The Rails

Reviewer's Rating

The auditorium at Canada Water Culture Space adjoins the coffee bar and the library, and you simply walk straight into the building as soon as you walk out of Canada Water Jubilee and Overground station. It provides an intimate and informal venue for concerts as well as plays, and being so accessible, it deserves to be better known. Following the excellent London African Music Festival, which featured a series of six different acts, the next musical event brought the singer-songwriter duo of Kami Thompson and James Walbourne before an appreciative audience.

But there was an unexpected bonus for us. A young singer-songwriter called Zak Hobbs came on as an unbilled supporting act, and treated us to a lovely set of melodic songs, in which he showed himself to be a most accomplished guitarist. After this excellent ‘warm up’, the Rails set up a more driving pace with their two guitars and harmonies. James looks like a ‘bad boy’, with leather jacket and tousled hair, while Kami is calm and feminine – a nice contrast. Their music is described in the blurb as a “folk-rock blend with a stripped back direct sound”, which is pretty accurate. The audience enjoyed them so much that a queue formed afterwards to buy their CDs.

In a pleasing touch, the Rails brought on Zak towards the end, and he joined them in a spirited Japanese spoof, a bit like the old hit Turning Japanese. Altogether, this was a most enjoyable evening for lovers of the folk-rock genre, and I would urge readers to go along to future concerts at the Culture Space. They are inexpensive and easy to get to, so what’s not to like