Reviews
Open mind to acoustic
WHEN a dentist says open wide, you fear the worst.

Drills, prodding, poking, scraping - pain.

Dental student Kate Blundell would much rather people opened their mouths wide so they can sing at the 'Strung Out' acoustic nights she organises in Stamps bar, Crosby.

Kate, 21, from Coronation Road, Crosby, said: "It's been going really well, from strength to strength.

"There are loads of places in Liverpool where you can watch a band doing covers, which is great.

"But it's nice to hear people play their own songs. Stamps embraces that idea.

"I remember when I first saw the sign in Stamps window for Acoustic Engine.

"I gave Steve Roberts the organiser a ring and went along. I was really nervous the first time, but once I was on stage it was fine."

Raised in Cumbria but originally from Crosby, Kate, who is studying at Liverpool University, was encouraged by her father Colin to play an instrument.

She said: "Dad always wanted to play guitar but didn't get round to it.

"He has encouraged my two sisters and I to become musical.

"I listened to a lot of contemporary folk music when I was growing up, like Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.

"I end up playing music that gravitates towards that style because it is something familiar to me.

"I write stuff from the heart. I think you can tell when people are writing from personal experience or not. I much prefer acoustic music because you can hear the lyrics.

"I think people can over-complicate music by using synthesizers and other electronic equipment. You can't hear the words being sung. That's important to me."

Kate also organises an acoustic event on the shores of Lake Coniston each year.

'Music By The Lake' takes place on Saturday, July 24, and is attracting people from all over the North West.

In the meantime, Kate is enjoying being part of a growing music scene in Crosby and is recording a CD 'Finger Prints' which should be completed by the summer. She said: "I think the standard of musicians in Crosby is outstanding. I just hope it doesn't put beginners off because they might feel daunted by how good the musicians are.

"People make mistakes all the time but the good thing is that everyone is so supportive and you just have to laugh it off.

"Crosby seems to be the epicentre of acoustic music at the moment.

"I'm lucky that I found out about the acoustic night by chance.

"And while it is great to see the same faces there each week, I hope we can attract more newcomers too."

* 'Strung Out' at Stamps every Tuesday from 9pm.

For more details about 'Music By The Lake' visit www.thisisthelakedistrict.co.uk

--Jamie Pike, Crosby Herald, Mar 25 2004