Keywest

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Keywest - Deaf Institute, Manchester (UK) - 30 October 2019

Ooh, that's a fancy drum cage sound-dampening set up, most bands making their way don't have that, but then Keywest are seen as going places. Rightly so, because although the place wasn't quite full, the crowd were loving and giving. The band present as unassuming mates you see, all dressed in black and mainman Andrew Kavanagh with pint in hand, feeling their way into this gig, perhaps a little worried about it. But as songs like 'C'est La Vie' breeze past, Kavanagh feeling the music with eyes closed, his bandmates producing their easy-going sound (except sweetly perma-grinning acoustic guitarist Andrew Glover, who can't be heard at all), the warmth starts to spread.

And the stories start. Kavanagh likes to talk and is likeable doing it. He connects directly with the crowd and you can't help liking him for it, the fans here certainly do. And the music is direct too, even when it has a U2 edge, it opens its arms to enfold you and take you for a pint, 'Apple Tree Hill' does this as it grows and although this is all undeniably chart friendly, it's perhaps a holdover from their busking days.

You can't fake sincerity. Keywest have it to spare and wear it easily, they do seem like a group of friends. It was a nippy night, but warm and welcoming in that room.

Steve Swift

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