Last October, my friend Jemma booked someone to play guitar at her birthday party. He’d been recommended by a friend of hers, but I’d never heard of him.
He turned out to be a very talented young man by the name of Joe Wilkinson. Joe has a great voice, plays the guitar (both strings and body) to great effect and has a particular talent for using the loop pedal. He played mostly covers at the party and entertained everyone. It always sounded like more than just a guy and a guitar because he looped various guitar parts and vocals to build up and create a rich, wall of sound for the songs. Many of the covers were versions of well-loved (and some hated, on my part) songs that now sounded like completely new entities.
I was a very happy party-goer.
Later in the year, Jemma had heard that Joe was playing somewhere else in Southampton, so we headed along to check out his music again – mostly for Jemma’s benefit as all the excitement and cake of her party had left her with a mild case of selective amnesia. Again, he worked that loop pedal like a musical magician. He also dealt with a random drunk guy dancing provocatively in front of him and trying to grab the spare mic like a karaoke night.
It’s worth mentioning here that Joe seems like the nicest, politest musician you might ever meet. He’s clearly been brought up with good manners and speaks very gently with respect. Therefore, he dealt with his newest super-fan much more graciously than I would expect anyone to. Joe even indulged this man’s requests by playing a snippet of “I’ve Got a Brand New Combine-harvester” to keep the drunk locals happy.
This week, Jemma and I made our way to The Grapes for a random music treat. It was our third time to hear Joe Wilkinson, and I enjoyed it very much. We had to wait for the footabll to finish, but it was definitely worth the wait. Check out his music here:
One of my particular favourites is his version of “Dakota” by the Stereophonics. I loved that song so much when it came out and this version is possibly even better; it has a real urgency and the build up of sound courtesy of the loop pedal is beautiful. Joint favourite would have to be his version of “Layla” that’s interspersed with a whole variety of other songs. As Jemma and I said: who doesn’t love a mash-up?
Oh man, I’ve even forgotten his version of “No Diggity”. Just go see him yourself to see them all in action. Check out where he’s playing on Facebook:
Joe also plays a lot of his own music. It’s atmospheric, guitar-based songs with raspy, earnest vocals. I could’ve listened to him all night. Jemma and I settled ourselves into comfy chairs, had enough Salt n Vinegar crisps to keep up going and soaked up the fantastic music. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an evening.