Thursday 23 January 2014

Terry Emm - Live at The Dublin Castle, 8th January 2014

Review by

Photography by Philip Nash

Two minutes away from Camden Town tube station, London, sits The Dublin Castle a legendary pub and music venue popular with Madness during the late '70s, whose stage has also seen performances from Blur, Coldplay, Supergrass, Arctic Monkeys and Billy Bragg to name but a few who have contributed to the legacy of live music the venue holds today. On Wednesday the 8th of January we were enticed to The Dublin Castle for the first time, for no other reason than to check out the headliner for this particular night - Bedfordshire singer-songwriter-guitarist, Terry Emm.

Taking to the stage around 10pm in the intimate back room of the pub where the live music takes place, Terry humbly and simply introduced himself to an attentive and intrigued crowd before kicking off an 11 song acoustic set. Seated on a stool in front of a microphone with his trusty guitar, there is something quietly mesmerising about Terry as he begins his set with 'Dove' a magically captivating track that shows off Terry's haunting, melodic, spine-tingling vocals, folklore lyricism and intense, lingering finger picking. There is a deep sense of sadness and loss surrounding this song that when finished, Terry states "They're not all going to be that depressive I assure you… I do a lot of love songs."

One "love song" that stood out particularly for us was 'Sarah' which Terry introduced as "The next one's a love song… Well, people think it is. But it's kind of not. Well, it kind of is. It's about my sister…" to an array of controversial "oooohs" from the crowd. Terry then responded to a thoroughly humoured crowd, "I'm just trying to think of something intellectual to say to come back from the incest." The track itself is an incredibly introspective, wistful, lullaby love letter of a song that oozes familial honesty, softness and beauty. Not only is Terry a vastly talented singer and songwriter, but he doesn't take himself too seriously and has a sense of humour to match.

'Loved And Never Lost' is another wonderful track that has a Joshua Radin kind of vibe to it. Emotive, warm, tender, personal and wholly enjoyable. Terry ends the song by talking about the official video that accompanies the track, which Terry promotes by explaining it was filmed in Brighton on a cold winter morning, interrupted by joggers and a dustbin truck and you can catch him looking very cold.

Wrapping up his set Terry said to the crowd, "My name is Terry Emm, it's spelt E double M. It's the hardest surname to explain to people. You get it though don’t you?" Yes Terry, we get it. What we also get is that Terry E double M has a way about him of making love songs transcendental. He is hands down one of the best songwriters we have come across in a long time. Terry's lyrics are poetic, poignant, mature and evoke imagery of the romantic period. Terry's unique vocals soothe, creep and crawl straight to the deepest parts of your soul and Terry's finger picking stays with you long after each song has finished.

Although performing a solo acoustic set, his songs are predominately recorded with a band, giving complex, orchestrated, cinematic layers to his wonderfully idyllic sound. Terry's music is not only a treat for the ears but his storytelling takes you on a wonderful adventure that makes you want to step outside of your own skin and embrace a world free of expectation and filled with enchantment. We can safely say we are fans, how about you?


Loved And Never Lost
Is There An End To Your Love
Forever and After
For This
Sapphire Eyes
The Way You Look

The two session tracks were recorded backstage at the gig and come courtesy of Shout Sessions

Terry Emm's website

Catch him live:

8th Feb- The Silver Bullet- London
12th Feb- The Green Room, Sheffield
13th Feb- The Unicorn- Manchester
14th Feb- Café Borsa- Dundee
21st Feb- Proud Galleries- London
22nd Feb- Acoustic Cafe- Hemel Hempstead
20th Mar- Blue Cat Café- Stockport
22nd Mar- Marton Hotel- Middlesborough
23rd Mar- The Octagon- Keighley
24th Mar- Surya- London
25th Mar- Dublin Castle- London
04th April- The Borderline- London
11th April- York TBC
12th April- York TBC
13th April- York TBC
2nd May- Old Cinema Launderette, Durham
3rd May- Pindrop, The Fishermans Arms, Hartlepool
5th May- Gaslight Club, Oporto, Leeds
30th May- Royston Folk Club
14th June- Watford Palace Theatre
15th November- Kulture Club Shon Shon, Mainz- Germany
22nd November- House Concert, Brandenburg- Germany
29th November- The Stables, Boskoop- Netherlands

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