It’s always a treat to see a collaborative performance by two great artists, and that’s exactly what we got at Nation Of Shopkeepers in Leeds on Monday night when Grammatics and Blue Roses (aka Laura Groves) got together to play a short but sweet set comprising of songs from the debut albums of both artists. It was the first time I’d visited the venue, and I must admit that it was a very charming place, with an outside terrace and interesting decor galore.
I’ll admit that I was largely there because of Grammatics, and although they only played three of their songs they didn’t disappoint. Beautiful B-side ‘Time Capsules And The Greater Truth’ got a rare airing, and fit the semi-acoustic feel of the evening perfectly – and Laura’s harmonies made it all the more special. ‘Broken Wing’ worked brilliantly too, with Laura’s vocal adding even more tenderness to the song’s already heartfelt tale of a long-distance relationship. However, if there was one song that this evening was made for, it’s ‘Inkjet Lakes’ – the song just wouldn’t work without Laura being there, and as such this was a delightful opportunity to hear the song played in a live setting.
However, considering that I knew very little about Blue Roses‘ material going into the set, I have to say that I was very impressed with her impassioned, fragile folk songs. Playing ‘Coast’ and another couple of numbers from her debut album, it was a perfect chance for her to demonstrate her own vocal abilities – and with Owen harmonising, the effect of both vocalists combined was stunning.
According to the Metro, the event had made mention of ‘a selection of covers’ being played, but apparently that was news to Owen. However, he made a good go of Echo And The Bunnymen’s ‘Under The Killing Moon’, in order to avoid, as Owen put it, “the backlash of Metro readers” – the fact that it was easily overshadowed by the original material on show tonight speaks volumes about the quality of songwriting that these two artists possess.
But really, this event was about those two wonderful voices – to have two such powerful, yet complimentary vocal talents in one room made it a truly special occasion.