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   Odgers & Simmonds: 'The Brook', Southampton, 29th October 2000

Sunday night, the rain lashing towards the ground, the wind howling and blowing a gale just the sort of night you want to drive x amount of miles to go to a gig. Most sensible people would have stayed at home, in a large comfy armchair, feet up in front of a warm coal fire with a mug of hot chocolate (marshmallows floating on the surface optional!) by their side. But no, Odgers and Simmonds are playing somewhere in Southampton. So off we set, winds blowing at approximately 90 miles an hour, tree branches littering the roads – sensible people would have turned round and headed back to that fire side. But no, Odgers and Simmonds are playing in ‘The Brook’.

The weather turns the hour journey into nearly two, but we arrive on the edge of Southampton at ‘The Brook’. Unsurprisingly, the car park which hold about 20 cars has spaces. We find the venue door! Hurray. Then our plans are slightly thwarted as the man on the door tells us ‘Odgers and Simmonds aren’t playing.’ But ‘Paul and Swill are’. Hurray. We walk into the smallish bar, with a decent sized stage, it has a balcony running around the top and is likened to a small ‘Mean Fiddler.’ I’d estimate a crowd of about 80, most sat or stood around the edges of the room. A friendly looking crowd. We decide the floor is clean enough to sit on. After a few minutes Swill and Paul take the stage, and Dave Kent is guided towards the microphone.

Regrettably, I didn’t take my camera but if anyone wants a fashion run down I can email them privately, suffice to say I liked the purple shirt. So what can I remember of the set list.

In no particular order, songs from O+S included The Trigger, The Light, Rising Road, May Day Morning and Swill’s rendition of Barratt’s Privateers (wow). I can’t swear they did sing all these some might have been wishful thinking on my part! :o) TMTCH ones, Walkin’ Talkin’ Green back dollar, Pieces of Paradise, Going back to Coventry, Iron Masters, Scarlett Ribbons (?).

Dave Kent took lead vocals in Liberty Cages’ ‘Refugee’ and Gregory’s Girl, he also sang a Christie Moore song and did sound quite like him. Nervous but a good sound. He whistled along to songs ( not an easy thing to do properly), played the harmonica and penny whistle and sang backing vocals on the others.

The only new song, I think, was Swill’s which he sang whilst referring to the lyrics written in his notebook and this was about Colwyn Bay.

The crowd were fairly appreciative, they came back for an encore, Swill said the audience could suggest songs to sing, preferably songs from them, otherwise they’d be forced to leave the stage. Second encore crowd began to shout suggestions and Swill added that we could only shout out suggestions that they had already agreed to play amongst themselves.

Was it worth the drive? YES, of course it was. TMTCH have energy and I will always dance around at their gigs, but O+S and Dave Kent are mellow, ‘warming’, ‘toe tapping’, and proves that much of their material works in an acoustic atmosphere.

The best bit of the gig was seeing well written lyrics sung live. The happy smiles from the stage – proved that the performers enjoyed what they were doing and this is always infectious. I really hope that in whatever guise they perform O+S will not loose that.

I got a bit carried away! Thanks O+S and Dave Kent you did a great job - roll on the next gig - may it be sooner rather than later!

Sarah Eames