Live at Mixing Tin on Thursday, 19th January 2006
The common man's James Blunt, but with better lyrics is how I would describe Ali Whitton as he opened up a remarkable acoustic based night at the Mixing Tin. His half hour set seemed to fly by as he poured his heart out into the blissful sound of his guitar, and nobody in the audience dare speak for fear they might miss yet another dazzling lyric.
The sensitive nature of Ali Whitton's songs occupied the captivated audience as he slowly paced his way through the set, a set that if it lasted forever the audience wouldn't have minded.
Even though Ali Whitton doesn't have the best vocals his exceptional lyrics more than make up for that.
With the small but ever growing crowd aptly warmed up, next to the stage was Owen Lloyd. With a rather lethargic effort Owen Lloyd was timid in both his performance and his attitude. However he did pull it off and didn't look too out of place amongst the other performers on the night.
Notable highlights of the performance were the songs 'The Story So Far' and 'Impure', both of which received a resounding applause, and whilst the set lacked enthusiasm Owen Lloyd did captivate the crowd and seemed grateful to the audience for listening, a gracious attitude from the talented man.
With the support acts done and dusted, it became the turn of Mark Wilson, a very talented musician from St Helens. He came on stage and placed the guitar on his lap, with the strings facing upwards, bizarre?! ... But when he slapped his hands across the guitar it seemed as if there was a full band behind him. Mark Wilson displayed some of the most competent guitar playing I have ever witnessed and he posses a rare, yet brilliant voice that complements the up tempo of his guitar playing.
Just as his fast guitar playing was outstanding, Mark Wilson's range of songs was also tremendous as he incorporated some slow and moving songs that showed a gentler side to the artist's range. During every song the audience were entrapped by the amazing spectacle that is Mark Wilson, as he barraged his guitar with countless beats and riffs, ultimately culminating in an astonishing experience.
The upbeat flow and a constant tempo throughout proved that Mark Wilson is versatile and could break through into the mainstream given the right management and opportunities. For one man and his guitar, he brings a unique sound and one that I believe the public will like. Mark is definitely a spectacle for the right reasons and well worth paying good money to see and one day could be back in Leeds to perform for a bigger audience that he deserves.