Live Review: Tim Barry, Josh Smalls, Yianz McStavros, Tom Ware

14 August 2012 | 4:43 pm | Daniel Cribb

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Old school pop punker and member of the late Love Camp 7, Yianz Mcstavros was meant to be in charge of warming up the early comers, but due to sickness split his set with Grim Fandango's Tom Ware, master of the banjo. Although Mcstavros put on a slightly annoying US accent, as a lot of non-American musicians unfortunately do, he made up for it with ridiculously catchy melodies attached to songs about drinking, partying and sex.

Bringing his brand of “telecaster Disney jazz” all the way from Virginia, Josh Smalls started plucking away in a world of his own, immersed deeply in the job at hand. Wearing denim overalls and a denim jack, he meant business. As he swayed from side to side whilst singing, it seemed his guitar was the anchor keeping his body from bouncing off the walls.

Tim Barry was 12,000 miles from home with two of his closest friends and a small room full of people ready for a good time. Smalls provided backing guitar with Andrew Alli on harmonica. Picking up his mic stand and walking into the crowd, Barry began his set by saying, “I'm glad you all got a front row seat”. Shoulda Oughta opened the set, and between songs Barry didn't even have to talk into the microphone to reach everyone in the audience. The same applied for tunes that revolved around fingerpicking, and for those songs there was no middleman between Barry and his fans, and that left them hanging off every word. Apparently upon arrival to the venue earlier that day they discovered the stage had a huge hole in it, a problem they fixed in no time. “Give us a horrible day and we'll fix it. Take a bad day, tear it up and beat the shit out of it,” he emphasised. The rest of his set and stage banter followed in a similar fashion and, after an hour-and-a-half of memorable sing-alongs and inspirational speeches, punters left feeling like they were leaving a motivational seminar. Tim Barry sure knows how to use music to inspire, incite change and bring joy.