Photo by Andy Hatton

Tonight, was my third visit to the Sunflower Lounge this month and up to now the previous gigs were sparsely attended. This evenings event was put together by The Future Sound Project, an independent promoter who organises events for up-and-coming artists in Birmingham and beyond. We have four local acts on hence there isn`t a lot of room here this evening. I managed to catch a couple of the supporting bands and they weren`t bad but tended to do covers which wasn`t what I really wanted to hear.

Headlining tonight`s show is Birmingham singer-songwriter and musician Finlay Hatton. Finlay has just released his second album `A Silver Lining` and we enjoyed a smattering of tracks from this and his previous album `What Is Left Unsaid` throughout his set.

The songs he shared tonight were written during the recent extraordinary period of isolation.

`Headlights` which is in essence an unrequited love song kicks off the evening and it`s sounds much more upbeat that it does on record with just the singer and electric guitar.

We have the indie tinged `Far Apart` which relates to feeling a sense of separation but wanting to be closer to someone.

The quite dystopian `These Streets are Empty` is a number that the singer relates really started it all off at the beginning of the lockdown and it does paint a picture of a deserted almost apocalyptic landscape. Another track `Landlocked` alludes to a one-sided romance,

a feeling of being influenced by those around you and trying to break that and escape.

The expansive and quite anthemic `Rescue Fantasies` follows before the singer shares that he tried to write a song with the most complex lyrics he could imagine and offers up the result of this with `Someday Life Will Be Beautiful`, a thoughtful and reflective piece on a friendship that has shone light in dark times.

In `Requiem` we have a track that sounds like something that Morrissey could have written before `Standing Here` a composition about a platonic kind of love, maybe a friend who’s always there when life has its complicated challenges.

This forty minute set closes out with `Misread` an intense listen which ends with some intricate guitar chords before they head into distortion and a final thank you from the singer as he leaves the stage to rapturous applause.

There was so much to enjoy with this evening`s performance where this intimate audience were treated to some quite thought provoking lyrics delivered against a wonderfully entrancing musical backdrop. I`m sure there`s a lot to follow from this emerging singer-songwriter on the strength of what we witnessed here tonight.