supported by Dan Whitehouse
American singer/songwriter Simone Felice is certainly an unusual musician not least for the fact that he was once pronounced clinically dead. However, having recovered from that episode, which was due to a brain aneurism when he was a teenager, he has gone on to become a passionate musician, poet and author.Felice from the Catskills, complete with hat and rather unnerving way of staring at his audience opened at the Glee Studio in Birmingham, with Dawn Brady’s Son, from his self-titled album, which was a strong ballad with a country undertone evoking memories of Dr Hook.
|Simone Felice. |
Picture courtesy of Simone Felice.com
This was followed by New York Times from the same album which was almost a rant about modern life with Felice going for the big and loud finish on the drums.
His gathering of fans at the cosy Glee Studio also lapped up Hey Bobby Ray; Song for Pearl an upbeat country song which was dedicated to and about his daughter and then, not wanting to leave his partner out, You and I, a much softer ballad.
The softer acoustic sound continued with Give Me All You Got which gave way to a heavier sound in Water Spider.
There was more than a touch of the Meatloaf power ballad about Scarecrow which brought in the heavy metal sound too.
At the end of the set he brought the support act, Dan Whitehouse from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands back on stage to join in with Neil Young’s Helpless.
Dan WhitehouseDan is fast creating a distinctive sound which is all his own, with his clever lyrics and silky voice the singer/songwriter from Compton, who is based in Birmingham, is maturing into a really fine performer.
|Dan Whitehouse. Picture Carsten Dieterich|
He opened with, arguably, the best track from his first eponymously titled album, Fire of Lust, which is one of those songs that has the opening bars which make you stop and think I want to hear more of this.
The under-beat had a high-pitched picking accenting the words which then built up to a banging finish.
He followed with Three Bodies which is a song about body image.This was done as a "bare bones" version which showcased the emotion Dan's soft tones and clever lyrics carry.
They Care For You is when Dan's smooth voice really shines and of course where he sounds most like Donovan.
With the soft ballad, When We Were Sleeping Dan unleashed the depth to his voice, bringing in the audience on the chorus and the musician built and dropped the tempo so elegantly. This was followed by Somebody Loves You which is more like a poem set to music and vividly sets out a series of vignettes.
Dan’s next album, Reaching for a State of Mind, is already in the pipeline and will be officially launched on September 29 at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham where he will be playing with a full band.
Mr Whitehouse's star is certainly on the rise and with his burgeoning talent for lyrics and musical abilities his days as a support act are going to be short-lived.