*This was written late last night - please ignore any grammar/spelling mistakes
Tonight I went to the Cardiff date of the It's Not Me, It's You tour with the lovely Dave Giles headlining and Danny Gruff, Robbie Coles and Matthias Harris all making appearances. I have seen Dave Giles live a grand total of 4 times (I learned tonight that I have attended all of the gigs he's played in Cardiff) and I would still go again tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is going to be Dave's last headlining tour due to it not being nearly as successful as it deserves to be and because of this I felt like I needed to share my opinion on it.
The gig itself was everything an intimate gig should be. The downstairs room of Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, while not full, had enough people for it to be a decent audience and the audience that was there were respectful of the artists while still knowing when to make a bit of noise. The four singers and Dave Giles' band were sat in the audience when they weren't on stage and then whole evening had a really relaxed atmosphere to it.
Matthias Harris, who kicked off the evening, is not someone who's music I was aware of before this evening. I can honestly say I was completely blown away by him straight away. He is far from your average singer-songwriter in that he takes to the stage armed not only with an acoustic guitar but also with a keyboard and section of an electric drum kit as well as a laptop to allow him to loop what he plays. He manages to make it sound like there is a full band on stage with him when in actual fact it is just him. Matthias Harris is truly an incredible musician and is obviously very talented at what he does.
Next up was Danny Gruff. I saw Danny Gruff live the last time I saw Dave Giles, at the most recent Upload Tour in Cardiff, so I was already aware of how talented he is but he did not disappoint tonight. It was great to hear him play with a full band rather than just hearing him and his acoustic guitar like it was the last time. Having bought his EP Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings last time I was able to sing along to a few of the songs but it was nice to hear a few I wasn't familiar with as well. Danny Gruff has an incredibly unique voice that I believe is the kind of voice everyone enjoys listening to.
Robbie Coles followed Danny Gruff and as with Matthias Harris, I wasn't aware of Robbie or his music before tonight other than seeing him on the poster for the gig. I was definitely impressed with him. He has fantastic stage presence (although that may have been assisted by alcohol as it was his birthday and it's safe to say he was celebrating) and his songs are incredibly catchy. On the way home, I found I had one particular song of his in my head which is always a good sign. Robbie Coles is clearly a fantastic songwriter and performer and I would've happily watched him play a much longer set.
Finally we have Dave Giles. As any of you who have read my posts from the Upload Tour 2 or the Summer Warm Up Tour (2013) will know, Dave Giles is one of my favourite musicians for so many reasons. He is an incredible singer/songwriter and an incredibly skilled guitar player, but more than that he manages to build up an incredible relationship with fans of his while remaining professional. The first time I met him, friends of mine told him I had a YouTube channel and he told me to send him the link on Facebook which I did thinking nothing would come from it and he took the time to not only watch one of my videos but to comment and give me constructive advice alongside compliments. Since then, he has watched my cover of one of his songs and given me advice about music on Facebook on a few occasions. As I said to the friends I went to the gig with tonight, Dave Giles is what I hope I would be if I manage to pursue music as a career, not in terms of sound as my music is quite different to his, but in everything else. In his incredible organisational skills that allow these events to happen. In the way he manages to remember names and faces of fans and encourages them to do what they love to do, as he has with me. In his stage presence and the way he makes the audience feel that they are all friends of his, rather than complete strangers.
I am absolutely gutted that more people don't see how incredible Dave Giles is and that he doesn't receive anywhere near as much recognition as he deserves. If you've not heard his music, please, please listen to it. Every song of his tells a story and his lyrics are beautiful. He honestly is a fantastic musician who has not only influenced me, but also encouraged me in what I do. I've never come across a musician like him and, from what I've seen, he honestly is a lovely person.
Dave, thank you.