Callum Pickard and the Third Look - the Old Grammar School.
By Pete Clemons.
You may now be scratching your heads and thinking that ‘this idea was tried and failed a couple of years ago’. And you would be absolutely right. But the big difference now I guess is that the eyes of the UK City of Culture administration team are focused on Coventry. And, thankfully, those who operate The Tin Arts were, were once again receptive to the idea, which is commendable of them, especially after their original idea of music at the Grammar School, appeared to gain little support from those that matter.
And kicking off this series of gigs, which will be held on the last Thursday of every month, is Callum Pickard and the Third Look. Rarely do I feel that wow factor at new music nowadays but I do find it difficult to contain my excitement for this group. Make no mistake this is a top quality band that seems to perform better with every outing. Clearly they are practising and developing together as a unit.
Each gig seems to bring with it a new song or 2 that seems to slip seamlessly and effortlessly into the set list. The dynamic and the vibe within the band, right down to the subtle touches of a sympathetic horn instrument being textured into the mix, just leaves you feeling that this band really are on the cusp of something very special right now. It is a real all round effort with each of the band members playing their part.
The set list comprised of: Lampshade, Driving Through, Empty Skies, Hoard the Pieces, Time Lies, Latest Rivalry, Sweetly Elephant, Follow the Sign, Lonely Boy & Girl finishing off with last year’s single June.
As for the new songs, one of those on display this evening is the latest ‘Sweetly Elephant’. It is a lovely tune but rather than me simply pass on my thoughts I took advantage of Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief and asked him for his opinion. He replied ‘This is really good stuff - lovely song, well written with lots of lovely twists - especially with how the vocal melody flows. Nice for once to be able to send back positive feedback about new music! Has a touch of Mercury Rev/Elliot Smith but certainly not in a bad way’. Thanks for that Bruce!
The idea, as I understand, is that once a month a local artist will play the Old Grammar School. This 12th century building is wonderful venue. It is central, it is accessible and it is situated right in the heart of the city. The high ceiling helps to create a rich sound. With a secure outdoor atrium type area this place is a hidden gem with incredible potential.
Callum’s gig was at the height of the recent heatwave. And you do, naturally, tend to look favourably on things when the weather is good. I saw no evidence of any form of heating in the building. So I would advise to wrap up warm if visiting during the winter. But please do not let that put you off as the visit is unique and well worth the effort. Time and again the Tin Arts have put on music at Coventry’s more quirky venues. And once more they have created a resounding success.