Fatherson + Tom Joshua 8.10.21 Joiners, Southampton

Here we are at Joiners again – twice in two weeks having only been once before since my 2003 move to Dorset. My blog for the last visit, for Spear of Destiny, has a few notes on the venue itself. A quick name check, thorough Covid vax proof scrutiny and we’re in, with a semi-permanent cross on our hands as badges of honour which could be with us for some time. Perhaps next time I’ll have it on my cheek Adam Ant style.

Thirty three quid… in total for three of us, including a three pound donation to the Joiners Covid recovery fund. Bargain.

A return visit so soon (this time with wife Sally and her son Ben), allows further exploration of the walls of old posters and photos featuring years of legendary performers early in their careers.

Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Coldplay among the many big names who have played here

Also this time I saw an old ticket and poster design laminated table to match the fantastic bar – now there is something to have a go at reproducing.

Ticket and flyer table

I did think that we would get here early and sit down and have a drink before the bands but in the blink of an eye (ok a trip to the seemingly unisex gents) and the six seats in the bar were taken. Still another feature missed from a few weeks ago was draught Signature Brew Roadie IPA (“Boasting a hard-earned reputation and fit for grafters and road crews the world over”) – the barman informs us it is the only place that sells in Southampton – enhanced by the old microphone tap.

It’s a morale boosting sell out for Fatherson tonight so we go right in and left to find a good wall to occupy with a handy drinks shelf, just under the Joiners wall hanging. OK it’s a bit of an acute angle but out of the youthful mayhem. I’m 20 years older than all but about three people in here.

Tom Joshua – tonight’s support act

Support is a singer songwriter guy from Teesside called Tom Joshua. He’s got three accomplices on cello, keyboards and drums – light drumming and percussion rather than crashing drums – and they also provide great backing vocals. Tom is the focus though. It’s his thing.

This is a good start to the weekend. The big guy hits some high notes as his guitar jangles, with the long notes of the cello beneath it all – and great backing vocals from cellist. He’s got humour and presence and the assembling crowd appreciate it.

They finish with their best in a half hour set of original material: Melancholy Flowers.

The stage is rapidly cleared ready for Fatherson at 9pm. Fatherson are a three piece
which helps in this tight stage space.

This is the third time I’ve seen them – Victorious Festival 2019 and in the temporary 1865 club setting in Southampton in 2017, before it moved down to its current site.

They’re from Kilmarnock, Scotland and have released three albums: I Am An Island; Open Book and Sum of All Your Parts in 2018. Ross Leighton on guitars and lead vocals is the main songwriter. It’s him that has been doing all the Lockdown solo videos and streams… while also cultivating his hair and beard it seems – there’s a lot of it – presenting a biblical vision in the shadows as they take the stage, via the corridor from the toilets and through the crowd – a bit like boxers taking to the ring.

Fatherson at The Joiners

Bassist Marc Strain is very active bounding around his half of the stage and greeting an occasional wander by Ross.

Marc Strain on bass

While the bass and drums (Greg Walkinshaw) are strong and clear the guitar sound dominates to create naturally sing-a-long tunes…. and most know all the words – and they are actually singing more than shouting…. they’ve been practising for 18 months locked up at home I guess. The audience is also something of beard heaven – I feel facially naked.

This would be great for a big campfire guitar singalong. Ross looks very comfortable with everything as he acknowledges and encourages the crowd while also losing himself in his songs, bent over his changing array of guitars. Being so up close here it’s all very visual despite the limitations of the small venue with regards lighting. Once again the sound is spot on here. First time I saw this lot they were ridiculously loud for indie pop rockers – not tonight.

Quite an exuberant audience for such a melodic band and hairy Ross creates the feeling you’re having party with them – the crowd singing is an important part of the overall performance.

I snapped a setlist from an angle. The lastest single is not up to their usual standard I didn’t think but it’s better live.

Setlist sneaky peak

The route to the stage means that with a sell out crowd it’s not very practical to play the encore game so Ross apologises for that in advance and plays the last number.

An enjoyable night – another ‘pleased to be back’ tour and gig for many. Ten quid each. Bargain.

Published by ivaninblack

Still wild about live music - bands - gigs - festivals - after 42 years at it. All photos have been snapped by me or I will point out otherwise - I'll even own up to any blurry mobile phone ones. If gigaholic is a phrase then in recent years I think I've become one.

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