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Music City by the Sea -
Ungagged at The Greys, Sept 06


Left to Right: Tom Arnold, Mark Allen
and Richard Durrant

True, it doesn't take many souls to fill The Greys, but nonetheless Ungagged's gig was sold out. Ungagged are a very talented trio with Mark Allen on lead vocals and guitar, Tom Arnold on piano accordion (he couldn't fit his Hammond organ on the Greys' tiny stage), and Richard Durrant on everything else: acoustic guitar, classical guitar, double bass, banjo and ukulele. He left his cello at home!

I can only record a few general remarks in this review. Because of my own poor organisation I managed to get myself 'sardined' in the packed conditions of The Greys, and was unable to scratch even a few notes in my notebook. So I put my notebook away for the rest of the evening.

Ungagged has been around for about three years, but as professional musicians I expect Mark, Tom and Richard have worked in many groups, combinations and disguises.

For example, Tom is a member of the Brighton Beach Boys tribute band, and that very evening he had just returned from a tour with another band in Germany. In fact, there was some doubt whether he'd make it in time - but he did.

So what do you get?

Ungagged has an electric acoustic sound. Mark Allen is the thoughtful singer-songwriter of the trio. All songs were penned by him with the exception of Kenneth the Hedge (!?see below!?). Mark has a soft, gentle voice; the themes of his songs cover the span of human trials and tribulations. Richard brings his string virtuosity; whatever you want you can have. As the evening progressed he worked his way through his string collection. Tom Arnold is both a drummer and keyboard player. I really like his piano accordion. It's a great instrument for folk / acoustic combinations.

Together they used a lot of close harmony vocals.

Kenneth The Hedge is the work of Richard Durrant. It's an eccentric English folk song that grows on you - hedge-like!

Favourite song: Let The Pages Blacken

A very enjoyable evening at a very reasonable price.

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