Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos (Bad Seeds) at the Birmingham Kitchen Garden
Let me start by saying how fantastic this little venue is, we have been to the Hare & Hounds plenty of times yet straight across the road is this corker. It’s like having a gig in your conservatory after going in through a pub! Complete with fairy lights, these kinds of venues need supporting, especially when you get to see very talented artists in such a relaxed place. Now to why we are here tonight, after having a link to their new single sent by their PR Company, a cover of a Tom Waits song ‘Strange Weather’, which is very Leonard Cohen-ish, it intrigued us, and knowing Sclavunos is a drummer with the Bad Seeds, it wouldn’t look out of place in their setlist. So, we decided to go along, and we’re mighty glad we did. We were treated to some stunning vocals from New Jersey born Nicole Atkins, and despite having released five albums, we cannot fathom why this funny, versatile singer is not a household name. And with a set combining songs from her past albums and newer collaborations with Sclavunos, with tunes from country tinged to emotive/haunting, ballads to blues and rock, we had it all, and at the end Sclavunos joined Atkins from behind his drum kit to perform ‘Strange Weather’. It was an excellent night, indeed, and we look forward to the album when released.
Photos by Geoff Griffe
Review by Jenny Griffe