The Video Bin 6: A Fahrenheit 55 Special

For my first Video Bin since the prolonged hiatus, I have decided to dip into a particularly limited pool of videos, artists whom I have seen live at Guildford’s Fahrenheit 55. I thought this would make a nice celebration/appreciation of the Wednesday acoustic night that is run there, and a note of the quality of act that plays. Alas, they have yet to book The National for an intimate performance, but I am convinced that it won’t be long until they play the hallowed Strangers On A Train night.

If you’re in Guildford on a Wednesday don’t you dare miss it. And get yourself 3 for 2 on cocktails while you’re at it. Fahrenheit 55.


Mark Aaron James – Goths Of Summer

To kick things off, here is the first artist I saw headline at Fahrenheit, Mark Aaron James, aka The American With The Permanent Smile. You would think that his desire to dip into unusual subjects to fuel his lyrics (see Kleptomaniac Girlfriend, Aquaman’s Lament) would grate, but it never does. MAJ is too joyous and constantly surprising with his choice of subject matter for it to seem gimmicky. Alas, much of his time is spent in America, so Guildford does not host him too often, but when they do it is always a special night. Happy to perform an acoustic cover of “Don’t Stop Believing”, no matter how drunkenly it is requested.


Kid Adrift – Oxytocin (Chemical Soup)

So admittedly it is only keyboardist Becky Woolls that has appeared at Fahrenheit, armed with the kind of keyboard skills, unhinged vocals and unique lyrical content that bares comparison to Joanna Newsom, but I would feel badly about myself if I didn’t share this particular tune. Having just headlined the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury, Kid Adrift very much have upward momentum at the moment, their spectacular mixture of estranged electronics and angered vocals can be found on the Oxytocin EP, released July 12th. For now, just enjoy the title track from that EP, and try not to get as addicted to it as I am.


Byron Johnston – Mia Rumba

Aside from being perhaps the most skilled guitarist I have ever seen, Byron Johnston also helps out as sound engineer at Fahrenheit, even offering to fill half-hour gaps if people have dropped out at the last moment. His skill is mesmerising, moving fluidly between pop covers, flamenco and world music, and slide blues as and when appropriate. He recently, for the first time, played the headline at Fahrenheit, along with the astounding vocals of Randolph Matthews (see below). This is the only video I have of an artist actually playing at Fahrenheit, and it’s a truly astounding performance, as always.


Randolph Matthews

An album between Randolph Matthews and Byron Johnston is in the works, purpotedly coming out “soon” (see, never say I don’t bring you exculsives). Their collabaration, which unfortunately there seem to be no videos of, is perhaps my favourite set I’ve seen at Fahrenheit. The day a hard copy of their song “Light The Flame” becomes available will be the day I am truly happy. Here I’ve decided to put an intervie which contains clips of Matthews’ music, because it’s rare for me to find a video where an artist is so welcome to give an insight into their music.


Love.Stop.Repeat – Pillow

Bringing a special aura to Fahrenheit, Love.Stop.Repeat’s magical performances must surely be put down to the amazing Lindsay West, whose vocals could best be described as a soothing combination of Feist and Beth Gibbons.


I have to, finally, give a massive thanks to Andy “Panpipe” Vale, who as far as I’m aware makes the majority of this possible. If you told me there’s a harder working guy with a better taste in music than Andy in Guildford, I wouldn’t believe you, because there isn’t. Check out the website, check out the Facebook Group, and if you’re in Guildford on a Wednesday night and don’t go, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to the consider the possibility that you fail at life.


About Alex Pavitt
I work in the field of emotion. My tools are instinctual feelings and my laptop is the medium between my brain and the outside world. I deconstruct and rebuild. I imagine. I steal other people's lyrics because somtimes, my own words aren't enough. I spend all of my time somewhere inside my head. I worship Douglas Adams, and in the back of my mind I am always painfully aware that I will never be as good as him or, for that matter, anybody else.

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