Week nine – Unheard Voices

So, a little background. The point of this mission, when I began at the start of the year was to see more live music – at least once a week. Technically, this is not difficult. Even living in Southampton – there are lots of live music options out there. Logistically though, it sometimes proves problematic. I have things to do and people to see (is anyone buying the idea that I actually have a social life? Anyone?). And realistically, my friends and family have more commitments than I do. This means that often, alas, I am unable to find a companion to accompany me on my musical meanderings.

Now, I don’t mind going to shows on my own; sometimes I prefer it so you don’t have someone inanely chatting whist you’re trying to listen to the music – there needs to be a code of conduct (am I right?). But company is often preferable, especially if it means using the time between acts wisely to catch up with friends. These friends however, are often hard to pin down. It has progressed to the point where I throw the net as far and wide as I can. A scatter-gun approach if you will. Sometimes this approach throws up some exciting hits.

This week I was heading down to Portsmouth to The Fat Fox (good pub – strong blackcurrant cordial FYI). My friend Alistair replied to my request despite living in another country (Wales). Albeit he was down South to visit, but I’ll take that as a win. My second catch came with my cousin Karen.

I cannot express how excited I was that she was coming along with us. I love Karen. She’s lovely and we have lots in common. However, music was not necessarily one of those things (except our amazing home-made dance routines to Take That in the early 90s when she got tipsy on low alcohol wine – long story). The only bands or singers Karen had been to see all had dance routines and a shitload of sequins.

The fact that she was keen on coming to a dingy (sorry Fat Fox) pub in Pompey to see some guys playing beat up guitars made my week, nay, my year. Her new ad hoc attitude is a winner.

And she loved it.

We were there to see Tim OT http://www.timotmusic.com and Thom Worth http://www.thomworth.com. I had seen Tim twice before, so I knew he’d be good and I knew some of his songs. In fact one of his songs sums up part of the driving force behind my mission – it’s important to support those people and places that are independent. Sometimes the best places you find are those that you’d never previously heard of. And sometimes those voices that you hadn’t previously heard are the ones that ring true and strike a chord that perhaps you hadn’t even realised was there. Take a listen.

We enjoyed Thom’s music as well. Personally, I would’ve preferred a little more harmonica – one song is never enough. They were both so good that I purchased EPs from both. Support the music.

We were also there to support them in their fundraising. They were reaching the end of a tour across the whole country from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Overcoming MS. Last time I checked, they had raised over £1,600.


It’s not the only time that Tim has used a guitar for the powers of good. His new video shows his 24 hour busk to raise money for Syria Relief.

A fantastic job from Tim and Thom. And a fantastic job from all the people who came out to watch them and donated. Imagine though, if more people took the chance to leave their warm, cosy living rooms and wander into a pub on a Sunday night just to see who was playing and to tap their toes. You never know what you might discover.

On our drive home after the show, Karen was so excited to have seen something different. She was already planning her next trip out with me. Maybe if I can drag one person at a time out with me, I can help to spread the joy that live music can bring.


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