'Oh my darling, oh my darling, Clementine' is not the only song about a Clementine I know. I also know about a Clementine who traveled 50 states, 50 lines and changed her mind 50 times. I don't even remember how I came across this song. It's just there in my memory disk (a.k.a my brain). How lovely a song it is! Once I saw on the gig guide that Sarah Jaffe was to play in Nottingham I rushed to book my ticket. This was a gig I wasn't going to miss.
The venue was the Bodega and the doors opened at 7pm. I now have learned my lesson and didn't arrive exactly at door opening time. I went for dinner first and then headed to the venue. The time was about 7:40pm. At the entrance, the security guard greeted me and asked if I had visited the day before when there was bluegrass music - I said no (but felt as if I must have missed out!). Once I walked up the stairs and into the main area - I noticed there was just 3 guys at the bar and me! Not a great turnout!
I didn't stand at my ordinary left side, it seemed more appropriate to lean on the wall on the right side. Not long after I leaned on the wall, I noticed the 3 guys at the bar were actually the supporting act 'The Natterjacks'. Yes - I was the only one there to hear them!!! I wanted to take my jacket off but I noticed that the place had black lights and I was wearing a white knitted blouse. Not only was I the only one there but I would be shining like a blue-LED firefly!! I decided not to take it off.
They were suppose to start at 8pm but as there wasn't too many people they waited for about 10 minutes. By that time 3 more people arrived. So they started the gig.
I was pleasantly surprised by The Natterjacks. Never heard of them before. They are an indie folk band from Chesterfield. I love country so you can understand once I saw a banjo I got excited! They are very skillful musicians. All their songs were upbeat, energetic and made you want to dance. Do remember I was alone and perhaps dancing on my own would have seemed a bit strange ( I know the old antage 'dance like no one is watching' and in this case no one would be! but still it felt odd) so I decided to stick to the wall.
The lead singer has a nice distinct voice. He sounds like no one else and this is a great thing for their career and future. They had their own sound. I do expect to hear more about them. Maybe in Nashville?
About half way into their performance more people started entering. I counted - we now became 15 people in total. The lead singer even commented on their arrival. 'Don't worry you only missed the sound check' or something to that effect.
Their performance didn't last that long - give or take about half an hour. They did suggest we find them on Facebook and follow them - which I did.
Texas born artist, Sarah Jaffe was on her first abroad tour after a long time. I think she said after 8 years. She had previously toured with Midlake. She said she had a great time but was too young to absorb it all in a sensible way. She thanked the crowd for being there and said that UK audience are very respectful diligently listening. 'I know you don't think you are different - but I'm telling you that you are'. She also commented on how we were so far away from the stage - everybody was leaning on the wall!
This woman has a gift. Her voice is from out of this world. Even though it was just her and her guitar on stage it was magnificent. The saying 'she could even read a phone book' is true here. She is exceptional. If you ever have a chance to hear her live you should definitely grab that opportunity. It baffles me how there were only 15 people there. Perhaps the day (Monday) was to her disadvantage? But it ended at 10pm - not too late. Who knows? What I do know is that she has everything for a great career: a great voice, a nice attitude and a skillful musician.
Between songs she shifted from one guitar to another. Also tunned them. At some point it was taking a bit more time to tune and she commented on it saying 'the guitar is embarrassing me now'.
She played old and new songs. Someone in the crowd whispered 'Clementine' and she heard it. 'I heard someone whisper Clementine. When you are so quiet I can hear everything'! From her new songs I enjoyed 'Overrated'. She said for a long time she wanted to be cool but she has now realized being cool is just overrated. This song is for all of us who are too school for cool!