Concert Review – Tom Woodman/The Mourning Suns

Review by Ben Macnair – Photography by David Jones

An adventurous Lichfield audience braved a cold October night to support two local, and very talented musical ensembles when The Mourning Suns and The Tom Woodman band appeared at Lichfield Guildhall.
The Mourning Suns are a well known Birmingham based band, that are known for their experimental and Psychedelic rock influenced sound, but tonight were playing a rare two person acoustic set. The vocals of Rosie Wilkins and the vocals and guitar of Anthony Williams explored the deep recesses of lived human experience, whilst the vocal interplay, and musicianship was a great match for the acoustic grandeur of the guildhall.

Local bluesman Tom Woodman lifted the volume levels for his set, which ranged from interesting sonic soundscapes, to some finely delivered classic blues songs by the likes of Robert Johnson and Ray Charles. The first half of his set featured Tom by himself, playing such songs as Kind Hearted Blues and Walking Blues by Robert Johnson, Hard Times by Ray Charles, and a show stealing version of Fannin Street by Tom Woodman. His precise, and measured guitar style was matched by the passion of his singing, giving life to the many characters that exist within the songs.

The second half of his set featured other musicians, with bassist Nigel Holden adding a dynamic bottom end, and electric kit drum player Chris Stableford adding all types of drum and percussion noises to the sound.  With songs ranging from the high octane blues of 219, with Tom’s virtuoso slide guitar playing leading from the front, to Keb Mo’s Am I Wrong?,  this was musicianship of the highest standard.

Harmonica player Nick Dalmedo joined the trio for a rousing version of Cold Water, with some fine playing from both Nick and Tom, whilst Tom showed his guitar dexterity on Lap Steel Guitar during Homeless Child. His own song One Way Ticket, using all types of experimental guitar sounds, and some solid rock playing from Nigel and Chris was an exciting and suitable finale.

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