The format of the Source New Music Night changed a little bit this month, with the team at the Dome doing their very best to make sure that we all get to enjoy as much music as possible. Gone is the acoustic act in the bar downstairs, who never really got the appreciation they deserved, and instead a new mini stage was built to the side of the room. There’s still four acts, with the headliner hand-picked by The Source, and this they brought us the Miserable Rich’s last ever gig. For now at least – the band have decided that after five years they’re going to take some well earned time off.
If you got there early, you would have been lucky enough to have caught Ingrid Plum, who played a short set at 8pm. I say played, but Ingrid’s only instrument was her voice, singing her own acapella songs (and one by local legend Chris T-T), in the traditional unaccompanied folk style. It was a performance that captivated the room – a mean for the first act on!
Next up, on the other side of the room on their new stage was Donna Fullman. We wrote about her album Inner World back in July, and have been kicking ourselves that we haven’t made it up to the Bull in Ditchling for one of her Sunday Night sessions, because Donna and her band’s set was lovely – a handful catchy, smooth folk pop songs.
Third act Cate Ferris has played Source New Music before, November last year, but back then she was the acoustic act downstairs who not nearly enough people saw. This time around she won over a whole room full of people who packed out the place for their last chance to see The Miserable Rich. What Cate does is nothing short of astonishing, using loops to build up beautifully told songs, and making it look effortless while doing so. And just when that’s impressed you, there’s the amazing voice. I’ve seen Cate many times over the last few years, and I reckon this is the best time I’ve ever seen her – the big stage really suited her. Next time, I reckon she’ll be the headliner.
Friday night was a special night not only for The Miserable Rich, but also for their fans, who had come from far and wide to see them for one last time. The songs they played were very much the crowd-pleasers – I lost count of the number of times I heard the words “this one’s my favourite” as I was angling to get a better photo. Tracks came from throughout their five year career, and they were re-joined by original guitarist Jim Briffett for some tracks. It wouldn’t have been right if there wasn’t alcohol involved and James was drinking whisky like it was water, and by the last song before the encore it was affecting his recall for lyrics. I guess he won’t need to be remembering them for a bit though! The night was closed was the band playing acoustically in amongst the audience – a magical moment to end this chapter of the Miserable Rich’s musical career.
The Miserable Rich