I know there are fans of the Penistone Piaf here, and I discover she has been gainfully occupied during lockdown, making the now time honoured folkie covers ye olde charts album. Dusty in here, innit….
Well, yesterdays big announcement from the “it is the governments prerogative to make a political decision”(SAGE) government, will there/won’t there be any tents fluttering and flags flying before next year? I have tickets for Wickham, bought aeons ago, and, so far, it seems almost the only one not to have already postponed. It runs over the first w/e in August. Does a marquee count as outdoors or will they just put the stages outside without? All seating (bring your own)? Masks? It’s a largely folk and heritage act line-up so little overt need for a mosh-pit. Announcement comes on 1/7/20. Bet the artists are gagging for it, I am, if the wife lets me.
Part of my lockdown joy has been immersing myself in the joy of Bandcamp. For those unfamiliar, this is a site for individuals to upload their music (and more), like a virtual marketplace, for direct contact with their audience, selling their wares without having to have a manager, label, contract and the rest of it. But this is a whole lot more than bedroom gurners with dodgy files, many an AW favourite artist can be found peddling their wares, with material often unavailable elsewhere, or only available 2nd hand at crazy prices. (And not a few AW members are also putting music out there as well.) On the first friday of these past few months and, hopefully for a few more, whilst C-19 scourges our world, the fees are waived to stall holders, meaning greater amount goes direct to the artist, should even they charge anything. (To be fair, all prices are negotiable beyond the minimum suggestion; it seems decent to chuck a few shekels in the hats of those who who ask for nothing) Preamble over, I discovered the Grief Brothers a week or so ago. Confusingly, there are two such bands, there being an american using the same » Continue Reading.
Fans of this estimable duo, the Mr and Mrs of country duets, Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, will be eager to catch this second instalment of Country Darkness. This, now clearly an ongoing project, features covers of some of Elvis Costello’s more country oeuvre, and again features the guest fingers of Steve Nieve. Having heard the other 3 songs I can confirm it is better even than Volume 1. And I was quite keen on that.
It gets released on Friday next, 5/6/20.
Surprised this fella yet to have a mention since his death at the w/e of “untreated illness”(!?). Maybe not as influential a figure as some of his african cohorts, this song alone will have me celebrating its writer and bemoaning his demise.
Just a thought….. Anyone in that there London up for a pint or two over lunchtime on saturday 22/5/20? Having an intense w/e of gigs and, given the seasonal close-down of Daytime Music, I’m up for a natter over a jar, a mini mingle even. (Tindersticks, Camille O’Sullivan and Massive Attack/Nils Frahm since you ask.)
St Paul’s Church, Birmingham
Jurado is one of what I think of as the good guys, one of that welter of earnest and efficient acoustic troubadours, beavering away in their cottage industries, issuing disc after disc, possibly omni-touring to make a buck, never filling stadiums but capable of drawing a couple of hundred souls out on a wet and windy, into a cold and crumbling church in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. I know little of his back story, my presence largely on account of 2006’s ‘And Now I’m In Your Shadow’, a bleak showcase of his sad songs; a quiet earthquake of dashed emotions. Since then he has dabbled, I gather, with other formats, a bit of psychedelia, some found sound, bands and electricity. But I read that latest album, The Shape of a Storm, was just him, his voice and an acoustic, and I was in. Support was a young Canadian, Dana Gavanski, strumming on a muted electric to the keyboard and bass of her accompanist, together, with occasional drum machine, channeling Mazzy Star, with keen, pure Sandovalesque vocals and spare melodies, the spaces as important as the sounds. Lovely stuff, the acoustics of the building » Continue Reading.
Christ on a bike, just caught this debacle. I no longer watch the Brits, feeling out of the demographic, but gawd help us, this is embarrassing…….. Like a drunk uncle at a disco. I can imagine all the people watching, thinking that’s what us old guys like: “quick, catch a cop of this, dad’s (grandads?) music” The shame, the shame…
We like Frazey here, don’t we, and it’s been a while. Thankfully ‘U kin B the Sun’, her belated follow-up to 2015’s ‘Indian Ocean’ is out now, if a UK release date now put back from 24/3 to 21/4/20. Boo, but it sounds good on spotty
I gather Jarvis has been persuaded to put up a new version of this song, all proceeds to Shelter, in a bid for the seasonal number 1. Let’s give this an Afterward number on with a bullet! (Me, I prefer the original version…..)
Arriving to me too late for my AW Top 20 album choices, nonetheless I felt some may appreciate the track that led to my purchase of the album. (‘Uptown Fank’, pop-pickers!) Perfect for those moments when the Sawdoctors are just too downright smooth and sophisticated. And, given my mother came from the island, as did Trump’s, as, actually, so did @IainS , this is, indeed, how they do it in the Western Isles….
