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Andy Smythe: Press

live reviews

After travelling from Devon during the day, I arrived for this gig, very excited, as I have heard Andy's last albums but never seen him live. This gig was not to be missed as it was the album launch of his new album, which I had heard, but promised to be a fabulous gig to attend. From the moment I had heard his first album, Love Unspoken, I had been a fan.

Andy had musicians with him on stage -– Jon Barley on brilliant keyboard accompaniment and occasionally oboe; Les Elvin, who played a mean bass guitar; and Barry Target on excellent fiddle. The Green Note has an odd layout of stage, so Barry on the fiddle spent most of his time standing next to the stage as he couldn’t get on it! But, that didn’t make any difference to how they sounded, and Barry was clearly in a world of his own fiddling away!

Andy kicked off with "Whiskey Priest," wise choice, as this would get the audience in the mood -- foot-tapping melody with deep lyrics and involved all the band members! Title track of the new album, Live For The Future, was next and the audience were enthralled. Chilling lyrics about 21st century and beyond, this should be a theme tune for anything involving keeping the future for generations to come. Later on in the first set Andy changed the tempo, and sang "Warden I'm Ready," a chilling song of a prisoner on Death Row. Sounded like he had experienced the whole thing, but I am sure he hasn't! A very in-depth study of the prisoner's thoughts before his demise. This is Andy's speciality, producing lyrics that cut to the core of the soul. The album has a very important message to convey.

The interval was full of chat about how much the audience and the press had enjoyed the first half, and were looking forward to seeing more of Andy, and promoters were busy chatting amongst themselves about how much they had enjoyed it. One of the band members had organised movies for You Tube, so looking forward to that.

The second half kicked off with "My Old School," another fabulous number to start with, all on stage again and full band sound. Further down the list Andy sang the very haunting "Brothers," a track from his last album, Last Throes of Summer. A true story apparently, and sent shivers through my spine. "We Love Our Children" told the poignant story of parents of Israeli children caring for their children as much as anyone else, and worried about them in conflicts when bombs rain down. Last track was "So Far From America" before Andy had to do an encore, as we were not going to let him go that easily. Andy treated us to "England In The Summer," which was brave as it had been a wet week!

We all left feeling very privileged to have been at this gig, I really enjoyed it, and I hope it isn't too long before I see Andy again soon. Andy and the lads said they had enjoyed it and although it wasn't a total sell out, it was a quality and appreciative audience who had attended and CDs were flying out. Make sure you catch him at a gig or Festival soon.
Jean Camp - folking.com (Jun 8, 2008)
Andy Smythe it was who had the dubious privilege of opening the show. However he soon had those in the stage area listening with his guitar playing and big voice, full of vibrato. Andy’s songs reflect personal observations, wistful reminiscences, having a scope beyond that of the love songs which dominates many singer/songwriters repertoires. And they went down well with the audience.
annie windley - Time Out, Borderline singer/songwriter festival
Andy Smythe - first class contemporary music, good writing plus great covers - versatile, entertaining & highly recommended.
Can read an audience really well so he's well worth booking if you run a club / pub / social ....
His first song is called ‘Whisky Priest’. This is one of Andy’s oldest songs and one of my own favourites. He sings with his usual song and haunting voice which vibrates around the Fab Club room.
This fella’ is so talented that he plays the harmonica as well. Fabulous!

His second song ‘Half me, half you’ is a new one that I’ve not heard before. A very catchy song with a good joining chorus, written I feel not in his usual style, and it makes a great change!

‘Autumn Gold’ is another of Andy’s older songs. He plays this on the piano and captivates the audience with this beautiful ballad

He now plays yet another new song about a Scottish loch inspired from a school trip. Another great ballad played superbly on the piano.

Next is a cover version of the Woody Guthrie song ‘This land’. As Andy play’s he has the audience singing and tapping their feet straight away. Marvellous!
Another new Smythe song ‘We love our children too’ all about the Israeli and Lebanon conflict. He sings and strums this with conviction and feeling.

Andy finishes with a piano ballad called ‘Brothers’, one which I’ve heard many times before and still love. I look forward to the next half hour of Andy and his wonderful voice.
Andy Smythe returns to the stage. Hoooooorah!!!!

If it’s any thing like the first half then the clubs in for another superb treat!

He starts with a piano foot tapping number called ‘ and you’ve guessed it…it’s self-penned.

‘Garden of sweet England’ requested by Claudine and once again sung beautifully.

Back to the guitar…he tells a very funny story about the time when he was stuck with two drop dead gorgeous ladies in New Mexico. Oooh eeeer!!! No nothing like that! Sorry.
This leads to another of his songs called the ‘Rio Grande’.
A Leonard Cohen song follows ‘Hallelujah’ sung…..oh for love of music what can I possibly say that hasn’t been said already? He’s superb, great fantastic, marvellous, talented, stupendous, an unbelievably good song writer and performer!
And if you’re looking this up on the net and have never been to Fab Club before you’ve missed a real treat!

‘Sap and earth’ is a very new Andy Smythe song. A great one destined to be a favourite with his fans.

‘Changing Seasons’ one of Andy’s older songs and a great catchy tune. In fact I would say this is a must for foot tapers every where!

Andy has written a song about a British soldier coming back from the Iraq war and coping with the after affects. Something we don’t hear too much about and a darn good protest song. ‘Song for Iraq’

His last song – booo! – is a Rufus Wainwright song called ‘Art teacher’
Ok. Not his last song. He does an encore called ‘England in the summer time’

This has been on of Andy’s best performances.
Well done mate!