Wednesday night was perhaps the best mid-week gig we've ever attended. Having played in last years Bluesfest and receiving local and interstate praise, we were desperate to catch Adelaide's blues wunderkid Ollie English, as he released his debut 'Cabin Thoughts' EP.
To kick things off, Laney and the Giants (a Jazzy ensemble) had the growing crowd enthralled with a brilliant mix of tunes, all of which bustled with energy and soul. Special mention must go to the larger than life vocals of front woman Katie Moore, whose brilliant voice led the band with impeccable timing and feel. To hear that this was Laney and the Giants first 'proper' gig is mind blowing. With this in mind we can't wait to see what the future holds for these guys.
Following this great performance, the man himself Ollie English took to the stage. Hailing from Adelaide, Ollie grew up surrounding himself with music from the likes of Muddy Waters and BB King. Watching Ollie's rise and growth in his chosen craft has been an absolute joy. In a way, seeing him on stage Wednesday night was symbolic of his maturation, not only into a local talent, but a prominent and accomplished musician. Knowing also of his recent Triple J air play, the crowd bristled with anticipation shortly before he took the stage. Opening originally as a solo act, Ollie's remarkably smooth vocals provided the perfect pretense to which his band built on in many songs. The vast array of songs performed were simply lapped up by the crowd.
Moreover the sense of drama portrayed by Ollie and co was astounding. Perhaps it's the very nature of blues music itself, but Ollie's ability to put so much of himself out there was admired by absolutely everyone. Well loved tracks such as 'I know you're gonna leave' and 'Winter Sun' sparked visual commotion in the crowd, who have clearly grown to love Ollie's sound as we have. These tracks epitomize Ollie's ability to create songs that are both emotionally engaging, catchy and at times upbeat. Throughout all of his songs, Ollie's classical training on guitar was evident. The soloing and scales pertinent to blues music was executed with the same emphasis and feeling as were the vocal melodies. As a whole it's also notable that the 'Cabin Thoughts' EP is fantastic. Ollie has managed to culminate his musical prowess into a five track EP that reflects the energy of his live performances.
His honesty with the crowd was also well received. Mid-set discussion of how his supporters "gave him the confidence" to pursue music was especially humble. All in all we couldn't speak higher of the night and the spectacle orchestrated and put on by Ollie and his band. So go on, buy the EP or support Ollie in whatever way you can, we promise you won't be disappointed in this homegrown Blues hero!
You can suss some of Ollie's music and info below: