Mike Last @ Mr Kyps – David Bailey Review

Derrin Nauendorf band + Mike Last + Susy Thomas 20/07/06

Suzy Thomas was first on the bill, but surely she won”t be for long. An easy-going, confident display af perfectly natural singing and playing was Suzy”s strong point – the gig seemed just a pleasant part of her day – and it was certainly a very pleasant part of mine.

Her songs were memorable, well composed and the performance was lively and engaging. As a set it was perhaps just a little on-paced and maybe needed an up-tempo number or a really slow ballad to mix it up a little, but it didn’t detract from a beautiful performance. Her free CD single “Mirror For Me” was eagerly received and the driving band arrangements on the CD place her firmly in the modern country-influenced rock category without ever typecasting her completely. She’s well worth seeing again. Just charming.

Mike Last was next, (but not last) – oh how he must hate those puns – and injected much needed pace and wit into the evening’s proceedings with a set of original songs – including, bravely, considering Mr Kyps discerning audience, a first performance of some new material. The lively “Said and Done” was followed by an Ezio cover (he supported them at Mr Kyps earlier in the year). After “Separate” came “Take It Or Leave It” when finally the audience decided they were going to take it and beaming faces and genuinely warm applause greeted each song. Then it was time for the ultimate modern stalking song “Cyberpsycho” and the hesitantly introduced Elastic, a novelty song that appeared to be about having an exceptionally flexible girlfriend. His set ended too quickly by half with “Russian Bride,” a dark tale of Eastern mafia – just great. What next? Perhaps Mike will do a Derrin Nauendorf cover at his next Mr Kyps gig? He sings well, plays well, looks good and has bags of personality. Make sure you see him next time – and he had a free CD too. As one chap said to me at the bar, “He”s brilliant, isn’t he?”

Then it was time for MR N himself. A three-piece band (double-bass, drums and Derrin on acoustic guitar) thundered through his original material. Rhythmically complex, engagingly performed and very exciting the performance only lacked memorable melodies to have been perfect. Derrin had obviously picked great musicians and despite the low number of gigs together, they were very, very tight. At times it did seem as if it was more interesting for him than it was for the audience, with a little warmth and humour required – “I won’t be giving away a free CD” is the only thing I remember him saying. Musically brilliant but a little po-faced.