BC Camplight review: Christinzio's blues soaked piano playing is beyond excellent
PUBLISHED: 12:07 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:07 28 January 2020
On the face of it, a wet Monday night in Norwich doesn't seem to offer up a great deal to warm the soul.
However BC Camplight (aka Brian Christinzio), supported by Norwich band The Birds of Hell, did a very good job of warming up those who had ventured out to see them play at Norwich Arts Centre at the start of Independent Venue Week.
The Birds of Hell kicked off the night with their quirky set which was flooded with angular synths and subtle melodies - referencing the likes of Great Yarmouth and the Norwich Ring Road.
Their songs are catchy and humorous at the same time with standouts being the rhythmic Annabel and the excellent, witty, M.E.U. (Musicians Exercise Unit) - which sounds like the love child of Blurs Parklife and Sleaford Mods T.C.R.
Warmly appreciated by the local crowd they were the perfect opener for what was to come.
BC Camplight has had a somewhat troubled history on which to draw inspiration for his broad range of critically acclaimed songs, including mental health problems, drug and alcohol issues and deportation from the UK after incurring a serious leg injury and subsequently over staying his visa in 2015.
The latter incident formed the basis for his well received 2018 album, Deportation Blues. It has clearly left a mark, as you would expect, and is the common thread running through his set.
But don't be fooled, whilst these significant events underpin a lot of his songs, with his work often described as lo-fi, BC Camplight has pedigree. He has played with members of War On Drugs as well as being a session musician for Sharon Van Etten. This is man with a full band on a mission.
The show is full of frenetic energy and Christinzio's blues soaked piano playing is beyond excellent. The expected favourites, such as I'm In a Weird Place Now, Deportation Blues, When I Think of My Dog, Fire In England and I'm Desperate, are all present and form the body of the set. These are accompanied by newer songs such as I Only Drink When I'm Drunk which is taken from the forthcoming album Shortly After Takeoff.
Ferocious piano, off key synths, guitar rhythms and drums rock the room whilst the man himself, self effacing and gracious, really connects with the audience.
The set itself was relatively short but it was fully committed and top quality. A real winter warmer. I suspect 2020 will be a good year for BC Camplight.