Live Music in The Theatre hosted by Bedford Live.
Alex Hulme is a young and talented folk and acoustic singer-songwriter from Liverpool. A one-man show and self-confessed loop station addict. His main musical influences are, Nick Drake, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Sufjan Stevens and Ben Howard. Alex is self-funded and currently unsigned, although he has achieved a small but devoted fanbase. His latest EP, ‘The Leaves’, was released in May 2017, however, Alex is currently writing and recording new material to be released later in the year. He recently supported Nikhil D’Souza at The Waiting Room in London in May. Nikhil D’Souza: “Young And Fearless, Time To Be Reckless” The Waiting Room, London 21.05.2018
The legendary Grade II listed pub, The Bedford in Balham, south London is dedicated to discovering and promoting emerging new artists. Situated just a stones throw from Balham Tube and Rail Stations on the corner of Fernlea Road and Bedford Hill. The venue hosts live music with free entry, four nights a week from Monday through to Thursday in a mock- Tudor, circular ‘Shakespearean Globe Theatre’ at the rear of the pub.
The event showcased Alex Hulme, Ana, Flora Lloyd, Simon Baum and Charlotte Enegren. The evening was split into two sets with each artist performing four songs in total. Bedford Live was streamed on the venue’s Facebook page, the link for this event can be seen here: click here for link
Each artist performed two songs in the first set and Alex Hulme was the fourth act. He climbed on stage wearing his trademark mismatched socks, on this occasion, one light grey the other black. Standing centre stage on a wooden board with a vast array of loop pedals, wires and leads strewn before his feet, but in an extremely orderly arrangement. Apparently, performing in his socks gives him greater dexterity and agility with the pedals than his clumsy Dr Martens could ever accomplish. He started with ‘Flow’, an extremely catchy and melodious, sing-along song with a memorable chorus.
“I’ve had time, but I don’t know, just where my life is meant to go
I’ve worked hard nothing to show, so should I just go with the flow?
Ride the waves, drift with the tide, and maybe life will be just fine,
Go with the flow, ‘til it feels right”.
Alex’s strong vocal range was mesmerising and astounding. His prominent but seamless method of adding melodies by complex layering of loops enhanced and amplified his performance. He had such an endearing nature as he gave the audience explanations of his songs. “Bedford, are you up for doing a little bit of singing tonight? I just need you to do a little copy and paste, a little bit of repetition. In case you were wondering, I’m using a loop tonight and everything is live, nothing’s pre-recorded. I get that question asked quite a bit. So, if I mess up you’ll hear me mess up over and over again! This song is called Little Lives”. Immediately his demeanour and vocals appeared more confident as he stamped out the bass with his feet on the wooden board. He created a drumming element by patting out the beat on the body of the guitar as he belted out the lyrics,
“And I will live this time,
I will face my fears and hold back the tides, I believe in life, I will live this time.
I will face the waves with my head held high, And I believe in life, I will live this time”. The acoustics in the venue were perfect as Alex’s pensive lyrics resonated around the circular room. The audience were keen to participate and repeated the lyrics, “I will live this time” bringing the song and Alex’s first set to a close.
After all the artists had performed their first two songs and following a short interval, Alex was first up for the second set. He started with the song ‘Cover Up’. This was a prominent acoustic song with a slower tempo and lesser use of the loop station. Alex’s passion and enthusiasm came across as he sang with such warmth and intensity in his voice.
“You see I’ve had enough of the lies and the cover ups,
my minds made up, I’ve checked out, I’ve logged off,
and when push comes to shove,
you’ll see all that we have around us, all this is ours”.
He announced his last song, ‘Decide’, with a short introduction. “This song is about mental health and not judging people. Remembering that everyone runs at different speeds to everyone else and you should never judge a book by its cover”.
There was a combination of fragility and power as Alex sang the hard-hitting lyrics.
“I found my way out of misery, I will, I will decide
Does my past write my history, or will it rule my life?
Each time you wake up, oh you wake up, you’ll decide if it rules your life”.
Again, he asked the audience to join in with him and they gladly accommodated by chanting the line, “You’re not on your own, it’s all in your head and you’ve got to fight your way out”. Alex stamped heavily on the wooden board he was standing on to emphasis the beat as the song began to increase in tempo. He then stood forward to the front of the stage to join in singing the rhythmic mantra with the audience until the song slowed to a steady close. ‘Decide’ concluded his extremely short but sweet and complex set at The Bedford. He alighted the stage to a huge applause from a happy and contented crowd.
Set List: Flow, Little Lives, Cover Up, Decide
You can catch Alex Hulme playing at the Esk Festival on 7th July, The Lancashire Festival 2018 at Moor Park Preston on 21st July and Garden Open Mike Fest in Northampton on 4th August. Alex is currently writing, recording and producing some new material with the help and support of Mad Management, London. In the meantime, listen to and download The Leaves EP (with two recently added bonus tracks) available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and Soundcloud.
Until the next adventure…