Halves Cottages, Corfe Castle

Chris Webb

If variety is the spice of life then going to gigs in various locations can’t be a bad thing either. Tonight once again I find myself at Halves Cottages in Corfe Castle at the home of Tim & Emma Lacey, who are huge music fans and last year opened up their home to singer/songwriter Nick Parker.

The evening was so much fun that they are doing it again and this time it’s Bristol artist Chris Webb; who can be found playing guitar in bands “Gaz Brookfield and the Company of Thieves” and “Lonely Tourist”, as well as a host of solo gigs around the country. I am amazed to see that I have a reserved seat with a special sign on it, made by the Lacey’s wonderful daughters. (I am more than honored!!). Around twenty or so friends, neighbours and the family dog Twix squeeze into the living room of this beautiful Purbeck stone cottage in anticipation of the evening’s entertainment.

To get things started Chris does a short introduction; before playing us songs from his latest album “Bungalow”, so called because it was recorded in a bungalow. It cannot be easy to perform with 20 strange faces peering at you in such close proximity, however Chris takes it all in his stride and effortlessly delivers some great tunes. These include the infectious “Breakfast”, the very lyrically challenging “Heat” and the uplifting “Torch” which features some beautiful lyrics leaving you with warmth in your heart along with a smile on your face. He plays his guitar with an unusual finger-plucked style which gives his songs an original sound. There is plenty of encouraged waggish discussion in between songs before Chris gives an interesting detailed intro to the next tune. After the album playback is complete everything stops for a short break for a bountiful buffet, including an amazing cheeseboard (and it’s not even Christmas!!).

Chris Webb
Chris Webb 12

The second half is altogether more relaxed and people are freer with what they say with a few comparisons coming forward like Glen Tilbrook and Graham Nash. Chris is flattered and plays a few covers including a well-delivered cover of Squeeze’s “Up the Junction”, which included some audience participation. The rest of the set is a mixture of covers by bands that have influenced him over the years and a couple of his own self-penned favourite tunes including “Let’s go and crash a Ceilidh”; which was about fixing a date with an attractive girl, but getting too drunk to be able to go. The evening ended in fine style with a good old-fashioned Irish sing-a-long with the traditional “Bog Down in the Valley”. Chris played his guitar so hard he broke a string, which sadly put paid to any further encores. A fantastic night all the same with a great group of people and very entertaining singer.

Set List

May you never (John Martyn cover)
Horseshoe Smile
Up The Junction (Squeeze)
To the Dogs of Whoever ( Josh Ritter)
Piazza, New York Catcher (Belle & Sebastian)
Saturday Sun (Nick Drake)
Lets go and crash a Ceilidh
Real Damage (Frank Turner)
We Always Loved the Mad Ones
Bog Down in the Valley- Raitlin Bog (Traditional Irish)


If you want to book for your own house gig contact him here.


Pictures, Video & Words by David Chinery.

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