21 April 2016 (gig)
23 April 2016
This was a rare show by Bex Marshall in her adopted home town of Crouch End in North London. More often seen in Cyprus, Brazil, the US or Europe but a Londoner these days even if born and bred in Devon.
She is a unique performer – brassy and flamboyant and with a voice that sits somewhere between Janis and Tina, maybe like Lydia Pense, she is also a pretty fine guitarist whether she is playing a metal bodied resonator - Ozark 3515BETC - or her beaten up Strat.
The set on Thursday was full of her characterful songs and her charisma and passion even managed to shut up the typical N. London audience – except for rousing applause and cheers.
Between songs like ‘Love Is A Beautiful Thing’ with some sublime picking and ‘Dirty Water’ about the evils of drink (although she was often heard calling for a Leffe for her and a pint for her drummer, the bass player being a tea drinker) she showed her sassy and occasionally cackling vocals without lapsing into the clichéd Janis copyism that trips up a lot of other performers. ‘Kitchen Table’ which she closed with has become a trademark number and the verses seem to multiply and build alongside her fine slide guitar.
She is one of those performers who need to be seen and experienced before she can be fully understood but for me there is no question that she is a one-off and fully deserves all the nominations and plaudits she has received over the last few years.