James Veck-Gilodi - The Cluny
Live Review

James Veck-Gilodi – The Cluny, Newcastle

The Cluny is a tiny venue tucked away just outside of Newcastle’s city centre, and tonight it’s abuzz with people who’ve braved the cold to check out James Veck-Gilodi on his run of tiny acoustic shows, touring his side project with bandmate Max Britton.

The small room is half empty when folksy opener Mat Hunsley takes the stage, but he has an easy stage presence, a rich voice and a few great songs under his belt. His debut single ‘Au Contraire’ is a perfect example of the simplistic and yet powerful nature of his music. A touching ode to the strength of his girlfriend in his song ‘Fear in the Fall’ brings his set to a close, and it’s enough to make a lasting impression.

Next up are Meadowlark; a quirkily endearing duo, whose music straddles the folk/pop divide comfortably. Vocalist Kate McGill’s breathy vocals are ethereal, and songs like ‘Family Tree’, ‘Sail Away’ and ‘Forlorn’ ensure that she and guitarist Daniel Broadley have the room enthralled by virtue of being utterly unique and refreshingly original.

The James Veck-Gilodi who takes the stage with a beer and a semi-acoustic guitar is markedly different to the moody Deaf Havana frontman. His self-effacing, blunt humour is charming, and the audience find themselves warming to him instantly. He and Max launch into a set of City and Colour-esque folk songs, like the rousing ‘Holes’ and a brilliant rendition of Deaf Havana’s ‘Kings Road Ghosts’ as it was originally written (and miles better than the band version). The set is peppered by an easy back-and-forth with the duo’s audience, and rambling anecdotes introducing songs like ‘Coffee’ (about the detachment from reality James feels as a touring musician), and ‘Wasted’ (about James’ first disastrous relationship).

The material is extremely personal, and that is perhaps one reason why it’s so engaging; the audience is spellbound by the end of the show. Although the duo’s music is as yet unfinished and still to be released, it’s easy to see that when they do release a record and tour again, it’ll be to bigger rooms than this; because this, right here, is the start of something special.

– Iqra Choudhry

Venue: The Cluny, Newcastle
Support Band: Mat Hunsley, Meadowlark

Share this!