Cory Chisel - St Bonaventure's Parish Social Club, Bristol
Exactly one year ago, Cory Chisel was in exactly the same room - the downstairs of St Bonaventure’s Parish Social Club. In 2013 he played an acoustic gig with his longtime vocal partner Adriel Harris in front of a pretty small crowd - maybe fifty people - and promising to be back with a full band. In the year since he’s been touring the States and writing some new tunes, so what’s the 2014 version of the Americana folk rocker like?
As it turns out it's exactly the same as in 2013: it’s just Cory, Adriel, and a guitar. Oh, a tambourine sporadically appears too. But for all the lack of a full band as promised, this is still an absolute killer of a show. The key to the music, more so live than on the record, is the relationship the two singers on their harmonies, because as well as both being excellent singers they write terrific songs. On stage Chisel is an incredibly engaging stage presence, he remembers that he promised to play ‘Seventeen’ when he came back (he doesn’t) and also remembers that there were fewer people in 2013. He's right, the audience has doubled.
And he’s that kind of performer, he’ll get more done through word of mouth than anything else; his music can’t be comfortably pigeon-holed by the UK broadcast media so it falls into the hole. On stage though, with his stories of borrowing from ‘Tennessee Waltz’, giving an anecdote about how ‘Pale Green Dress’ cost $327, expounding his love of Gram Parsons and Sam Cooke, and singing with guts and passion about the treatment of Native Americans (new song ‘Savage Kind’), he grabs your attention - and keeps it - with great songs, his affable manner, and a likeability you can't manufacture.
There’s only one thing left to do now, go spread the word. Let’s see even more people at St Bonaventure’s Parish Social Club in 2015.