This was one of the first gigs at the newly refurbished Borderline, and it’s been dramatically updated although there are still a few bits to sort out (like signs to the toilets), but the toilets are now much bigger than the broom cupboard that sufficed before, the bar has moved and the whole place looks nicer. The stage lighting is worse than ever though.
First up was Ash Wilson. I’ve been listening to his album recently and enjoy it, but it’s not quite grabbed my attention the way he does on stage tonight. Live he’s a much more exciting player, and with a drummer plus Roger Innes on bass he puts in a thoroughly enjoyable set. I’ll be listening to the album with a fresh outlook after tonight.
Next up was Sari Schorr and her band, The engine room. She’s a superb blues singer, and has a great group of musicians with her, with special praise going to guitarist Innes Sibun who really did a fantastic job on guitar. The whole band work flawlessly together and put in the sort of musical performance that takes a really talented vocalist to match up to, and Sari Schorr is more than capable of that. Her voice has plenty of power, but more importantly it’s such a soulful voice that carries so much emotion.
Tonight’s show sees her perform almost every song from her album “A force of nature”, with just one song from the album not being played (Work no more). As well as her own material she includes the cover that is on the album – “Black betty”, and as on the album does a fantastic version. A fw more covers also feature including another Lead belly song, “Where did you sleep last night”, and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and roll”. Sari Schorr performs equally well whether it’s on the emotion-laden blues songs, or the heavier rock when she can let rip with more of that raw power in her voice.
The only downsides were the abysmal lighting with some of tha audience grumbling that they like to be able to see the performers they paid money to see; and the sound. We got the first song with her vocals almost inaudible, and it was two or three songs in before the guitar was turned up to the right level. Throw in a bit of feedback and the sound engineer didn’t impress.
Poor sound and lighting though didn’t come close to spoiling things – a gig from such a talented act in a small intimate venue like this is hard to beat. If you get a chance to see Sari Schorr on her UK tour then take it – you won’t be disappointed.
Ain’t got no money
Cat and mouse
Where did you sleep last night
Rock and roll
Don’t you call my name
Damn the reason
Stop in the name of love