Whilst walking through a tent at Parklife in June this year, I had to stop in my tracks because I couldn't believe my ears. I looked at my app and found out that it was none other than Josh Karpeh aka Cautious Clay. I was spellbound. So when I saw he was coming back to Manchester, my ass was all over that ticket.
It turned out to be the right decision because this was a sold out gig, albeit moved to the basement of Yes. It's a very, very intimate venue but on nights like this I really don't mind at all. The bestest nights of live music are always the most intimate. There's a real magic in getting this close and hearing your favourite artists from a few feet away.
Up first was Eloise, a singer songwriter from London. It was just her and her guitar. She sang the most beautiful songs. So stripped back and her voice... WOW! - I've been listening to her since this morning and her debut EP This Thing Called Living is spectacular.
If this debut is any indicator of what she's capable of then look out music world! This lady is coming for you. Her voice is really special and if you listen there's an almost 1940's diner in Paris feel to her voice (look at the videos and you'll see what I mean). Big things expected from this lady!
I got chatting to their sound engineer just before and he was telling me he's solely responsible for the sound in the bands ear monitors and he'd been doing the job for just over a year. We got chatting about the tour; places they'd been; Australia; Josh's music and how cool it was to tour with such a great musician.
After a short interval the soul man himself Cautious Clay. If you've not heard him yet then why not?! This mans voice is other worldly. Seriously!
I always try to describe the atmosphere and seriously you would have heard a mouse break wind; the place was that quiet. He did mention it at one point in his set, how quiet we were. Manchester loves its music and when you have a musician this good in front of you, you respect them enough to be quiet when they perform.
He started with French Riviera before going onto Sidewinder (video below). He broke every three songs or so to chat, but to hear 19 songs from an artist this good was truly special. This man is the future of soul music and all that is cool. He was telling us about writing with John Mayer and how mad his life is now.
He came into the audience after the show and people were taking pics and getting him to sign stuff. He was so lovely and humble. I did tell him about my walking through the tent and he was so gracious and humble. I also told him his voice is insanely brilliant, other worldly. On reflection if anything that's an understatement!
This man is going to be huge and he deserves all the credit coming his way. Every now and again someone comes along and they redefine what great is - Josh AKA Cautious Clay has done this.
If you ever get a chance to see this man then do it - he will be selling out huge venues in the next few years. Or I'm a ninja!
As per all photos and videos are my own.