Review: Patrick Ziolkowski & Candythief, Traverse Bar

Patrick Ziolkowski

Patrick Ziolkowski

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As music gigs go its hard to imagine one much more low key than this – a small stage in the corner of a bar on a wet wintry Wednesday night just after Christmas is not exactly conducive to an electric atmosphere.

As music gigs go its hard to imagine one much more low key than this – a small stage in the corner of a bar on a wet wintry Wednesday night just after Christmas is not exactly conducive to an electric atmosphere.

However the Traverse Bar provides a surprisingly suitable stage for this kind of event, with low ceilings, atmospheric lighting and much better sound than you would normally expect from such a small venue.

First up tonight is a mix of cover versions and original songs from Patrick Ziolkowski, an unassuming young Edinburgh-based singer songwriter whose style has clearly been heavily influenced by the likes of Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake.

A talented guitarist with vocals reminiscent of Snow Patrol and a haircut like a member of One Direction, he has the potential to go on to great things. However tonight’s set leaned a little too heavily on cover versions and it was only when he performed his own songs that his talent really shone through.

The main act on the bill was Candythief who have just released their third album and have been getting some airplay on BBC 6Music recently. Tonight Candythief are represented by just their lead singer Diana de Cabarrus, who is the founder, songwriter and driving force behind the band.

As a full band Candythief offer an intriguing mix of indie and folk with complex layers of strings, guitars and vocals, their appeal lying in the eclectic nature of their music. Unfortunately much of this appeal is lost as a solo act, where the stripped back versions of the songs seem a little flat and insipid.

As a lead vocalist de Cabarrus is engaging throughout, and there is no doubting her skill as a musician and lyricist. However after a relatively bright opening few tracks she was knocked off her stride by some guitar tuning issues, which along with some fumbled lyrics through the rest of the set resulted in a bit of an anticlimax to the night.

Overall an enjoyable evening with two talented singer songwriters, however the feeling remains that neither performance reached the heights that their talent deserves.