On a rainy evening in Bradford Al’s Dime Bar – Bradford’s newest drink hole, a New York style ‘dive’ bar that specialises in moreish cocktails and craft beers, provided the perfect setting and splendor for an after work wind down at Rocktober Fest, an amazing 2 weeklong music festival supporting and providing live local music.
Cocktails were the first order of the evening whilst we waited for local talent singer song writer Dave McKinley, adorned with his Bert & Ernie t-shirt and impressive beard, to take the stage at this cosy and rapidly filling venue. Dave kicked the night off with a beautifully sounding acoustical original set with the odd carefully chosen cover dropped in here and there. Dave’s vocal range and rhythm guitar provided the perfect accompaniment to his well thought out and thought provoking lyrics, a real emotive performance and unique blend of music.
After a short interval and another round of mojitos Huddersfield based virtuoso Liz Mackenzie graced the stage. If you’ve never met Liz, I’d recommend you do as she has the art of conversation mastered so eloquent and articulate, you probably wouldn’t be expecting her vocals to sound like they do. Breathtakingly awesome, spine tingling and voice of an angel all come to mind, and her standup comedy style interludes provided much amusement. Liz played the night away effortlessly covering the likes of Tracey Chapman to TLC “No Scrubs” a favourite of mine.
Last on the bill even more local talent, Jon Smith on vocals & guitar, accompanied by Jacob Riley on vocals & snare. The collective raw talent in this tremendous duet leaves us less able folk blown away! Jon’s vocals wouldn’t be out of place in “I Am Kloot” or “The Waterboys” and his guitar work would leave most of us envious and wanting more! Jacob is always the best dressed gentleman in the bar and his snare work was nothing less, tasteful and faultless as well as rich full and beautifully uplifting vocals supported by Jon’s pitch perfect harmonies.
The evening concluded with an impromptu open mic thanks to everyone who contributed to providing music into the early hours, countless songs were played and audience participation was encouraged, some folk didn’t need much encouragement, a perfect end to a marvelous evening!