Judas! They shouted at Dylan when he went electric, and then, as is the cyclical way of these things, 30 years later Nirvana made it cool to unplug again. A mere 15 years after that the idea has finally reached Llandudno with our first ever Unplugged Night, an evening that gave us the chance to see St David’s talent in its rawest form.
A great show needs a great showman and Nicholas Petrie was, at the very least, dressed up as one. He started the evening with his own tribute to the unfathomably popular film of the same name. Following that was a series of short songs and performances that demonstrated music does not need to be of Wagnerian proportions to be enjoyable. Oliver Scott and Emily Powell stood out with ‘Perfect’ and ‘A Million Dreams’ before Harry Cowhig stunned the room with his powerful rendition of Stars (Les Mis not Simply Red).
After a brief musical interlude from Emily Vernon’s ‘Marching’ and Ben Birkett, who played ‘March of the Gnomes’- a family favourite of Mrs Ward, we were pinned back into our seats by Henry Garner’s ‘Believer’. Next came ‘Wonderwall’ wonderfully sung by Molly O’Leary and Ellen Wright albeit slightly stretching the definition of unplugged as they were accompanied by Alex Medved, a man who soon sooner give up his spleen than his amplifier, on an electric guitar.
Old friends Erin Moore and Olivia Ruggier were next with their version of ‘Old Friends’, before Yumita Hayashi and Huw Jones treated us to some delicate work on the suspiciously electric looking keyboard. Arron Spencer, Molly and Sydney Langton formed a new triumvirate to perform ‘Good old Days’, and they were. Up next Harry Maguire, Josh Davies, Henry Gillet and, the perennially plugged in, Alex sashayed through ‘Stolen Dance’ with Josh just about managing to push through his natural shyness up front.
Things slowed down for Ruby Andrew’s Ukulele led take on ‘This Home’ and then a liltingly lovely duet with Jade Huntley on ‘Little Talks’. Perhaps the surprise of the night came from Lawrence Newman who’s confident, assured take on Redbone revealed that he has been hiding his light under a bushel since arriving last year. The evening finished on a high with Kiani Geldard showcasing one her original songs ‘In the flames’, showing that, in the right hands, an acoustic guitar and a voice is all we need to be moved after all.