Winter warmers for discerning music fans

Jade Helliwell at Dewsbury Socialist Club.

Jade Helliwell at Dewsbury Socialist Club.

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Live review

Two brilliant performers brought some real cheer to a grim winter night on Saturday.

Guitarist Julian Socha at Dewsbury Socialist Club.

Guitarist Julian Socha at Dewsbury Socialist Club.

I’ve heard people raving about singer Jade Helliwell and virtuoso guitarist Julian Socha for ages but only got chance to catch them at Dewsbury Socialist Club for the first time at the weekend.

Julian’s set featured some jaw-dropping acoustic guitar work that would have most learners heading straight back to the music shop for a refund on their newly-purchased axe.

The show was shot through with striking self-penned compositions, all delivered with an irresistible self-deprecating charm and wit that was a joy to experience – he’s a pretty mean singer too.

But the awards for top vocalist on the night were swept up by the very wonderful Jade Helliwell – how such a knock-out voice can come from such a petite frame is truly amazing.

Getting all the right notes in all the right places, Jade stayed firmly on the country and western side of the range, coming up with inspiring versions of hits by Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Fleetwood Mac and even the Corrs.

But there was also an impressive range of her own extremely well-crafted songs to make for a very entertaining mix.

While there was something of the early Belinda Carlisle – and possibly elements of Celine Dion – about the delivery, this was an individual interpretation of the various songs and a seasoned performance from a very talented young singer.

Look out for these two stunning acts – and the many other incredible bands and musicians we are lucky enough to have around here – when they appear at venues like the Dewsbury Socialist Club, the West Riding Refreshment Rooms and the Taproom Batley.