On February 28th, Songwall hosted the first Songs In The Sky event of 2019. ‘Songs In The Sky’ is a unique live music experience over looking the fabulous City of Birmingham from the wonderful Staying Cool at the Rotunda self serviced apartments. We had a blast!
February’s edition kicked off with Alice Meixner. Alice is a singer/songwriter who hails from Warwickshire, England and is known for her “intelligent and heartfelt” songwriting with “wonderful bittersweet lyrics”, citing artists such as Bon Iver and The Japanese House as some of her influences.
Alice oozes an array of effortless and haunting melodies that provide a sense of nostalgia and relatable scenarios, almost as if she’s writing a song personally for you there and then in the room. Like a real-time song generator from your emotional memory bank. Elon Musk watch out!.
Alice started the performance with the song ‘Numb’. What more can I say? …other than every time I hear this song, I’m stunned! …and from the silence in the room I think everybody else was too. I mean the other day I woke up with the song in my head 7 weeks after the gig…If that’s not suggesting a potential hit song, I don’t know what is.
Singing songs from her first EP “Two Years Since Summer’ and her second EP titled “Blank Label’ (because she doesn’t like to be labelled, and rightly so!) Alice eased us through a melodic minefield of potential hit songs and hooks that any decent producer would die for.
“It’s great having something like Songwall where you actually get a decent representation of what you’re worth.”– Alice Meixner
During the set I thought it slightly amusing how Alice apologised for her surname ‘Meixner’… I thought “does she know how great she is?” including the name Alice Meixner! It’s different and visually strong, just waiting for a decent graphic designer to work some magic on a font!
Alice ended her set with a beautiful and touching song about a relationship break up… the way she led us into the song with the story to the tantalising sound of her piano keys was like a vivid dream on a summers day; we were just floating on the cool breeze hanging on to her every word. Break-ups can be harsh and emotionally tough!
Overall I believe, Alice Meixner has more potential than half of the female artists signed by major labels. You may not see it, but I do, which is maybe partly why Songwall exists…?
Second up was BIMM Birmingham student and enigmatic musical maestro, Darius Zaltash from Reading. Just by walking in, this guy ignites the room; Seriously. With a beaming smile and a cool crop of hair, Darius doesn’t even need to sing a note! He just needs to flick his quiff or latest naturally styled look and you’re a fan. Ok, so it’s not just about the look right?
That’s where Darius excels. He sprinkles magic through the air, he lifts your spirits and offers an escape route to a smile; a bit like Harry Houdini with a guitar. Darius started his set with a song called “The Hardest Part” dedicated to mental health week followed by “That’s Why We Do It”.
Whatever reason Darius does it, is a good reason. He makes you feel good in some uncanny way. Declaring how nervous he was doing such an intimate gig only brought the crowd in further. His vocal range is brave and he hits the high notes to create hooks and highs that a lot singers won’t dare try to reach.
“Songwall is a really cool platform because it gives opportunities to artists that you don’t get by just being on a normal scene.”– Darius Zaltash
Darius is definitely a tryer, and he succeeds even through the failures. When I say ‘failures’ I mean when he made a few mistakes such as forgetting the song and starting again. We love that. Every artist should do it! Every failure is a success with Darius because of the way he handles it.
People who try create followers, and that’s why he had the crowd singing along on the second song in. His last song ‘Natural Monsters’ was like U2 at Wembley Stadium! Darius has that energy…he can lead a stadium!? …and that’s solo! Imagine what he can do with his full band ‘We Are The NU’?”
“The stuff you do with Songwall, you will remember it forever”– Darius Zaltash
Seeing Darius Zaltash perform live leaves a lasting impression. His energy in infectious. He’s on the first rung of the ladder to what could be a promising musical career. I think this guy is one of those creatives who can experiment, mix and mold their style over time until he hits a magical concoction that marries both visual art and music into a classic album.
