Having watched Night Beds somewhat brief appearance the previous evening on Later…. I  was expecting a more lengthy performance tonight at Soup Kitchen.

A double debut really. Night Beds first Solo UK tour, and my first time at this venue.

From Jools to a damp Manchester cellar, a real baptism of fire for the young band formed in Nashville. Frontman, Winston Yellen is not a native of the country music capital, but the old home of Johnny Cash was apparently where he sat and wrote their debut album.

The venue is virtually empty upon my arrival for the support act Farewell JR. I hop this won’t last, and sure enough as the band tune up and sound-check before their eager audience, the room is full.

Night Beds disappear briefly and re-appear for the opening strains of ‘Faithful Heights’.  A wonderfully airy vocal only track from their debut album Country Sleep, which really grabs the attention of the already silent crowd. And without a pause they are straight into debut single ‘Ramona’ and new offering ’22’.

At this point I lose track of their setlist and am engrossed by the vocal, soft percussion and slide guitar, their only nod back to their hometown roots.

It is a very laid back affair with all the band members sat down apart from Yellen, but then again it would have to be, as there isn’t room to swing a cat on this stage.

During one track we nearly lost the keyboard/slide player as his stool slips off the stage. Luckily Yellen Senior is there to catch him. Nice one dad!

The band are very appreciative of their audience tonight, having in the past only being used to “women wearing fanny packs and blokes in Slayer T-shirts ignoring them.”

“Wow , you guys really listen to us, that’s awesome”

Why else would you go to a gig??

So the band play out their short set, and singer songwriter  Yellen,  is relishing his captive audience, stepping off the stage briefly to pat one of his congregation on the shoulder. The band disappear again and then Yellen appears one final time for what he tells us is a very unusual event, an encore.

“we don’t normally get asked to do encores, thank you”, to which one of our friendly brethren gushes forth telling him what an amazing voice he has, and how this whole audience love it. He’s not wrong.

So after his solo encore, which reminds me of Jeff Buckley at Bearsville, Yellen is off, no doubt destined for much bigger and better venues in the future. And a summer of soggy British festivals.

Catch them at a small venue while you can, you wont be disappointed.