At a gig at Joiners, you can almost certainly expect a local support, and that is a very nice touch as they are mostly very down to earth and grateful for any audience they gathered. Tom Martin is one them. Telling the crowd he’s from Winchester and currently studying in Swansea in Wales. His set was entertaining; he took time to talk to the audience, sharing stories and ideas behind songs, having a laugh with everybody in the room. The most distinctive quality of his songs are the lyrics, they really consolidate the storytelling approach to Martin’s songs. In terms of his style of singing and performance, he sounds like a bit of a mix of Ed Sheeran and Lucy Spraggan.
Next up is Eaves. He stepped on stage, did some minor adjustments to his guitar and went straight into singing. Nothing extra, nothing fancy but very much to the point with his atmospheric music and vocals. He seemed really chilled and relaxed as he filled the silent room with the simple combination of his guitar and singing. The whole set ended with applause from the crowd, and it was only then I realised his set had actually ended. It felt like time had passed without you consciously noticing it did, which is what is special about Eaves’ music; it carries you through time unknowingly.
The main man of the night, Rhodes, walked on the stage to an eager crowd ready to be serenaded. David Rhodes, from Hitch in Hertfordshire, treated the crowd to an eclectic mix of old and new materials. The whole dynamic of his set was really good, with him switching between playing the guitar and keyboard. His touring band also includes the cello, which adds a bit difference to certain songs, enriching his husky vocals and heavy mood lyrics. The interaction between his touring band-mates was really good as well, they were constantly looking at each other and sharing a knowing smile. His set list gradually ascended to a high with ‘Better’ then came back down to the heartfelt ‘Breathe’, which is my personal favourite of the set, ending with his new single ‘Turning Back Around’. He did play two more songs acoustically when the crowd urged him to, he looked more relaxed at the end presumably having finished played his planned set to a very approving audience. Rhodes mixed his already released songs and new materials from his upcoming album to a set list which formed a positive progression for the night. He is very aware of the effects of each song and he used that to create a unique and enjoyable atmosphere.
The first single from his debut album due out this summer, ‘Turning Back Around’, will be released on April 5.