The Musician, Leicester - 02.09.2008
Arriving at The Musician in Leicester fashionably late and missing most of the first two artists’ sets, I struggled to find a seat in the venue, immediately realising the pulling power of this truly astonishing songwriter and his support acts, featuring the very talented Peter Wyeth who treated us to an awe inspiring set stuffed full of harmonies, loops and endless soundscapes, despite falling victim to a very badly behaved guitar cable.
But it’s not an easy task to sum up John Budding’s initial impact. Set opener ‘Settle Down’ is a tune that wouldn’t be out of place on a film soundtrack or television drama - you know, the meaningful moment when the central character looks inward to reflect on recent events and reach inside to meaningfully stride to the film’s climax. There is something distinctly British about the whole thing. It’s bold, but calmly understated and feels appropriately delicate in places. This wasn’t what I was expecting at all and for the first in as long as I can remember, I found myself humming the chorus to more than one of the songs for several days following the event and left the Musician with the hairs on the back of my neck on end following the electrifying final eight bars of ‘City Lights’.
Frankly, Budding is a nothing short of a true craftsman creating songs that shine through the bleak grey atmosphere that Leicester is so famous for and surrounding himself with musicians of the highest calibre only thrusts them forward in a way that makes me wonder why this chap isn’t already huge. From solo organ moments and saxophone solos to the Parisian influenced hollerings of ‘Too Many People’ this was a stunning collection of songs, performed flawlessly in a fantastic venue that left the audience absolutely gagging for more, including me.