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PUBLISHED: 19:01 31 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 24 August 2010

American introspection: William Fitzsimmons

American introspection: William Fitzsimmons

by Leah Blakelock The first English gig by introspective American singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons was a mixed experience Bush Hall in Uxbridge Road, Shepherd s Bush, was an ideal intimate venue but this and the support of an appreci

Goodnight: Fitzsimmons album out now

by Leah Blakelock

The first English gig by introspective American singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons was a mixed experience

Bush Hall in Uxbridge Road, Shepherd's Bush, was an ideal intimate venue but this and the support of an appreciative audience, were not quite enough to disguise certain shortcomings in his still enjoyable performance.

Fitzsimmons, pictured, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, bore an uncanny resemblance in appearance and musical style to other American folkies, like Fleet Foxes.

He lacked his own distinctive personality and seemed to have an over-rehearsed stage manner.

His guitar playing was the best thing about the gig, stronger than the actual songs or his singing.

He showed great command of his instrument, alternating strumming and intricate finger picking.

The songs themselves were chiefly concerned with heartache and death, and were variable in quality.

Fitzsimmons has a sweet, pleasant voice, but it is unlikely to ignite your flame. He never really seems to get going. His relaxed style of singing made it difficult to hear most of the words, which limited the engagement with him and his songs.

He is a humorous guy and he had a good rapport with the audience, but his jokes about depression and looking like a terrorist were rather repetitive. Self-mockery can be endearing but only when it's kept to a minimum.

Fitzsimmons has promise as a performer. If he tried a little less hard to ingratiate himself with the audience through humour, this might help his material to come across as more sincere and we would take him more seriously.

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