12/02/2016 | Howard Rose – Tower of Song, Birmingham

Carrie Humphries

It’s Valentine’s weekend; and while many are heading out for romantic meals in posh restaurants, I am heading to a converted industrial building on the outskirts of Kings Norton with my boyfriend for a fantastic evening of live music. Our venue for the night is the Tower of Song; a compact yet unique music venue well known in the local area for good quality musicianship and a relaxed atmosphere.

The opening act for this evening was a young singer-songwriter from Birmingham called Sean Reeves, who put on a chilled performance showcasing his guitar work and smooth vocals. Although his set was largely made up of covers, Sean was more than capable of creating his own twist on all of the numbers. In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed his wonderful cover of Robyn’s Dancing on My Own which had a beautifully vulnerable air to it.

Next up came a lively performance from a crazy four piece folk band; The Tin Pigeons. If you like your folk music a little bit quirky and bizarre, then they are definitely the band for you; imagine Mumford & Sons meets The Housemartins meets The Proclaimers. Overall, the band played a thoroughly enjoyable and fun set.

The headline slot came from Howard Rose; a singer-songwriter from Leicestershire who some may recognise as a live finalist from The Voice last year. Tonight, the enigmatic man from Melton Mowbray was accompanied by a drummer and bassist to perform an intimate set with a retro vibe and it was absolutely superb. From amazing originals to completely altered arrangements of songs that he covered (such as a brilliantly jazzed up version of Uptown Funk), Howard is certainly refreshing to watch. His mature songwriting seemed to draw upon the golden age of rock music during the 1960s and 1970s as he expressed heartfelt stories throughout the set. From the breakdown of a relationship in The Sailor to the joyful Happy At Last, Howard is certainly an individual who seems to wear his heart on his sleeve when writing and performing.