audience; let them play for an audience of four. (The man who sold the tickets joined us…) To play for an audience that is actually watching you, actually listening to the lyrics you wrote (rather than having a quiet chat with their neighbour) must be challenging. Challenging yet still fun perhaps, as she did confide later that she really enjoyed herself. ( Must have been the quality of the audience, you really can’t beat class ;-)) Personal favourite was Looking Glass, and I recommend you look it up on her MySpace page.

Second, was another lady from the Bronx ( hence the title to this entry) who has been in London for a while carving out her career and working on her craft. Maya is a very talented artist with a great sense of humour, a combination which is very rare and often undervalued. Her own songs reflect on situations in her life and tell of comical yet recognisable incidents, all put into lyrics to music which show her incredible skills. I truly believe that any artist who cannot laugh about themselves, who cannot laugh about the fact that:
A) they need to ignore the rude band in the back who at no point made an effort to join the audience and enjoy the music
B) their main audience members are a blond who is drinking ginger beer and one oriental looking girl who is just glad to have found a cold Budweiser and a chair, is not worth their salt.

These ladies were though and I can tell you it was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be in their company tonight.

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