LSMedia Rating: ****

In a city bursting at the seems with makeshift open mic nights, it’s fair to ask, what (if anything) could make a new night stand out from the crowd? Located at The Sink (Berry St) the aptly named Unplugged at the Sink sets out to provide a platform for the more intrepid acts, in the form of 30 minutes slots, but more interestingly, shorter slots for those people who want only to dip their feet.

The venue itself is compact enough to not be too daunting to first timers yet large enough for it not to seem intimidatingly personal. The event first took place last Thursday (9th Feb) and despite the limited publicity, it filled up nicely providing an amiable atmosphere for the duration of the evening. Incidentally the scheduling of the acts complimented the ambiance of the venue well, with Shannen Bamford’s voice and style being perfect for the more intimate feel at the beginning of the night. The livelier acts which followed, played to a larger but inadvertently more disinterested crowd; that’s not to say they were poorly received by any means. Particular highlights were the previously mentioned Shannen Bamford alongside her accomplice, as well as the David Masson Band.

Unplugged at the Sink is the organisers’ first foray into the organisational side of one of these nights (though experienced on the other side of the mic). The two hosts Siân Williams and Thom Morecroft found time to speak to LSMedia and share their take on this event.

“Although at first glance this might seem like just another acoustic folk night we’re able to cater for more than just one guitar and a mic.” Siân highlights “I want it to be a big communal sing-song where everyone is welcome and any contribution is valuable.”

From talking to the enthusiastic hosts, it is clear there is an emphasis on ‘variety’; poetry cropped up several times in our conversation and comedy was flirted with during the event, if anyone would be so bold. Thom points to the “petite-ness” of the venue as a selling point especially regarding the involvement of new blood.  Their appetite for encouraging all to play, shows no bounds, as they dash from their role as comperes to kindly and keenly receiving all who enter, often frantically (betraying their inexperience) but with good intentions at heart. They both argue that it’s only possible because they’re a duo, Thom openly admits that this wouldn’t be possible if he hosted it alone. Believing he is just the ‘nobs’ man [on the mixing desk] while Siân is the more personal half, he sells himself short yet he insists it’s the case claiming that “she is much better at putting things into human words.”

If all goes to plan, this night has the possibility of gaining quite a reputation, with the promise of interesting music weekly, fingers crossed, and open slots for the crowd it should provide an interesting alternative to a night on the lash (or the warm up to said evening).
The Sink – Berry St – Thursdays – 8pm – 11pm.