Club sheds its oys­ter shell with a year of favourites

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Red Nose Day Special -

“Whit­stable Ses­sions is one of our favourite gigs in the world” – as ac­cep­tance speeches go the com­pli­ment doesn’t get much higher than that.

It came from the win­ner of the top award at Whit­stable Ses­sions Mu­sic Club on Fri­day as it cel­e­brated the an­nual awards night, and hosted a gig for the last time at the Oys­ter Stores venue be­fore the club moves to St Mary’s Hall, part of the Um­brella Cen­tre, in May.

Mu­sic for the evening came all the way from the Mis­siss­sippi Delta with Bron­wynne Brent, a jour­ney through Amer­i­can roots mu­sic, with a bit of blues, jazz and coun­try and even a side trip to a “sort of” tra­di­tional Scot­tish song. Her last song of the night prob­a­bly isn’t usu­ally on her set list, but as it was Dame Vera’s 100th birth­day, We’ll Meet Again was a fit­ting choice.

As if that wasn’t enough en­ter­tain­ment, we also had the awards. The win­ning artists re­spond by record­ing video thank you mes­sages from wher­ever they hap­pen to be in the world, to be re­layed on the big screen on the night.

Song of the year – and this was pure co­in­ci­dence – went to Bron­wynne Brent for Devil Again fol­low­ing her pre­vi­ous visit to the ses­sions. On the ev­i­dence of her per­for­mance on Fri­day, she’ll be in the run­ning again next year too.

Critic’s Choice (that’s cho­sen by me) went to The Small Glo­ries, the fab Cara Luft and JD Ed­wards. Sound­man’s Choice went to Ben Mur­ray and Rosie Doo­nan, and In­ter­viewer’s Choice went to Sam Lee.

And fi­nally, the Ses­sion of the Year, voted on by club mem­bers and sup­port­ers, went to Fur­nace Moun­tain, and their video mes­sage echoed the sen­ti­ments of all the oth­ers – Whit­stable re­ally is their favourite gig and its au­di­ences are the best. Deb­bie Neech

Bron­wynne Brent took the au­di­ence on a jour­ney through Amer­i­can roots mu­sic

Ben Mur­ray, Rosie Doo­nand and vi­ola player John Met­calfe, left, Sam Lee, cen­tre, and top gig of the year, Fur­nace Moun­tain

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