An Evening With: Fenne Lily, Paul Thomas Saunders, Siv Jakobsen, SIVU
By Rob Nichols
Thursday 12 Oct 2017 12:04:00
Browse all Music articles
An opportunity to be entertained by four young talented singer songwriters is reason enough for taking the A19 north to Tyneside, even if it is a school-night. Oh and an added consideration is that after last weekend’s phenomenal Twisterella Festival co-programmed and promoted by Henry Carden/Pay For The Piano, then a KASG seal of approval is good enough for me.

An Evening With: Fenne Lily, Paul Thomas Saunders, Siv Jakobsen, SIVU: Cluny 2 – The Kids Are Solid Gold – Wed 12th October 2017

On descending into the Cluny 2, it was converted into a café type, seats and table venue for the evening and it helped build an intimate bond between audience and performers.

SIVU, once a Twisterella act, I was informed by my band mate BoroLou, was the first to play. In the true community spirit of this tour the line-up has shuffled each night around the country.


SIVU has a wonderful tremulous voice. Plugging in his acoustic there was a hint of a ringing chord, building added emphasis to each step forward through his songs. Taking his name from a Finnish translation of his real name, SIVU also has a voice that helps him stand apart. He defines his genre as alternative pop and indeed he appears to draw as much inspiration from old masters as he does the contemporary. It is not pushing it too far to describe Sivu as a young master.

sivSiv Jakobsen was the next to step timidly forward into the spotlight. She began quietly, gently strumming a few notes on the acoustic before embarking on a wonderful high, almost bird like vocal. The Norwegian accent seemed stronger phrasing the lyrics than in her increasingly bolder inter-song chat. We learned something of her journey from Norway to a year getting lost in the big city of New York and there were songs to reflect.

Siv released a debut album just a month ago and apart from one song, her debut single,  all material was drawn from The Nordic Mellow. At Cluny 2, like all her fellow musicians she was performing her songs stripped back to the core. In her case minus the orchestration that clothes the fragrantly folky long player.

As for all the musicians the audience could not have possibly been more respectful and attentive, completely silent. Something that was certainly appreciated by a smiling Siv.

Paul Thomas Saunders is more jocular in his banter but there is so much presence and personality in his imploring voice and massive, ringing, tringing acoustic guitar. Paul headlined the KASG Storytellers stage at Stockton Calling a couple of years ago. His songs are marvellously melodic, oozing atmosphere and emotion. They slide up the scale into gripping choruses that snare you and transfix you.

Paul Thomas Saunders

Each musician seemed to express themselves through their individual dress appearance as well as songs, Fenne Lily told us she bought her dungarees during the tour. She had run into trouble at previous gigs from the unworkable combination of dungarees, hooded top and guitar straps. Siv advised her to stick to a jumper tonight. Indeed, every artist regularly switched instruments, a hard-pressed guitar technician handing over guitars in different tunings every other song.

Fenne LilyOne memorable aspect to this evening was from the musicians combining and colluding with each other on songs. Fenn was the exception, either she wasn’t as organised or they all hated her, she claimed, with a smile.

Another delightful singer songwriter, probably the baby of the group, she even included a song written when she must have been a precociously talented 15 year old. An age she hated but she could certainly write songs then.

After the music there was a chance to meet all the young talent and snap up some of the merchandise including some really novel items, Fenne Lily was selling drawings from a life drawing class in Glasgow she attended during the Scottish leg of the tour. There was even a one off cassette recorded on a cheap cassette recorder they bought in Argos of the four playing life back stage.

It sounds like it has been a real blast of a tour for the four and it certainly was for the audience. We were treated to a very special evening of mellow melancholia. It was a privilege to be entertained by talented young performers that touched us with their music and personality. Well worth a trip up the A19 for.

Thanks to Louise Wilkin for all the marvellous photos.


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