Can’t find any video from the night, so here’s Antonio at the Bedford earlier this year.
Why this gig?
Because Antonio is a friend and he’s always worth seeing play. Also, the Bedford is just at the end of my road.
There were actually four acts on the bill, but we we too late to see the first one and we had to leave before the last one. So we only got to see the middle two – who I will conveniently (if slightly inaccurately) label the support and the headline. Apologies to Georgia Mason and Xander Rawlins for missing them.
I saw most of Siôn Russell Jones’ set and it made me wish that I had seen more of it. He has a great guitar technique and his songs were really interesting. You can hear some examples on his web site. I’ll be looking out for a chance to see him again.
As I said above, there was another act on after Antonio, but I didn’t see them so I’m treating him as the headliner.
I should come clean and admit that Antonio has been a friend for several years and I try to see him play as often as I can. And, given that’s he seems to be a firm favourite of the bookers at my local pub, that means he’s probably the performer that I’ve seen the most over the last four years.
Tonight’s performance is as good as I’ve seen him. There are more people in the Bedford than you can sometimes get on a midweek evening and they seem to like him a lot. Whether it’s melancholy songs like “City of Austin, Texas” and the new “2012” or something rowdier like “Boozehound”, the audience are clearly engaged and enjoying themselves.
As has become usual, Antonio is accompanied on double bass by John Parker (of Nizlopi fame) and this not only rounds out the sound nicely, but also gives him someone to banter with on stage.
Just about the only downside of nights like this at the Bedford are the lengths of the sets. As they are squeezing four acts in, everyone gets less than half an hour. So, all too soon, Antonio is playing a couple of his best-known songs (“The Sound of the Girl Next Door Singing” and “Hey, It’s Ok”) and then it’s over. No time for encores on this tight a schedule.
He doesn’t seem to have very many shows booked up currently, but it’s well worth watching his web site and going to see him when you can. And in the meantime, he has two EPs and an album that you can buy.