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Live Review: Brisbane Folk Club #5 feat. Sian Evans & Christopher Coleman @ The Foundry

Sian Evans Folk Club April 7

Last Wednesday a handful of folk music enthusiasts gathered at The Foundry for the fifth Brisbane Folk Club, and I think it’s safe to say they got a lot more than they bargained for.

At 7 pm, Steve Tyssen took the stage with his guitar in what can only be described as a somber and melancholy plea for his ex girlfriend to take him back. Although his voice was quite smooth and soothing, it was as if I was sitting next to him at a bar, trying to find a way to end the conversation about his ex girlfriend politely, but had no such luck. Despite his rather gloomy lyrics, Tyssen’s strong vocals swam through The Foundry and flowed into our eardrums, surprising us with a gentle splash of delight.

After Steve Tyssen warmed up the crowd by tugging on our heartstrings and bringing tears to our eyes, Sian Evans took the stage. When I watched the tall, curly haired woman in overalls take the stage, I thought to myself, “This person looks an awful lot like the woman I saw outside earlier, pounding beers and talking about how drunk she was”. Sure enough, Sian Evans admitted to the crowd that she was in fact the booze hound I had spotted earlier that night.

Sian Evans Folk Club April 1

Despite being ten beers deep, Sian Evans was by far the best artist on the bill. Her raspy voice and slightly out-of-tune guitar created a very authentic hillbilly music experience, and her story telling in between songs was honest and touching, as well.

Evans shared a heartwarming song called Take Me Home, which she wrote during the year she was homeless and living out of her car. The song was initially recorded on the banjo, and although Evans played it on the guitar last Wednesday, it didn’t take away from the raw energy and the authentic folk feeling of the tune.

The last song of Evans’ set was entitled Cold Feet, which she wrote about a past boyfriend who left her because she pushed him away. Despite the sad nature of the song, the guitar plucking and vocals were rather catchy and upbeat. Just when the crowd felt a sense of backyard stomping hope, Christopher Coleman took the stage.

Christopher Coleman Folk Club April 8

Now, I’m not saying that Christopher Coleman’s set was horrible. He had a really nice voice and he sang about some very deep and troubling issues, which is admirable. But if I wanted to hear about “needles pressing into the skin” all night, I would have just stayed home and watched an episode of ‘Intervention’.

The last set of the night left me feeling a little flat. It was simply too depressing and slow. Even the way Coleman’s guitarist added charming counter melodies and embellishments, he looked like he was slowly drifting off to sleep. Sorry guys, but I think the drunk and sassy folk styling Sian Evans takes the cake for the fifth Brisbane Folk Club!

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