To close out Songs In The Sky we had Anne-Marie Allen and the fabulous Dominic James Hyde on guitar. They started with the classic track ‘Dream Chaser’ which Anne-Marie describes as “for anyone who loves going on adventures”. Considering we all ventured 20 floors up the iconic “Staying Cool at the Rotunda” to unearth great new songs by emerging artists, I would say that was all of us in the crowd!.
So who is Anne-Marie Allen? She is no stranger to Songwall so I don’t want to sound biased…but what words would describe this artist? I would say the words ‘Classic’, ‘Soulful’, ‘Essential’ and ‘Ivor Novello’ are a good start and ones that conjour up where this artist has the potential to go – A grass roots artist with legendary status in eyes of Songwall.
The legendary theme brings me on to the second song titled “Intuition’ which is the final track of her EP. Anne-Marie says “If you follow it, you tend to make the right choices in life”. I think we all made the right choice tonight by coming to ‘Songs In The Sky’ because it’s not often you get the chance to hear world class songs, this close!.
Anne-Marie says she doesn’t like to be defined in a genre and we all should just see music as music. Anne-Marie Allen keeps it real!.
With songs such as ‘Fever’, Anne-Marie Allen proves she know’s how to write a catchy tune. But it’s more than a catchy tune. Her songs have depth and melody which is a hard combination to obtain.
Writing songs about people and experiences, Anne-Marie Allen says the song “I like” is all about when you really fancy someone but you don’t know how to go about it. “I like” has a genius guitar riff, with a highly infectious vocal melody that is unrivalled. This is as good as it gets as far as songwriting goes.
“Songwall is a really good platform. The ethos behind it in terms of making sure that those musicians get decent venues to play in and get paid aswell is really important as a musician because it brings it to that extra level of professionalism“– Anne-Marie Allen
It’s hard to sell someone the excitement you feel of discovering great new songs in text format! So, when we launched the first version of the Songwall website in 2015, we had the strapline “Discover your favourite new song, become someones favourite artist”! Our call out to artists and fans was to Join The Songwall Tribe! So you can imagine what a joy it was a few years later to meet Anne-Marie Allen and to hear the relentlessly infectious ‘Vibe Attracts A Tribe’. Forget the music industry and the bulls**t that is often said to be within and around it; Anne-Marie Allen and Dominic James Hyde are the real thing.
Before performing this pregnant global hit song; Anne-Marie Allen said…
“I think this song is very reminiscent of what’s happening this evening…– Anne-Marie Allen, speaking about Songwall, ‘Songs In The Sky’ and her song ‘Vibe Attracts A Tribe’
I do believe that when you give off a certain vibe you attract a certain tribe of people, beautiful people…”
If you see Anne-Marie Allen live it wouldn’t be long until you asked yourself “why are there so many good songs in one short set?” The chemistry and process in their song creations are a joy to experience. The music industry lacks raw artists with this amount of potential. There needs to be a new system that supports artists like Anne-Marie Allen, Alice Meixner and Darius Zaltash. Tonight, we saw raw artists/musicians (I won’t say talent. Personally, i can’t stand the word) in an amazing location. We were blessed with amazing songs of character and depth and I can vouch for the crowd, they felt the same too.
Thanks to all those who came to the event and all those involved including. We definitely finished on a high for the first and February edition of Songs In The Sky, 2019
Article written by
Brendan Poynton, Songwall founder
Oana Catalina – IG @oanaslens
Filming & Video Edit:
Oana Catalina – IG @oanaslens
Filming: Abhishek Pandeya – IG @individualvisuals
Precious Salazar – IG @preshychild
See Video / Event Footage on the Songwall Youtube Channel
Thanks to our supporters:
Rotor Videos | Purity Brewery | BIMM Birmingham | Staying Cool
Join us for the next Songs In The Sky event on Thursday 30th May 2019
With Jack Goodall, Melissa Severn + TBC
JOIN our Facebook Event Page
Tickets via Eventbrite