In Lincoln these days, there are new and exciting events popping up all over the place. We’ve got a great mix of those long running, and continually successful nights, as well as a flurry of great new events or one offs, to make sure every weekend is busier than the last. On Friday; the last day of February 2014, we headed down to one of the cities sweetest and most interesting independent businesses and part-time venues; Rock Paper Scissors. A small and intimate setting for a night of local talent, but perfect in so many ways as it provided a cosy atmosphere and a respectful crowd, which made this acoustic night stand above many others. Of course the main reason for being inspired to document the evening’s goings on, was the music and the people who provided it.
The evening was set up by a friend of ours in Mr Stephen Monslow. A musician in his own right, as well as a dynamic and ambitious young fella, who has recently begun pushing his own record label called ‘Modern History’ as well as the release of his own album ‘Auto-Dialectic Ghost Driving a Meat Skeleton’… which just rolls off the tongue. Monslow kicked off the night, performing music from his debut release, and showed us, not only his lack of egotism by putting himself on first, but also his creative music style, his seriousness towards production value and his intelligent lyrics. ‘Halfway Home’ introduced the room to his unique style, and was a highlight for me as I’d heard his new album the night before, and this one stood out as a highlight. He continued to pound through a variety of songs such as ‘New York City’ and ‘Silo’, before ending on’Anymore’ which concluded a set that featured many an instrument, but while done all by himself, and from there, the evening was certainly kicked off in perfect fashion.
After a short break we were treated to a local three-piece called ‘Real Talk’, fronted by another friend to the Mojo20 fold, Charlie Johns, who has been a name in the Lincoln music scene for years, and yet I found myself very ashamed to say, it was the first time I’d seen him play. Sorry about all that mate! But, the wait was well worth it, and this current outfit were tight, professional and the material was genius. The lyrics caught my ear a few times and got me thinking whilst keeping me engaged throughout. Immediately into the intro of ‘Art school’ they had me hooked, like a giant music loving carp! They maintained their intriguing manner throughout with clever, and witty engagements with the audience(see how I avoided the word banter there) as well as raising the bar, with each song they presented to us. In at least one of their songs they made clear that they weren’t a teenage angst based band, moaning and complaining about the wrong doings of a female counterpart, but were admittedly claiming to be the guys that made girls cry, and they don’t give a damn about it. A refreshing take on indie music, and a welcome break too, but since I know these guys a little, I’m certain it’s a performance based front. Charlie’s just too sweet… and handsome. A highlight that stood out for me was ‘Spring Break’, a California summer style tune that had me longing for good weather. I look forward to seeing these guys again, and will be keeping my ear to the ground for future performances, as well as new material.
The final act of the night came in the form of our absolute favourites in the Lincoln live scene, and this isn’t the first time we’ve spoke of them, but The Unknown Stuntmen were on hand to round off a lovely night. They tackled this one with a few members missing, and also without a PA, but if you’ve ever chatted to any member of the Stuntmen, you’ll know that a PA is the last thing they need. So live and unplugged they rattled through their new material and a few classics too. Hold on! Did I just say that? Yes, it would turn out that Lincoln’s folk juggernaut, has worked so hard and played so much that they’ve not only developed a massive following and an incredible reputation, but they’ve pushed some of their songs up, to ‘classic’ status, like ’Monkey’ & the incredible ‘Pirate Song’. In fact ‘Ruth Ellis’ has become almost a theme song for live Friday night music in the city, and rightfully so. I saw these guys a few weeks ago in the West end tap, one of my now very much/far too much, visited pubs in the downhill area, and they were amplified on that night. They packed the place out, shook the building almost down to its foundations, and had everyone in there, from 19 to 50+ dancing and starting off the weekend in a way they probably wouldn’t have dreamt they would. They didn’t disappoint this past Friday night either, and I’m sure it’ll be a long time before they do.
So there you go. A multitude of reasons to just really, fucking love Lincoln, really embrace live music, and also support and get behind the things that are handed to you, week after week, with no questions asked. This is one of the many things that you could have, to look forward to. Not unlike Zing comedy night on a Monday evening at the University. Not unlike Back to mono, Transmission or Above below at Quo Vadis. What about Rik’s quiz nights held at the Jolly Brewer and the Tap and Spile every month? How about just a few cocktails from the incredible new menu at Kind, whilst getting to know some of the best bar staff you’ll ever meet? In fact if that’s your sort of thing, go check out The West End Tap if you haven’t already, because it’s one of the finest pubs I’ve ever seen open in Lincoln, that wasn’t already established when I began my crusade into the world of alcohol… Oh and Charley’s a great manager too, and I’m not only saying that because she’ll moan if I don’t. But from a browse around Rock Paper Scissors to digging for vinyl at Back to Mono record shop, a steak at the Lincoln Red or a burrito at Tequilas, an afternoon on the balcony at Cloud Bar, a tea or coffee in one of the many independent tea rooms or coffee houses, checking out the various different vintage fair’s or even just a walk around Lincoln’s ever gorgeous historical sector, Lincoln is loaded with amazing places, people, causes and things to make you happy.
SO GO GET ON WITH IT!
For more information on the above acts, check out their Facebook pages below(just click their names!):
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)