The second instalment of collaboration gigs between XS Noize and Tin Man Heart brought a stellar line up of acts to Belfast’s Sunflower Bar on 22nd November. This time focusing on singer/songwriters, Aaron Shanley, Taylor Johnson (Brand New Friend), Jaxson and I Am Muir each played amazing stripped-back acoustic sets.
Returning from a hiatus after his 2017 album Metal Alligator Aaron Shanley played his first Belfast show in more than a year. The award-winning songwriter has shared stages with Hozier, Foy Vance and the Divine Comedy and has had his music featured in TV and film. Shanley’s precocious songwriting and enthralling delivery make every live performance an unforgettable experience, and with new music promised in 2020, this show marked the start of a busy few months for him.
Taylor Johnson is more often found bounding around stages fronting indie rockers Brand New Friend. Their seemingly limitless energy has seen them play festivals across the UK and Ireland, supporting Snow Patrol and Seán McGowan among others. For one night only, Taylor travelled light and treated us to a solo acoustic set of handpicked songs from his repertoire.
JaXson is the brainchild of Wexford singer-songwriter Luke Jackson. Luke has been slowly climbing the ladder ever since he began playing under the moniker, JaXson, in January 2017. Some of his highlights include playing Vantastival 2018 & 2019, Indiependence 2019, Sofar Sounds in Dublin, supporting Little Hours in Waterford and landing a slot on the RTÉ 2FM Play The Picnic Stage at Electric Picnic. He’s also shared bills with Paddy Casey, Hudson Taylor, and Adam French. This was his first performance in Belfast.
Opening the night is I Am Muir. The musical alter ego of Brénna Goff, I Am Muir has already been picking up accolades with sets at the Stendhal and Our Back Yard festivals in 2019. Layered synth tracks form the base from which her vocal melodies and lyrics take off. Still early in her career but already boasting a wonderfully developed sound, I Am Muir will be worth watching through 2020.