Singing a Different Song

Singing a Different Song was a cosy affair. Jonathan Wood and Friends, a trio of amiable musicians, greeted the majority of their small audience personally as they entered, giving the concert the feel of a welcome reunion, an event that could just as easily have taken place in the comfort of a living room or around a warm campfire.

Unfortunately though, there were no roasted marshmallows or fanciful ghost stories to distract from the music at this gathering. Wood writes passable piano and guitar-based ballads with lyrics that might be rousing if delivered by, say, Bruce Springsteen or Win Butler, but that his own middle register vocals didn't quite push home. 'Put another cigarette in your mouth and don't say a word'; 'This used to be a big land, before they made the earth kneel to the city lights'; all big lines that needed a bigger voice.

Wood's bandmates were Neil Simpson and Michael Freudenberg, on the accordion and cello respectively. Their contributions were for the most part minimal, both during and between songs, but they nonetheless muddied Wood's arrangements and begged the question: why was anyone but Wood, the songwriter and principal talent of the group, even on stage? Wood is a prolific songwriter and he and his bandmates were certainly affable, but Singing a Different Song left a lot to be desired once they were through with the pleasantries.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Two evenings with seasoned singer/songwriters who put their individual slant on songs that evoke aspects of our psychological, emotional and political lives. On the first night, expect to join in. On the second night, don't.

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