If anyone suggested to you that you put on a gig in a basement bar in central London, 500 yards from Regent's Park, during the hottest day in June, then you would be well within your rights to suggest that they had taken leave of their senses. Though, in fairness, we did have the air conditioning turned onto to American settings, and everyone got a seat.
First up, Mississippi MacDonald opened the show. Following, the Quiet Loner played 30 minutes of sublime americana, singing songs about the southlands, attempted murders, his brush with the strong arm of the surveillance culture (at Smithfield's Market, which must rank right up there with the Pentagon for high security installations) and closing with some Buck Owens.
Next up was the great Phil Lunn, 3 songs solo, then 3 with his superb cello player, Marianne. Fresh from a meltdown in a field in Somerset that would make even a Camden songstress weep, their set was powerful, intense and at times achingly poignant.
Closing the show was Benjamin Shaw, for his fourth time at the Lucky 13 Lounge. Twanging a nylon string axe that had been acquired through tortured negociations at a car boot sale ("go on then, I'll take 20" etc etc), Ben's material was funny, sad, comitragic and touching, but most of all captivating and engaging. Bravo sir!
The Lucky 13 Lounge is back on the 15th July, in the basement bar of the Istanbul Meze, 100 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 6NS. Free entry, and Time Out rave about the food.