It wasn’t until I saw him live on stage that I really got Sunjay. I’d enjoyed his records, admired his excellent guitar playing and songwriting but in the flesh he has that rare quality – charisma. He is a natural raconteur and if he ever gets fed up with music he could turn his hand to stand-up. More Than A One Night Stand is a digital only release of live tracks recorded over two shows before the present crisis. I’m sorry that he doesn’t include more of his song introductions but you can feel the energy between performer and audience particularly when things loosen up a bit.
Some of these songs haven’t been recorded before but get a huge reception live and some are old favourites. Sunjay mixes them up with considerable aplomb. He kicks off with Tommy Johnson’s ‘Big Road’ from his most recent studio album followed by ‘Faith Healer’ and ‘Mean & Ugly’ from the same source. So far, so conventional. Chris Smither’s ‘Love You Like A Man’ comes next – Sunjay recorded it back in 2011 – followed by a smoothly powerful version of John Martyn’s ‘May You Never’. Does “smoothly powerful” make sense?
“Nobody Wants To Know You When You’re Down & Out” is another old favourite from Black & Blues and now the fun starts. ‘Origin Of Species’ is Sunjay’s take on the history of mankind, religion and evolution all told in three minutes – I assume it’s his song but I can’t prove it one way or another. Now we come to the title track; yes it’s the old Herman’s Hermits’ hit “Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good’. You should laugh but Sunjay takes it entirely seriously and the audience sings the hook without prompting. You have to laugh along with ‘Bob Dylan?’ though but I won’t spoil the joke for you.
For the last two tracks, Sunjay gets serious again with ‘Ghost Train’ from Devil Came Calling, a song which should enter the club repertoire before too long, and Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love?’ – a performance that rivals Ronnie Hawkins’ and slips in lines from ‘Hey, Bo Diddley’ raising an unexpected laugh. If you’re not into Sunjay yet, do yourself a favour and give More Than A One Night Stand a try.
Artist’s website: https://www.sunjay.tv/home
‘Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good’ – live: