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Andee Tophat @ Never Ending Fire 23/02/2023

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

The panoply of the SL music world is filled with stars of all shapes, sizes, and abilities (as well as time zones and accents). We have singers who only sing over backing tracks, and we have singers who only play love. Some do both. This blog covers a singer in the "both" category. I was lucky enough to find this artist at the Never Ending Fire (NEF) beach venue. I point out the venue, because this sim hosts 3 venues. The beach one I found by walking down the stairs from the landing point, a "garden party" and a sky box. NEF bills itself as friendly venue for new artists, as well as a welcoming place for established performers. The owners, Andee and Apple TopHat are clearly a dynamic duo, to organize shows, keep the sim running, as well as supporting Andee's shows at other venues. The venue tip jar is the thermometer next to the steps on the left of the stage. Couples dances, including my favorite Frankee and Angie dances, are accessible from the rotating heart just above the right side of the stage. Speaking of Andee Tophat, I mentioned earlier he was in the "both" category, playing an instrument and singing over tracks. After chatting with him backstage before the show, I realized I need another category, "both+". You see, the tracks Andee smoothly performs over, he makes himself! This multi-instrumentalist takes the time, and more importantly, has the talent, to lay down successive tracks, so that when he sang (and played) Sting's "Fields of Gold", it felt like hearing Sting in a small venue with a small band. A very nice touch. Not only can Andee play several instruments, and record them, he can also write songs. The first of his originals tonight originated from his sister's challenge to write something other than love songs (she must have been a John Lennon fan ;) ). "Sea Breeze" was his answer to the challenge. And what an answer it was! Andee took us sailing, in the kind of way that recalled Christopher Cross. The next song was "The Wine We Drink" by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. Followed by his second original, "Love Will Find You", an up tempo song that evokes (good) memories of the 70s (for us boomers anyway). Speaking the McCartney / Lennon feud, Andee's next cover was a solid performance of Paul McCartney's "No More Lonely Nights", again with his original tracks supplying the kind of rich sounds that come from a band. The next original was "I Love You Twice Sunday", a reminder that having short time goals, particularly around spending time with another person is a great way to make it through the week. Not only has Andee been writing songs for a long time, he is keeping current with modern technology. In this next song, he incorporated an AI Generated voice to play operator (or perhaps ground control) as he sang about "Clouds Across The Moon". Did I mention Andee doesn't put himself in a box with respect to genre? "Don't Change Your Mind" is an original reggae song. Hearing this, which standing in the sand in watching the stage with the ocean beyond, I was almost transported to the kind of place where boat drinks replace water. After this Andee sang the Bill Withers' song "A Lovely Day". The last pair of originals Andee shared with us on this perfect evening (yes, I did set to Sunset), were "All my Love", a beautiful piano piece, and the perfect closing song, "A Farewell Kiss" along with sweet gesture that Apple had provided to the crowd. One of the great advantages of having the song writer on stage is that you get to hear a bit about the originals. Andee was generous to share something about each of his pieces, and the insights really helped me connect to the songs and to the people around. All in all, this was a fantastic show, and comfy venue. The talent on stage was amazing, with one of the kindest hosts and hostess I've met. Andee TopHat, a singer/songwriter in the UK. I perform my own unique songs and a few unique covers of popular artists songs too. I've performed live in RL to over 300 people in my own concert with a band I used to play with, performing Own music only (not covers) I have been playing the Piano for over 45 years and have written over 160 songs since 1986





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