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The Delta Bell

The Delta Bell - The Brunswick - 30th October 2014

I went down to the Brunswick to see Overhead Wire’s monthly music night ‘Dirty Fingernails’ as I’d heard about the event and wanted to catch some new local acts. The Delta Bell, who were headlining the night, played an array of classic country numbers which, true to the style of the country genre were all pretty predictable whilst maintaining the easy going nature of the music style. The vocals and harmonies of the two lead singers were extraordinarily tight and impressive however, unfortunately I didn’t find myself drawn in to the live spell. Also on the bill was The Equatorial Group whose slow dancing, country, folk music worked perfectly for the style. I could certainly see their appeal to people who are heavily into the country/folk genre, but unfortunately for me, they didn’t quite hit the nail on the head. Hickory Signals, a three-piece, were the second support of the night and their very traditional folk style came across wonderfully. Lead singer Laura Ward has one of the most pure and beautiful folk sounds I’ve heard in a long time. With a lineup of banjo, flute, guitar, harmonica and vocals Hickory Signals quickly became one of my most exciting finds this month. With the delicate musical orchestration which gently cradled the purest vocals of Laura Ward, Hickory Signals drew the whole audience in to the story, lyrics and instrumentation of their set.
 
Surprisingly, the first support of the night was Joe McCarty and his band. I say surprisingly as in my mind I really felt that the whole line up should have been completely reversed with Joe McCarty and Hickory Signals holding the headline spot. Joe McCarty music is reminiscent of early West-Coast folk of the Woodstock generation. With beautiful, well-crafted harmonies evocative of Crosby Stills Nash & Young, you couldn’t help but feel you were witnessing something magical. Half way through the set McCarty announced this was only their third gig playing together which was a shock to the audience as the band was so incredibly tight, it seemed like they had been playing together for years. Personally, I would have enjoyed more of the haunting harmonies in the set as I felt that this, along with the clever writing, brilliant musicianship and performance was one of the many elements of Joe McCarty’s set that put them way above the rest. Whilst a lot of the tracks were very traditional, sometimes McCarty slipped into a more Mac Demarco pitch-shift style sound which really added another musical layer to their already heavily layered sound. I also really enjoyed the unexpected way that the band would end the songs with a dischord or a singular note you weren’t expecting which really highlighted the ingenuity of McCarty’s writing.
 
BrightonsFinest.com fully recommends getting down to the next show of either Joe McCarty or Hickory Signals. Hopefully, they’ll be playing a show together again soon and although their styles are a little different, the two acts went together so well and really balanced each other out. Overhead Wire’s monthly music night seems to be a great way to discover new local talent which you may not have heard of before and even though not every band of the night was entirely my cup of tea, it was a brilliant gig and came away with two more favorites.
 




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