The ambiance was set aglow at Impossible Bar in York as Alistair Griffin took the stage for an enchanting candlelit acoustic show, hosted by Ignite Concerts. I arrived early and managed to catch a soundcheck rendition of The Sound of Silence. Normally I’d say don’t touch such a sacred song but this version changed my mind. It was spine tingling with a slick harmony from a backing singer who came to be known to the audience later as Katy.
The show proper started and from the very first note, Alistair’s soulful voice captivated the audience, drawing everyone into his world of heartfelt melodies. It was raw and emotive performance, weaving together stories of love, loss, and hope. Each song was carefully crafted, showcasing Alistair’s songwriting skills and his ability to connect with the listener.
The addition of Emily Lawler’s violin added another dimension to the acoustic set, complementing Alistair’s vocals and creating a dynamic lift to each song. The Beatles, Across the Universe took on a new euphoric feel as vocals harmonized and the violin soared.
Blown Away started with a solitary guitar and vocal but finished with a rousing crescendo as the three musicians created a wall of sound normally reserved for a full band.
The backing vocals from Katy provided the perfect backdrop, adding depth and richness to the already captivating arrangements.
Throughout the evening, Alistair engaged with the audience, sharing anecdotes and stories that gave insight into the inspiration behind his music. There was even the odd bit of abstract humor which I was later told is a regular feature of Alistair’s shows. At one point he bent down to pick up what turned out to be an Extra Strong Mint and returned to the mic to show the crowd it had a request scrawled on it. The request if you were wondering, Crowded House, which he duly played and dedicated to a fan who’d travelled from New Zealand. This personal touch created an intimate setting, making everyone feel like they were part of something truly special.
The setlist included a mix of familiar favorites and new surprises, leaving the audience wanting more even after the final notes had faded into the night. As billed by the promoters, it was magical, it had bags of atmosphere, it was fun, even quirky at times but above all it was of the highest quality. Truly a show for senses as Ignite Concerts presented an unforgettable evening of acoustic delights.