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Audiences submitted reviews, comments and photos from gigs at the Big Note Club

(Well what can we say, these are real reactions to some of the gigs at the club, written as the were submitted to us - capturing the moment and spirit of the club... Thank you all!)

Got your photos developed or missed handing your comments in? You can e-mail them to us here "i was there... honest!" and we'll include them here!

Copper Cane 20 Aug 03
Put simply, Coppercane were fantastic! A four-piece band capable of being as quiet and intimate as a solo acoustic act but with the power to send electric shocks through the crowd when they rocked out.

They smashed open their set with the poisoned pop perfection of 'Cinderella' - all biting lyrics and gnashing guitars. After this initial eye-opening jolt the band eased back into a more mellow but no less heartfelt section of acoustic-based songs.

I've been to quite a few gigs and it's rare not to have someone talking over the act, but by the time the first gentle chords of 'Columbus' were strummed you could have heard a pin drop. The whole audience (including the bar staff!) was drawn in and captivated as the song built to an emotional climax before softly ebbing back into silence.

As the set went on, the intensity and volume of the songs began to increase until you could actually feel the energy coming off the stage. Coppercane bowed out with a song called 'Postcards & Lies': a song which somehow managed to marry 'angry young man' politics, raw punk attitude and the theme from The Sweeney into a show-stopping finale.

To cap it all, I bought a CD after the gig and the band were all really nice peope too! What more can you ask in your new favourite band? ............................................Sarah

Gabrielle Starkey 2 April 2003
As witness to Gabrielle's debut, I can vouch that she was amazingly good and the baying audience all thought so, too. She has a fantastic voice so next time she plays you should try to go see her... James

the sextones "rocked my socks off!!!!" 18 December 2002
praise the sextones, on Wednesday (the 18th I think?)I was in Angel completing some belated Christmas shopping with a few of my friends. After a while we soon found our selves in need of some stiff drinks to warm our frozen cockles. We wandered into the Hope and Anchor and learnt of some live music happening downstairs, we walked in just as the sextones walked on stage and were hooked from the very first strum. We were all stood to the side of the stage, galvanised by the spectacle of the four piece band. It's not he fist biog note night I've been to, being a finsbury park resident I used to frequent J3 on their acoustic evenings. Wednesdays gig surpassed all others, the sextones were superb and surely bound for great things. when will they next appear? there is a group of us in dyer need of another dose. have they a web site?
Blown away, Sally Brahem

Eddy Fink 21 October 2002
I saw that band Eddy Fink at The Spot in Covent Garden and they really blew me away. The guy did an acoustic cover of Just A Little by Liberty X! Can't say I ever noticed that song was any good before. There were loads of people filming in the audience - what's going on there? Wouldn't surprise me one bit if the next time I saw thoses guys they were on MTV.

Rosie and Loo 30 October 2002
Occasionally, after a bad day quite literally at the office, I have the repetitious pleasure of going home to a microwaved dinner and putting my feet up whilst I listen to my rambling music collection. Or if I'm feeling a bit old, and this happens frequently when I adopt the guise of a maudlin drunk, I will take quick glimpse at Top of the Pops in some vain attempt to halt my slide towards middle age or at the least trick my mind into thinking that my mortal coil is shuffling slowly at the pace of a drugged slug.

However it usually just reinforces the view that music ain't what it used to be; record labels are ever increasingly opting for derivative, puerile pap; an endless procession of surgically enhanced and untalented morons ready to grab their meal ticket with the enthusiasm of a hungry downtrodden Dickensian hero. I was beginning to think that quality songwriter-led music was without a home, except in a few safe houses occupied by the likes of Coldplay and Aimee Mann. Then I entered The Hope and Anchor for the first time on the 30th of October and sat myself down as Rosie and Lou began their eight song acoustic set.

I was completely blown away- they were two very lovely girls but their physical beauty was surpassed by their superb melodic harmonies and virtuoso playing. Truly wonderful. The highlight was definately an astonishing Acapella number, which shall remain unnamed as sadly in my old age (29) I have begun to forget things such as song titles! Rosie and Lou must surely get a recording deal soon, or I shall burn my CD collection in frustration. Several times I had shivers up my spine and the last time that happened was during the Big Freeze of 1987!

If they can be persuaded, it would be fantastic if they could perform again at the Hope and Anchor as I would love to hear them as soon as possible! All good things to those who wait...

One question: do you know where they will be performing next by any chance? Kev

Goodnight Jim Bob - 5 June 2002
What a night last night.. to see the full review and photos click here.

