Patrick Gardiner & Susie Blue EP launch, with support from The Sea Close By & Jess Edlin
Thursday 9th April 2015 – Voodoo, Belfast
Voodoo Belfast plays the part of this evening’s host venue as Hidden Machine showcase their exciting new double E.P launch. Patrick Gardiner, an alternative acoustic artist releasing his much anticipated EP ‘Carcassonne’ and Susie Blue, a popular folk singer/songwriter bringing us her most recent work ‘Midnight Cat Swaps’. Tonight is set to be one mesmerising show, with one great artist after another on the bill.
The doors are open and the crowd take to their seats, just in time for the phenomenal musings of rising star Jess Edlin. A softly spoken, seemingly shy and quiet lady, she takes to the stage and introduces herself. She begins her set with a track that mixes intricate guitar melodies and echoing vocals. Not wishing to set a tone for herself we are treated to various songs all totally unique to her style. From triphop backing tracks to delicate love songs, Jess delves comfortably into each little world of her own through her songs. One of the most surprising and creative artists in the local musical circuit and if you haven’t been lucky enough to see her perform yet, you simply must.
I have to admit to being intrigued by The Sea Close By’s set, as I had last seen them in the very early stages of their career and had wondered how far they’d come. An alternative rock band wishing to continue certain elements of former band Paperman but with the hope of creating a more solid and powerful impact. As the fronting members of the band, Alastair and Kate present a comfortable and well thought out rendition of every song they play. Their set is a healthy mix of Paperman classics and The Sea Close By’s original songs. The band harmonise perfectly with one each other, keeping in mind their more raw ideals, especially in the heavier tracks. The Sea Close By are a band that have translated well and have grown even more.
Now, for Susie Blue for the first EP launch of the night; a songwriter with a knack for weaving hauntingly dark material together. This pint-sized artist may be small in stature but her strong lyrics and captivating vocals are nothing but huge. There is an undeniable comparison between Susie and Dolores O’Riordan in their ethereal vocal stylings, however relevant the influence may be. The key to Susie’s success seems to be her ability to accept and own her delicate vulnerability, especially in her newest single ‘Trust Me’. That being said, her music is not all delicate, she is not afraid to show her angry side, even claiming one of her songs to be “the angriest she’d ever written”. Backed by clever electronic effects and dramatic synth, Susie’s ability to wear her heart on her sleeve, conveys a great range of built up emotions, making for an intense and hypnotising performance.
The ultimate ending to this evens bill of melodic beauties is the launch of Patrick Gardiner‘s Carcassonne. Patrick is joined on stage by his resident drummer this evening as we are treated to the alternative acoustic recipe he is most known for. It would be difficult to fault Gardiner’s performance as he proves he is well and truly the master of his niche for accented vocals and retro guitar melodies. His E.P’s title track ‘Carcassonne’ acts as the catchiest and most mature song of the set, blending perfectly with his rolodex of songs. There could not have been a more perfect end to this evening’s gig and Hidden Machine have well and truly outdone themselves with this carefully selected line-up.