Thursday, February 11, 2010

Craig Bevan: From YouTube to the O2?

All credit for this post must go to Shane aka Tokenbg on various internet sites. The original idea was to do this as a joint venture. But I struggled to find the words that describe how much I love Mr Bevan's work. Shane has managed to capture this in a way that will probably make you think that this blog will come up with something meaningful in the future. Sorry to disappoint you :P

Thanks Shane. 

To start, a disclaimer: The subject of this post - Craig Bevan, is a man that I have listened to and enjoyed for years, so objectivity may go by the wayside here (for a start I will be referring to him by his first name rather than Mr. Bevan). His podcasting and love for 'Top Gun' nothwithstanding, his primary talent is his skill as a singer-songwriter. On Simply Syndicated's 24 hour podcasting special for Comic Relief, Craig and his 'Movies You Should See' cohort Will Tristram had quite a lot of time to kill, and part of that was filled with songs from both men. This is where I first heard, 'Drifting Along' (Jazzy Chords), more of which later. 

As well as hearing snippets of his songs on the Simply Syndicated network, Craig exhibited his dulcet tones further on his own YouTube channel & MySpace page. There, Craig performed a series of cover versions, varying in genre from Kosheen's 'Catch' to La Roux's 'Bulletproof'. From there Craig auditioned for Live & Unsigned 2010 and has now made the regional finals. In an interview with BBC Radio Leeds, Craig confessed that he went to the audition with no expectations and it may have been this laissez-faire attitude that helped him impress the judges, as they didn't even need to let him finish his song before sending him through to the competition's regional finals. 

Craig's vocals remind me a little of Daniel Merriweather (he covers Merriweather's 'Red' on his YouTube channel) or even a pre 'Future Sex/Love Sounds' era Justin Timberlake. And his guitar playing gives his tunes a tranquil Jack-Johnson like vibe. It's not the kind of thing you'll listen to before a night out, but maybe when you've got home after a night out. I personally think you'd hear Craig's songs in a Wes Anderson or Noah Baumbach film.

As mentioned earlier, Craig's song 'Drifting Along' (Jazzy Chords) sent him through to the regional finals. If successful, he will then progress to the Live & Unsigned Festival at the O2 Arena, where the winner gets a record deal and £30,000 for promotion purposes - it's not the X-Factor but then integrity doesn't tend to equal platinum record sales.

While the regional finals may be as far as Craig goes, and he seems to be quite phlegmatic about the whole affair, I can only hope that he does get his moment in the sun. As well as his undoubted talent, if given the opportunity, I don't see Craig as the type of person that wants to be famous for its own sake. He probably won't thank me for saying this, but he's not a kid in his late teens but a grown man in his mid-twenties, which is why I'm certain that success is a gift that Craig wouldn't waste. I can only hope that March 7th puts him one step closer to proving me right.