Launching his new single at Studio 2, Emilio Pinchi ends up offering one of the finest nights out in recent memory. Graham Smillie and Jazamin Sinclair were there to take it all in.  

A packed Studio 2 bore witness to the launch of Emilio Pinchi’s latest recorded offering, ‘High Times’.

It’s an intelligent piece of effervescent, indie pop music and it brings the house down with people dancing at the front and cheering at the back. To get us to this point Emilio and his band took us through a selection of his work, some old, some new.

He slightly nervously introduced what he is about to play, but then deliver and own it all with a quiet, but fiercely confident, sense of self. The room was jam-packed and animated as Emilio performed several songs from his During Voided Hours EP that he had released back in the autumn of last year, as well as a few new tracks.

His move from solo performer to having a band with him has really helped expand his songs and we are treated to a set of bright, intelligent pop music, that, all things being equal show take him on to bigger things.

Throughout we were reminded of the likes of Peter Perret, Al Stewart and early Aztec Camera. There’s a folk sensibility to the songs, surely informed by his previously solo sets which he hasn’t quite broken free from and he dismisses the band mid-set to go solo on Naps, Biggest Lie and Song with Nikki. There’s enough young man’s angst running through the songs, but they’re tempered with humour. Listening to his lyrics and you almost feel like you are there in the moments he is describing – like he is painting a picture with his words right in front of you. It’s like a window into snippets of his life.

Towards the end of the set, Emilio’s band came back. The final track played was the much acclaimed song everyone was waiting for, new single ‘High Times’. By this point the previously seated audience were up and dancing at the front. Emilio left the stage to lots of cheers and with everyone wanting more.

Earlier in the evening, Katie Mac lit up the stage with a solo performance. An increasingly popular artist, her voice is reminiscent of Jeff, or Tim Buckley. Like Emilio, Katie has more recently been seen performing with a full band – a sight worth seeing and hearing. But her songs stand up well on their own and it’s a real treat to catch her doing it live.

Towards the end of her set she mixed things up a bit with her tuning – it sounded a little bit like ‘open EJoni Mitchell style tuning for one of them. It really suited her songs and her voice and added a new softer dimension to her music.

Opening the night was Alice Nancy with her strong and cleverly worded songs. She’s one to watch, as she has been modestly performing gigs and is going from strength to strength. She has an edgy and slightly awkward energy, and a beautiful unassuming voice and presence. You almost feel as though she might crumble, but then she delivers such well-thought out, witty, sometimes sarcastic, one-liners in sentences that only just, but perfectly, fit to what she’s playing on the guitar.

I feel sorry for the poor bloke on the end of her wrath, but she sharp and funny with it. She sings about her life and the people in it with charm, humour and intelligence. She has a few good tunes too and a fine voice.

Before and after the acts and between sets DJ Chris Herstad Carney of Mixnots made a flying-visit guest appearance. As ever keeping the whole crowd happy with brilliant song choices for us all to dance and sing away to.

All in all, it was a top night. If you’re going to launch your new single, this is the way to do it.

Pictures by Jazamin Sinclair

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