David J Roch, Stoney, Ian Britt, Sarah Mac: Soyo, Sheffield

Monday night at Soyo is known for its good music but tonight outdid themselves with four terrific ‘local’ talents. Headlining was David J Roch (formerly Little Lost David), fresh from a national tour supporting I Am Arrows. Main support came all the way from Texas, as Stoney made a long awaited and very welcome return after a 2 year hiatus. Added to that Ian Britt, is a stand out singer songwriter back from recording an album in Holland and opener Sarah Mac, much lauded for enthralling vocals and catchy keyboard riffs.

Sarah, showing a beaming smile sat behind her massive keyboard opened to a sparse crowd with One More Kiss. Relaxed and obviously enjoying herself she played an impressive set with a very strong song catalogue, perhaps her best song being closer Everybody Knows.

Ian Britt has the banter to be a stand up comic, but when he gets down to business its easy to see why he is so highly rated, technically excellent, his emotive vocals and personal lyrics on the likes of Dedicate were captivating and got a great reaction from the growing crowd.

The charismatic (Mark) Stoney, is off on tour supporting Athlete this week and used this gig as a stripped back warm up with just a keys player accompanying him, before returning with his full band when the tour stops off in Sheffield later in the month. Promoting new ep The Soar Before, he is in fine form with songs like the haunting Albatross and was then joined by another local hero, Neil McSweeney, for wonderful closer Ghost.

A hard act to follow but David J Roch with full band in tow was up for the task although they, unusually, played covers every other song. His determination to make it a quirky set was best evidenced by his drummer playing one track blindfold – rather impressively it had to be said. His remarkable yet very private lyrics shone through though in songs like Skin And Bones, to made it a memorable evening for the Sheffield singer / songwriters club.