LIVE REVIEW: Amateur Ornithologist, Compression Session, Jenny Dean @ Caps Off, Bishop Auckland (26.05.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Richard Storey

An industrial estate in Bishop Auckland might not be the obvious place to spend a wet Sunday night, but marvellous musical things are afoot in the Caps Off taproom thanks to promoter Undercover Originals who, as their names suggests, are leading the charge for fewer covers bands and more original music in this part of County Durham.

With a brilliant voice and lyrics to match, Darlington’s Jenny Dean successfully distracts the crowd from their burgers and beers with some classy guitar tunes as she sings about Marlon Brando and more. This is one of several local shows she’s been snapped up for lately in support of catchy new single Guys (Like Me) and she shows why she is definitely one to watch.

Alt. rock trio Compression Session increase the volume but sustain the melody with a thoroughly enjoyable set filled with chiming guitars, looped samples and a sense of humour. Accomplished musicians with an eclectic setlist, they’re clearly having a ball and their enthusiasm quickly rubs off on the crowd.

Amateur Ornithologist are, as always, a joy to behold. Wielding guitars, viola and cello they somehow squeeze seven people onto the tiny taproom stage, bestowing bird-themed missives on the audience and delivering dreamy tales about the Cottingley fairies. Set against a backdrop of giant fermentation tanks it’s a little surreal, yet somehow immensely fitting for Daniel Clifford’s charmingly weird pop group, and we’re honoured to have them entertain us this evening. “And how bizarre we know we are” indeed.

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