Tag Archives: open mic

Ste Whiley+Jamie Brewer+Laura Bailey – Open Mic Night

23 Mar

Venue: Mad Ferret    Date: 23 Mar 2011

Steven Whiley

In my humble opinion, a good musician not only knows how to effectively arouse the audience’s feelings by excellent pieces of music,  but recognises the art of performing and the use of diverse instruments. This was done very well tonight by Steven Whiley of the Preston band Jackdaws with his guitar and definitely, his “Thee”- a little music box.

Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division Cover) on music box was the first one to shine on the stage. If you’ve ever heard an antique music box play, you will imagine how delightful the clear, delicate tinkling sounds can be from Steven’s Thee. Love Will Tear Us Apart has been covered by many artists, but this one done by Steven is indeed fresh and inspiring which finally led a creative combination of classic and novelty. Obviously, the strong reactions from the crowds show they want more music box. Not upstaged by Thee, Steven’s continued to give a performance to try and get the acknowledgement and recognition he deserves.

Love Will Tear Us Apart + Sea Enemies

Following up were emotional Sea Enemies and Dearly Departed, thanks to meaningful lyrics and attractive melodies, these two songs all together sound like telling the crowds two thought-provoking stories. Steven has always been trying to take new elements into his music for the audiences, and he had never played Sea Enemies and Dearly Departed to anyone before, but Steven simply let the singing do the talking. So, shouts of “one more” from the crowds made Steven played the crowds’ favorite – Undertakers Daughter to finish his performance today.

Dearly Departed + Undertaker’s Daughter

For an open mic, Steven definitely played and sang to his best. Full music box version of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Steven is available here. Nevertheless, Unsigned Acts / Preston strongly recommend to go and watch Steven and his band Jackdaws live, which should be pleasure to do so, they are actively looking for full gigs at the moment, anyone feel interested, please feel free to contact us.

Jamie Brewer

Probably, some of you are enough with the roar of the daytime and want some music, well, in such an industry occupied with mainstream generic music with lyrics that couldn’t represent any implication or emotion, perhaps now you hope to go back to the basic and have a break, with a peace mind, and listen to some simple but really original, organic and refreshing things tonight, nevertheless, that is exactly what we got with Jamie Brewer at the Ferret.

First on was Songbird, a song written for Jamie’s friend – Our fascinating singer songwriter Katie Ryan. From the moment Jamie started to play, you cannot resist indulging yourself in the totally quiet and intimate atmosphere set out there. It’s a pure aspiration to play and enjoy this pleasant song, I would imagine myself sitting in my backyard on a relaxed and peaceful afternoon accompany with this Songbird. Next was also an interesting and engaging acoustic one called The First of Many, with fast rhythm and upbeat feeling, made it a perfect song to chill out the flippancy, and instead was all love and peace.


It’s the first time for Unsigned Acts / Preston to watch Jamie played solo without his band Defy The Sky. Well, we had seen quite a few amazing musicians played with a guitar that night, but no one played in the same way as Jamie, reminded me of the scenes when the musical prodigy played guitar in my favorite movie named August Rush.

Laura Bailey

Advent of Miss Laura Bailey with On your side and Zip it Up brought us some nice inoffensive music to listen to, that absolutely added luster to the show tonight and made the excited crowds even more enjoyed themselves.

Zip It Up

Three Unsigned Acts / Preston musicians played at the same night, same venue, well, hope could have more shows like this. For tonight, overall I would rate it 9/10.

Jackdaws – Open Mic Night

19 Jan

Jackdaws – Open Mic Night

Venue: Mad Ferret    Date: 19 Jan 2011

The Mad Ferret is one of the most popular live music venue’s in Preston. With a 180+ capacity, stage, lighting rig and sound system it is the perfect place for intimate gigs. The open mic, which is held every Wednesday, is ideal to sample some of the talent that the city has to offer.

The open mic on Wednesday 19th January was no exception. Notable highlights of the evening included ukulele comedy from Kris Ball, guitar singalongs from KrisYeates and looping pedal acoustics from Sheffield’s Graeme Baranyai.

Perhaps the biggest crowd drawer of the evening was for upcoming Preston band Jackdaws, who played under the name for the first time. Before the performance, Unsigned Acts / Preston talked with band members Ste (singer and guitarist), Tom (drummer) and Mike (bassist). They mentioned that they had regularly been playing the open mic to debut new songs and build up a following. They told me that the last time they played in December was last minute and due to missing drum kit parts they had to improvise songs. While they still enjoyed it, they were looking forward to performing their songs properly this time.

Put on the lighting, harmonica, guitar, drum and bass, here we go.  The first song was ‘Undertakers Daughter‘, which was one of the crowds favourites. The stark lyrics tell the story of a girl unable to be taken seriously by anyone, receiving “know it all” advice from her father, religion and partner. Next up was ‘Butterflies‘, which incited whoops of joy. The song was very upbeat and enjoyable. The band debuted new song ‘Good Things Happen to Good People’ next, leading to shouts of an encore. The open mic bands usually play three songs, but due to the crowds response they were shouted at to “keep playing” by the open mic’s promoter.

The band decided to play a couple of covers – a harmonica fuelled version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ and a dub-country version of the Eurhythmic’s ‘Sweet Dreams.

“Bravo…” The short set seemed to win the band many new fans, several of whom came over to congratulate them. Jackdaws’ performance was genuinely a pleasure to watch, and for an open mic slot these three guys gave it their best! Unsigned Acts / Preston looks forward to seeing their first full gig.

Wanna see the Jackdaws again live?

For more latest gigs information and upcoming shows of Jackdaws, stay tuned with Unsigned Acts / Preston.

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