Siobhan Mazzei is a local musician that I’ve seen many times over the past few years I’ve been attending gigs. I especially have a fondness of seeing her perform at The Soundhouse as it was back in 2013, attending only my second gig, that I saw her perform for the first time and in this venue at an album launch for another local musician Rhett Barrow. I wrote a blog post about that event which I will link to, but please bear in mind that I had just started photographing gigs, so the photos aren’t as good as I’d like them to be 😉
Since that day I’ve lost count of the actual number of times I’ve seen her perform, but it’s certainly into double digits. Most of the gigs have been her performing as a solo acoustic artist, but more recently she has been performing with a full band behind her. There has been everything from playing in the corner of a crowded pub to performing on main stages of local festivals, each time putting in the same effort and the performances have been to a consistently high standard, she is one of the few acts that I will always try to see whenever she has a gig on, even if that means missing other gigs that may be on the same night.
This night was another EP launch, she already has an album and an EP out, but both of those are more solo stuff, this is the first EP from the Siobhan Mazzei band. As soon as this night was announced I checked what else was on and noticed I was working days, although finishing at 7pm I knew I could get home and then out to The Soundhouse without missing much, if anything. There was another band playing elsewhere this night that I would have gone to see, but I’d seen them recently and couldn’t miss this EP launch gig.
I arrived at about 20:30, and unfortunately had missed the first act of the night, but No More Heroes were just about to start their set. I’ve only seen them once before, which was at Western Park Festival earlier on this year, and that was a strange day with all the weather issues, so I was looking forward to seeing them again. They played a stripped back set as they mentioned their drummer wasn’t well, but they still sounded great, I’ll have to catch them again soon when they are back up to a full band.
Next up were Abandon Her, who I’ve definitely seen a few times before but can’t remember when the last time was. I know they played Glastonbudget and Oxjam a couple of years ago, but I’m sure I’ve seen them perform more recently. Great songs that people can dance around to, performed well, everyone seemed to be enjoying their set and announcing they have an EP launch soon, I may have to try and get to that if I’m available.
Next up we had the headline act, The Siobhan Mazzei band. I’ve only seen them perform as the full band once before, but all the other members are musicians in their own right and I’ve seen them on other occasions.
Earlier on in the day I’d received an email from Bandcamp telling me that the EP had been released, so I had the decision to make as to whether to get it earlier and be able to listen to it, or wait till this event and get the actual cd, I decided on being impatient as I wanted to listen to it while I was at work. The EP has a few tracks that are on her solo album, but obviously sound different with the band involved in the tracks.
There was a really good crowd packed into The Soundhouse, more than I’ve seen for quite a while, but I haven’t been to this venue as much as I should have recently. I really like the sound quality and lighting here, so need to get down and see what’s on more often. I knew quite a few people in the crowd, either being friends or recognised them from attending other gigs, but it shows how much she is respected in the local music scene as there were a lot of other musicians in attendance this evening.
Performing as the full band, the set gradually got more energetic, building up to completely rocking out on the final track with the whole crowd dancing along, and with some of the tracks being well known to the people there, you also had people singing along in the crowd.
Normally at the end of the set you’ll have the familiar chants for an encore, and it usually involves the band coming back on stage (if they even leave the stage) and performing one or two more tracks. This time, and an encore was certainly deserved, we had something which I’ve not seen before but was totally awesome. Siobhan grabbed her acoustic guitar, walked out into the crowd and performed right in the middle of all her fans. Not even an ‘acoustic’ song where the guitar is plugged in, proper acoustic, with everyone being respectfully quiet so we could all hear. This is another sign of how much respect Siobhan has in the local music scene, I’m not sure how many other people could make the whole crowd go silent so they could hear an acoustic performance at the end of a Friday night. And that is how flexible she can be, equally as comfortable performing with a full band as she is with just a guitar in her arms.
I didn’t stay around much after it had all finished, just chatted to a few people for a bit and then headed home. At one point it had crossed my mind to not go to this as I’d been up since 5am and working 12 hours, but I’m so glad I did. This really was one of my gig highlights of the year, excellent music performed brilliantly, all in the company of friends and music lovers.
That’s how you do an EP launch!