Manchester ‘anti-folk’ band Crywank (James Clayton and Daniel Watson) arrived for an intimate gig at the Edge of the Wedge for their first performance in Portsmouth. The crowd appeared to double in size by the time the headliner took the stage. They witnessed a solo performance from guitarist and vocalist James—reminiscent of the early days of Crywank, which began as a solo project. A relaxed atmosphere, yet a lively and interactive crowd, filled the venue. It was the perfect combination for a night full of folk artists.
First on stage was Portsmouth local Chryssa Brown. She’s a solo acoustic/folk musician who performed a mix of originals and covers including the popular track ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton. Chryssa’s light and dreamy tone created a very soothing and calm atmosphere, almost as if her presence entranced the audience. She received a positive response from the audience, with each song rounded off by a chorus of cheers and applause.
Hampshire folk-rock singer Joe Booley performed next, another artist with a distortion fulled electric guitar. He sang his own original songs—including an emotive three-part composition from his forthcoming album. The young musician is signed to Beth Shalom Records. A performance of sad and emotional songs interlaced with aggressive guitar parts connected with the audience. His powerful songs appeared to be a success amongst the crowd. They even sang along to ‘I Will Try’, a touching final track about his friend who suffered from mental health issues.
The penultimate act of the night, Ollie Goodwin, performed a short set consisting of acoustic originals and covers. He covered songs from pop-punk and metal-core bands such as The Story So Far and Architects. The local singer received a warm reception from the audience, including some of Ollie’s friends who joined him on stage.
Finally, after being a supportive member of the crowd throughout the night, Crywank took to the stage with a warming stage presence, interacting with the crowd instantly. The setlist contained plenty of older songs, much to the delight of a small pocket of fans who sang along to every word. Toward the end of the set, Crywank introduced some newer numbers from their upcoming album. These songs have a political focus in contrast to the personal and emotional themes that the band is known for. Crywank’s set ended with an emotionally-charged performance of ‘I Am Shit’, a fan-favourite requested by the audience.
Rating: 3.5/5 pugs