REVIEW: Stephen Langstaff, East Village Arts Club, 25th May 2013


What a venue, a veritable maze of corridors I felt like a little mouse in a rat run and when we got to the hall where local singer songwriter Stephen Langstaff was playing I felt my feet stick to the wooden floor, yes just the type of intimate venue I adore. Michelle Bates reviews..

When you hear the Longpigs playing before the main act comes on, you know what is going to follow is worth waiting for. The headline act started singing almost as soon as he came on stage. Opening with 2 songs I didn’t know, however when he sang out ‘look at me, can you see me?’. I wanted to shout, I can hear you and by God you can sing.

Stephen stood guitar in hand between his bassist who maintained his rock stance throughout, juxtaposed was the cellist Vicky seated in all her classical glory but fitting so perfectly with the other sounds.

The third track was something new, ‘New York Dolls’ it didn’t stop the crowd from clapping along like it was one from his early repertoire. Then came ‘Road Trip’, I was blown away by images of Easy Rider playing in the background, and even more so when I heard, ‘give it up for the dreamers who don’t give up’. Love it!

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When Stephen declared that he was going to perform a cover of Roy Orbison’s, ‘Only The Lonely’. I thought oops even an accomplished singer would struggle, but he blasted this song right out of the water and made it his own, what a voice, what a version and holding a note so long even the Big O would have been proud.

We were treated to so much, one of the first demos he ever put down, ‘Turn of the wheel’ and another new one ‘Alive’. We were spoiled further when he did an encore of ‘Stray Bullets’ and finally finishing with ”Smile”. He had the audience in the palm of his hand, what a show!
Mr Langstaff, you have a new fan, I would have bought the T Shirt but I look chunky in white.

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