Nun of the Above 7/04/02
These guys are weird and hypnotic - haven't seen so many people so captivated for a long time. Forget Harry Potter, this is what the word spellbinding was invented for.
David Walls

Eddy Fink 25/07/01
You, You, You I have never seen him B4But he was bloody brilliant. Karen.
It was f***ing FANTASTIC! I Threw my knickers at Eddy Fink!! (not really but nearly!) I did.
Liar they rocked dude.
YEH 4 Eddy Fink - Sara,Kate, Clara, Karen, Mark.

Stefan 27/06/01

Hi there! I was there last night and saw some great new stuff especially the performance by Stefan! His songs were well played and sang! Want to see more of this guy!! - mauro (submitted by email)

Rich Barnard 17/06/01
Rich writes songs about love and the frailty of human relationships. A skilful songwriter both lyrically and musically, his take on the subject easily avoids the pitfalls of the love song cliché. I was lucky enough to catch Rich at the Big Note on the 17th June. The relaxed vibe of the Big Note was perfectly suited to Rich's laid back delivery. It was a confident and effortless performance. If you missed it, kick yourself now. It was an evening where magic seemed to hang in the air. CD available soon I hope. -Steve (submitted by e-mail).

Rich Barnard played a gig of military proportions. He demolished the audiences defences, stole hearts and respect, and brought the audience to gleeful surrender and rode home majestically on a river of love and applause. - S

Katy 17/06/01
Katy's honey sweet voice danced.

g*bug 13/06/01
I'd been to the Big Note only once before, on an open mic night where each act had time to perform only one song and with this had to impress the 'mainly muso' crowd. After sitting through eleven or twelve competent but, to be honest, a few lacklustre performances, g*bug's Leighton and Richie ambled onto the stage. Launching into "The music saved us" their faultless harmonies and cheeky Laaaandon town attitude had us all captivated 'til the last chord where they just grinned and shuffled off the stage. It was then that I realised I had to see more... So, here I am - 11pm on the southbound victoria line train, having just witnessed a 25 minute acoustic set from the full g*bug line-up. They raatled through 8 or 9 perfect pop-punk numbers only pausing to have a laugh at their own expense "We're not musicians really" quipped Richie "We only popped in for a pint!" They don't take themselves too seriously, but the quality of the songs speak volumes. "Have guitar, will travel" sounds like The (acoustic) Undertones or XTC, whilst "Skywalking" pulls on your heart strings and uses them as parachute cords to float gracefully back down to reality. G*bug are London's best kept acoustic secret. I'm well and truly hooked, I think you will be too. - Katie Barnett (submitted by e-mail).

Flipron 13/06/01
A joyous swing of Jungle Book'ness with a twist of lemon soul. They are flipped and we all sat hypnotised and grinning like idiots.

Anthony Anderson 06/06/01
Anthony Andersons maddest line up yet with guitar, bass, keys, drums, harmonica and xylophone. They switched on and I sat back and enjoyed the ride. Great punky DJ set from Tim Holmes afterwards too.

Eddy Fink 30/05/01
Eddy Fink - Live at The Big Note @ The Hope & Anchor, Islington, Thursday 30th May 2001 At the end of the very first song of Eddy Fink's set, there are problems with the sound. The only reason that this is worthy of note is due to the unusual reaction it provokes - not an exasperated move towards the bar, but pure annoyance that a few precious seconds of the song have been lost. Indeed, the entire audience remains speechless and motionless while the problem is quickly corrected. Thankfully, the rest of the gig is completed without any further technical hitches; through, among others, "Leaving Venice" (available to download from www.eddyfink.co.uk), "Nathan", and a song that "was called "Get Over It", but that's a shit title!" However, the titles of the songs hardly seem important - one can hardly even pick out the words he sings - yet his voice conveys far more than words could ever possibly do. Indeed, one has only to look at the singer to see the emotion and effort he puts into his singing - he is certainly not here to short-change anybody. Eddy Fink himself mirrors the melancholy which is carried through his songs, which can scarcely fail to bring a tear to the eye. Yet this is not a tear of misery or sorrow, but, somehow, a reaction to such overwhelming beauty. For, if you judge him by his music, Eddy Fink is beautiful.
-Sarah Chaney (submitted by e-mail).

Tessa Ware 20/05/01
First person who played for the open microphone (I think her name was Tessa), brilliant! Would like to get more info about her stuff and next occasion she plays....(Miwako)

Joan Coffey 20/05/01
Joan Coffey did yet another fantastic set. If you can find talent like that - you will keep your venue forever...

Joanie Rocked!

The most fun I've had with my head on.

