Sweet Baboo at Swn 2011

Finally the queue outside O'Neills subsides somewhat and between H. Hawkline and Sweet Baboo we manage to sneak in to the tiny venue and secure a reasonably good position half way back; it is heaving in the room and hot but there is an expectant buzz too, Sweet Baboo is always a big draw in Cardiff and tonight is certainly going to be no exception.

Sweet Baboo (aka Stephen Black) is an incredibly charming performer, guaranteed to win over even the stoniest; his witty, clever and touching lyrics strike a chord and his banter with the crowd is very funny. He has the whole room laughing between every song, at one point joking that he always says the same thing between every song so if you've seen him before you'll think he's boring but if not you'll think he's hilarious. Tonight, apparently after having fun at Swn for three days, it seems that Steve is losing his voice (apparently wine hasn't done the trick in bringing it back) however it doesn't have an effect on his presence - he still captivates and it makes for a funny intro to 'The Day I Lost My Voice'.

To the side of the stage a backdrop is set up showing funny little looped films and still images and he is silhouetted against it, but this is as flashy as the evening gets, if you're looking for dramatic, flamboyant statements you're in the wrong place, this isn't what Sweet Baboo is all about. This is a humble performance, subtle, low key and intimate and being part of this gig is like being part of a secret club; he has the audience eating out of his hand and the atmosphere in the venue is electric - the end of the set seeming to come way too quickly. Always a favourite locally, this performer deserves to be a house hold name, make sure you catch him if you get the chance.