Ross Arthur, Gus Harrower & Benny Monteux – Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh – 29th December 2015
Henry’s Cellar Bar just off the notorious bustle of The West End’s Lothian Road was the chosen venue for Ross Arthur to bring his UK Tour to a close. Originally the line-up included Dan Collins, unfortunately due to illness he was unable to perform. However thanks to an emergency meeting in the early hours and perhaps a pint Ross sealed the deal and Benny Monteux was added to the bill.
Benny Monteux regularly fills the most popular live music venues of Edinburgh with a full band including Trombone, performing popular “Folk-tinged Pop” with a rather punky edge. Tonight in a wonderful stripped back acoustic set, Benny sang a handpicked selection and cleverly included the audience with some ongoing banter.
From the universally enjoyed feeling of being the oldest person in the room to the topic of “special friends” Benny had it all covered in his songs. Halfway through he performed his latest single Greetings From Nowhere City I’ve no idea how he managed it solo but he did an incredible job and boy did he make that guitar work. Being first on and delivering such a belting performance I was unsure what direction the evening was going to take.
A rather unexpected surprise in the form of Gus Harrower was up next, completely in the zone he performed a ‘set of six’ showcasing both guitar skills and in particular his natural flair on the keyboard. What brought this to a whole other level for me though was the maturity and strength of his soulful voice. All songs had their own specific musical vibe and mostly of love and the emotions attached, “Stuck On You” was outstanding live, as was “Go But Don’t Quite Leave” to the more upbeat tale of “Girl I Didn’t Know” which was phenomenal.
The music industry is a funny business and I can’t (officially) predict the future nor am I a gambling man. If i were I’d bet you a pair of trainers we will be seeing and hearing much more in what I hope to be a very interesting and successful breakthrough year for Gus Harrower.
Up next on stage to great applause was Ross Arthur, the man responsible for the evenings celebration of talent, headlining this the final date of his UK tour and bringing 2015 to a close. I saw Ross back in early October when he was supporting The Glass Child. Tonight we were treated to the full show.
Putting a different spin on matters of the heart, songs like “3,700 Miles Ain’t Far” allows Ross to use his comedic charisma to the max, while other more poignant songs or back stories, we saw a more serious side to him. In just a couple of months I’ve noticed growth in this young and energetic performer, songs I’d previously heard are already sounding stronger.
When Ross has the time to sit down, absorb and reflect upon the events of this tour, bumps and all, he will have so much new material and no doubt will get creative with it. He was beaming with a well deserved smile as his set came to a close, we will never agree on Jessie J’s “Price Tag” but I look forward to hearing Ross’s next chapter.