Mid way through Jem Mitchell's set I got a tap on the shoulder.
“Dad, he reminds me of the Da Buckley, the way he sings some songs.”
“The Da Buckley from Pigeon House Road?”
“No, Jeff's dad, or Tim's Dad, I never remember which is which, the guy who died of a drug overdose.”
“That was Tim-soaring voice but soft when he needed it too.”
“Ah yeah, he did 'Swim To Me' didn't he? I always remember it playing in the red car we had. You had it on tape. I love that song.”
“Real title is 'Song To The Siren' you know”
“I prefer 'Swim To Me'. I'll always call it that"
“I'd like those words on my headstone, if I have one, 'Swim To Me, Let Me Enfold You'."
“Why not?, fine words, always meant something to me.”
“I'll try to remember that, who's that chap you waved to?”
“Over there, leaning against the wall with a pint?”
“That's Pat Barrett.”
“Is he a singer?”
“Oh yeah, writes his own stuff too. Very good it is. He had an album out earlier this year, 'At The End Of A Winding Day' it was called. He uses "The Hedge Schools" as his recording name. Loads of people loved it. I'll give you a listen.”
“Alright, grand, we did hedge schools for the Junior.”
“Did the guy on stage just mention 'steak and onions'?”
“I think he did”
“I'm hungry now”
“We get something on the way home love”
“Yeah, why not!”
Jem Mitchell's voice is a wonderful instrument. See the videos below to hear what I mean. The performance at the Grand Social was deftly enhanced by Kenny Brown's guitar back up. Soft chord changes and notes placed that reminded me of Fleetwood Mac. There's a hint of Chet Baker in Jem's delivery on some songs. At least I get the same feeling when I listen to Chet Baker. As an opener for A Lazarus Soul Jem Mitchell was the perfect act. He'll be moving up the bill any day now. Keep your eyes peeled.
Jem Mitchell 'Sweet Amphetamine'
Jem MitchellLive 'Sweet Amphetamine'