Almost exactly 12 months on from his first visit, Ryley Walker last night returned to the Norwich Arts Centre to promote his imminent third LP, 'Golden Sings That Have Been Sung'. As with last year's concert, the recorded versions of his songs serve as mere sketches for Ryley, and his two superb backing musicians, to build on - adding instrumental flourishes, extended breaks and virtual raga-esque passages that completely transfix the partisan audience. Walker's affable onstage demeanour is in stark contrast with the absolute intensity of his performance - how many other musicians invite their entire audience over to the pub for a drink after the show? Come to think of it, how many other performers give out their home address from the stage, offering a place to crash if any of us are ever in Chicago? I scribbled it down, just in case.
Talking of scribbling down, grab a pen and paper and make a note of this name - Holly Macve, Ryley Walker's support act last night. She's young, English and signed to Bella Union, though she sounds for all the world like cross between Patsy Cline and Paula Frazer. Quite incredible. The songs are as strong as the voice, but there's no album just yet. Definitely one to watch out for. 'Corner Of My Mind' is the first taste of what's to come.