Monday, 18 April 2016

MUSIC MONDAY: Cal Hillan + Falling In Love With Music Again


Music has always been a passion of mine: I started playing the piano when I was 8 and the guitar when I was 13. By 15, I was writing my own songs and even dabbled with playing the ukulele. I got my first tattoo when I was 18, which as you can see is a treble clef and a bass clef depicted as a heart. Since starting university, unfortunately music has taken a back seat. I've played a couple of open mics, but that's as far as it's gone. Now let me tell you why tonight's gig brought back my love for music again.


Cal Hillan is a singer-songwriter currently studying at Cardiff University. I've been lucky enough to play open mics with him where he's accompanied me on guitar and I also played a charity gig along side him. Tonight at the intimate Gwdihw cafe & bar venue in Cardiff, Cal played his first headline gig.

Supporting him were three other artists: Joe Merriweather, James William and Gareth Howaston. Unfortunately I arrived just as Joe finished his set, but you can check out his single Night Sky here. Have a listen if you're a fan of Luke Sital-Singh or Jack Savoretti. James William, originally from Stuttgart in Germany, was the second act. James' sound takes a more alternative route - think Benjamin Leftwich-type harmonies meet the undertones of José González's Heartbeats. I'd highly recommend having a listen to his song Blue Moon here

James William
The third support act, Gareth Howaston, came down from North Wales for this gig and I'm so glad he did because his voice and his musical talent is on another level. It's clear from just watching him that he's so passionate about what he does and his lyrics are raw and effortless. I'd describe Gareth's sound as a combination of Passenger-like vocals and Damien Rice-esque melodies. If you want to hear more from Gareth, you can check out his Youtube channel here

I've watched Cal play multiple times, but tonight it was clear that this was his moment. I think the thing I love most about Cal's music is I just can't put my finger on who he reminds me of as an artist. His talent is unique and draws you in. At tonight's gig, he had me laughing, and he had me close to tears with a song he wrote for his friend who sadly took his own life - something I can unfortunately relate to. Somehow, Cal is able to take the whole audience on a musical odyssey, from getting everyone shouting the *ahem* colourful lyrics to "Brother", to playing the more delicate "Together" and bringing the room to a halt. You can have a listen to Cal's music here (and download it for FREE!)

Cal Hillan
So why did tonight bring back my love of music? I was able to observe other artist's clear love for music. I observed the effect it had on the audience and the effect it had on me. It can elicit any and every emotion. And in my opinion, that's one of the most powerful things you can do.

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1 comment:

  1. Amazing article ! Was also in the crowd and had a great time! Nice to see someone giving the lime light over to the acts that really need it! Great piece! A pleasure to read!

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