TOBIAH - Thursday 24th March 2011 - The Blue Coconut Club. Pulborough. U.K.
I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Tobiah on the 12th February this year for Indie Showcase. After having heard her new album "Step Up" many many times preceding the interview and loving it in its entirety, I had exceedingly high expectations of her gig.
She shared the stage with another talented musician Nigel Beck, whose singing and finger picking skills on his 6 and 12 string guitars were breathtaking. They showcased their own songs individually and some they sang as a duet. Nothing special about the latter you might think, had it not been for the fact they'd only met each other for the first time the day before the gig! One day to rehearse live together but they sounded like they had been a musical couple for eons. They complemented each other perfectly and I truly hope that this isn't a one-off and that I'll have the opportunity to listen to them live again.
I have to admit to having been put off going to live gigs because of my expectations. Yes, I know it's my fault, but when I go to listen to an artist or a band, I want to be able to hear them and just them. I don't want to hear the tinkle of glasses in the background or the quiet murmurings of people attempting to whisper to each other. At The Blue Coconut Club the owner Mr. Jimmy Lee, himself a very accomplished musician who also played on the night, laid down the rules, gently. This is how a music venue should be, perhaps it helps having a musician as the owner. The regulars knew and welcomed the rules and they were there for the same reason as I, they showed the respect due to artists and there wasn't a sound from them, apart from the well-deserved applause at the end of each song.
Tobiah looked absolutely gorgeous, but this isn't a lady who's just about aesthetics. Her voice, the lyrics and her guitar skills enthralled the audience. I felt privileged to have heard her album already, for I knew what to expect and she certainly didn't disappoint. Playing live shows up artists weaknesses and Tobiah was strong, very strong.
I expect her to go far.
But an artist needs appreciation from many to succeed, and we the audience cannot appreciate what we've not heard before. It is for outlets such as Indie Showcase to spread the word, showcase their music.
I urge you all to listen to Tobiah, there will be the majority of you unlucky enough not to be able to see Tobiah live, but her album "Step Up" is the next closest thing.
Tobiah, I know I will be safe speaking on behalf of the others at the gig in thanking you for a wonderful night.
I wish I could have been there, I knew I was missing something very special. But, good news! She has expressed that she might like to come to the States to perform!