10 foot Tall were on Mucho Good. Slick voice. Uplifting. Go far (Kite)

Natalie Harrison played and sung like an angel. More please...

Prizeapart did a great gig.

May Riga live forever - even when technology let them down - the singers voice held it all together.

An interesting night. I thought the Bird Brothers had the most potential. Their songs were beautiful but could do with backup.

The Butcher Boy - rhymes as slick as well oiled brakes.

You must have Gunga Din again we love them lots and lots love Hels Bels xx

Portable. Two years in the making and worth every second. They blew me away...awesome

Joan Coffey - Little woman Huge Huge voice Fantastic!
Wish I could write lyrics for my songs with such depth. Ireland should be V V proud.

Tom Ollerton and co. were playing... and I sat on a full bladder.. transfixed!!!! Excellent. Sign these cheeky chaps and keep the hits coming.

Tom Ollerton rocked the roof off - cheered on by a crowd of admirers and a freak.

Anthony Anderson cruised like a cadillac on an underground freeway! Roll on.

Anna Page tuned me in and turned me on.

Savage indeed has a mighty bite. Toucan rocked me with their sweet harmonies and smiles..

Matt Dolphin - 07/02/01

Scarth Locke - 07/01/01
...i was there that faithful night when big boy palooka caused such a fright.
The biggest note thatever was played emerged from his e-string and crushed the stage, it rolled over speakers and over the crowd my god it was beefy! My god ! It was loud! How did a man only 3 1/2 stone cause such a racket? I never have known but ever since then whenever I play I'm scared of my e-string and this is why my songs are all in A. (SL)


Spekki Chris - 20/12/00
... Spekki played I asked Santa for wit, charm, beautiful tunes and inspirational guitar playing. Santa does exist and is generous beyond words.

Stephen Waite 13/12/00
I think that Stephen Waite was fantastic especially "Stupid Dream". Definately in need of an encore! Bravo!

RIGA 10/12/00
... RIGA ROCK - I think the bass player is well sexy. (Katie)

Edwina Hayes - 3/12/0
... Listening to Edwina is like having a big hug from your Mum...

... I'm basicly to drunk to say anything coherent. But Edwina's voice is a bit like being dipped in custard and having it licked off! Very good indeed.

Virginia - 02/11/2000.
... Virginias - 2 Thumbs up - ... (Neil Finsbury Park)

... We'll sell the house to sponsor the world tour! ... (Mike Fulham)

... never seen a band like them - I'd willingly pay good money "again" to hear this band... (Laura Fulham)

Excellent band Horsepower. Best band of the evening.
...2nd best Slightly Aphrodite.

Joan Coffey - 22/10/2000. (best drunken fan award... bless)

... Such joy coming right out of you, make me smile, she made me sad, she made me really enjoy the whole moment... (anon)

... I was there when... the marvelous looking through the window on rainy days - the wind was fresh and her face took me away thanks x Joan for a magical momentary hold on my nights I'm fucked you were beautiful love Naimen I want you to be so fuckin Big Joan I Want you to reach all those open windows on rainy days - no one is writing anything else they all think your wonderful so you'll have to listen to me and my madness - I know I keep going on about rainy days and open windows, but its one of my favourite pauses in time - when you look out on a rainy day through an open window the world being washed in front of your eyes ... kind of cool! Kind of fresh and new. Well thats what you take me to - an open window with the world being washed... brilliant Joan - keep my window open when it rains love, smiles and rainy days Naimen.

... Well what can I say Joan but fucking! WOW! Ian xxx

Stephen A Chin - 15/10/2000.
... apparently his last gig because he is splitting up! Stephen re-form! The best I've ever seen you... (Mac)

The Apparatchiks - 8/10/2000.
... The Apparatchiks were lovely, they warmed the cockles of my heart! Truly unique vocals in a heartfelt way - unique. Music from the heart - makes a change!

Clearway - 5/10/2000.
... Clearway new lineup kicked serious ass!

Monica Max West - 5/10/2000.
... nice venue - I'd forgotten how nice the Hope and Anchor is: good sound too. Came to see Max West + she was excellent.

... Girl Called Max... This girl is awesome!! Intriguing lyricals, haunting vocals... Should do well on next years festival circuit...

Debbie Eckman - 1/10/2000.
... Spiritual and mesmerizing, you could hear a pin drop as we drifted away... Indian beat box rule... (Jo)

Rich Barnard - 24/09/2000.

... Paper Disguise tripped me out...

Got your photos developed or missed handing your comments in? You can e-mail them to us here "i was there... honest!" and we'll include them here!