Horseman Shakes and the Drayman + Rogue Radio + The Van Cleef + Re-Writing Destiny + Verity Sessions – 3rd January 2009

‘The first gig at Esquires this year hopefully bodes well, as a real mix of musical styles were on display. I am immediately smitten by young acoustic diva Verity Sessions.

Tall, angular, with a shock of long fair hair kept under wraps by a black bowler hat. She has a gentle but fluid style of playing. Her songs are more mature and a lot less mainstream in substance than a good few of her peers who have performed here recently. It’s certainly enjoyable, and this leftfield approach is only interrupted by a Kings Of Leon cover that the crowd can instantly latch on to. It’s a chance for Verity to rock out as she vehemently taps her guitar at its close.

The rest are all self-penned, of which I particularly enjoyed ‘This Time Last Year’. The lyrics are deeply ironic as Verity sings “My eyes are burning from the sleep I haven’t had”. Verity might be saying this with more feeling tonight as she is suffering with a very heavy cold. She takes sips of water between songs to stop her from “coughing my guts up”! She has us all doe-eyed as her vocals and guitar gently bleed, especially on the haunting ‘This Summers Ours’ and the closing “More Than This’. Superb.‘ – Reviewed by Martin Stapleton


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