An evening with Fenne Lily, Paul Thomas Saunders, Sivu & Siv Jakobsen. The Lantern, Bristol.

4 artists I’d not heard of in the most visited venue of 40 gigs.

My friends Jacqui and Monty (who took me to C Duncan and Vok) had seen Paul before and liked him and bought me a ticket for this gig. I’ve already gone on about how much I love The Lantern. It is just about the perfect venue, spacious yet intimate, comfortable, with decent sound and a great mix of artists.

Sivu was the first of the four acts on, they are touring together and all play an equal length set. I’ve seen this a few times now as part of 40 gigs and I like it. It takes the risk element out of gigs, each artist is on for 30-40 minutes so you have time to discover stuff but also it’s not too long if you don’t like them! Fortunately I liked Sivu. He was a charming young man with a lovely voice and as an opener did a grand job. Despite what he claimed, his between song chat was natural and warm. Just like his songs.

Siv Jakobsen was next on, and her voice found an emotional home in my soul. My current mood of maudlin loneliness matched her searing, honest songs. Her voice has a delicate beauty that belies its power and emotional impact. Fragile yet strong. She made me cry with Not Alone and Blanket. I really liked her.

Paul Thomas Saunders was next on, the artist my friends had seen before and the reason they’d bought the tickets. He seemed very young and shy and adorable. Then he sang. Oh. I love the contrast. The softly spoken boy giving vent to a powerful man’s voice that lifted and broke me in equal measure. The track I liked best doesn’t appear to be on Spotify (dammit) and I’ve forgotten its title, but it was heartbreaking. I was in tears for the second time.

Last but by no means least Fenne Lily, a local artist who had most of her family in the crowd. She had invited Big Jeff to the gig via twitter and that’s why he was there. Sat with me and Monty and Jacqui. She possesses another beguiling and lovely voice, singing sad songs.

It is always a pleasure to see Jeff at a gig. We have become friends through 40 gigs, and discovered we are neighbours too! He said he wanted tonight to go to a gig that was “comfort food” and he was so right. Tonight’s gig was very much that. Warming, nourishing and comforting. More so as it was shared with friends.

Thank you all.

34 down. 6 to go.




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