Well, I like covers, even drippy slow ones. Might be of interest to some. (Declaration of interest: join Patreon and I will be paid perhaps £12 a month rather than the current £11)
Year: 2019 Director: Martin Scorsese
Am I the first to have found the necessary 3 plus hours to devour this prime piece of gorgonzola? Scorsese rounding up his dream team of de Niro, Pacino and Pesci, along with Harvey Keitel and numerous other ‘was that so and so’ cameos. Of course, as much the hype has been the cost of the computer electrickery to de-age the cast into an approximation of how they may have looked in their prime, which requires remembering the prime of mobsters tends to be a burly high waisted trouser middle age. Tackling that first, I thought it OK, the images sometimes akin to the fake colouring of a B&W film. It didn’t bother me but Mrs Path found their eyebrows annoying. In truth, and it is no dealbreaker to say the film follows de Niro, ‘the’ Irishman, from these high waists to bathchair aged reflection, the make-up to age him was less successful. The clamour and clatter of the press suggests this is a work of genius. Well, that depends. If you like this sort of thing, sure, it is a fabulous ride and seldom falters. If these guys and gangsters are your bag, you’ll » Continue Reading.
Someone mentioned AOR over on another thread, and it set me thinking. Adult oriented rock, eh? Polite 70s rock music designed not to frighten the horses. And it’s practitioners? If adult then, given many still stagger on, surely it needs a revamp? So, (quiet) drum roll, all hail EOR, elderly oriented rock. (Yes, that means us, or many of us!) So post us up yer besties. (I feel somehow that @niallb may have an investment here………)
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
Having repeatedly told myself that the last time was the last, usually following some phoned in and lacklustre concert, here I was back in front of the Oysterband eating my words. OK, this was with the added wonder of June Tabor, whom, apart from a Big Session Tour aeons ago, and amongst many other guests, I had never caught in the full majesty of a joint concert. And this was fully majesterial. Her presence seems to have kicked a renewed sense of purpose into the band, their playing up a several few notches from the increasingly limpid back-patting of recent gigs, drenched in semi-acoustic easy listening. (OK, that’s harsh, but, possibly having seen the band more than any other, RT perhaps apart, I know the difference between them on fire and them on a low simmer.) Hell, Alan Prosser even played some guitar solos, something I have never knowingly witnessed in near 40 years, as well as plugging in on choppy electric more often than has been the case for a while. And when Prosser was on his acoustic, adding his hypnotic metronome, head ever a’bobbing, the chances were that Al Scott, » Continue Reading.
O2 Academy ‘2’, B’ham
Lamb have always somehow passed me by, they being more my wife’s bag, and this is the 2nd time we have had tickets to see them. Unfortunately circumstances prevented the first and a rocking dose of sinusitis for her meant I was flying solo tonight. (I sent her a clip and her opinion follows……) My hatred of the O2 Academy is on record, or at least of the main hall. I have, however, come to quite like the smaller ‘2’ and the even tinier ‘3’, tucked elsewhere in the same building. I had somehow thought Lamb a bigger draw, slightly surprised the attendance to be quite sparse, perhaps a hundred and fifty souls. Suits me, mind, no lover of crowds. Expecting the core duo of the records, Andy Barlow (keyboards/programming) and Lou Rhodes (vocals) to be all there were, I noted the drum kit, basses, upright and electric both, guitars and fiddles at the back of the empty stage, alongside the rack of keys, modulators and ubiquitous MacBook. Promised an 8.30 start, it was only moments later the lights dimmed, and 3 burly fellas bounded out, followed by a smaller female, keeping » Continue Reading.
Lichield Garrick Theatre
Quietly re-forming in 2011, it may come as a surprise this venerable warhorse of a band is still in existence. Arising out of the mighty ‘Rise Up Like the Sun’ incarnation of the Albion Band, notable mainly for having a full brass section, their peak period was near 40 years ago, a full on fusion between a pit band, folk rock and broadsheet ballads, often penned by then front man, John Tams. Tams retired in 2015 and was replaced by John Kirkpatrick, a masterful choice, given many of the band had been in his own eponymous group at one time. This year they decided to do a series of gigs entitled the Grand Reunion, with Tams back in the fold. This was the second of such, prompted by Tams being patron of Lichfield Festival of Folk, and served as the opening concert of a series of events in the city. Bang on 7.30(!!), down came the lights and the band strolled on. Now decidedly mature in years, they looked more a collection of elderly teachers on a night out, even down to the once trendy teacher defiantly maintaining his 1970s haircut, this being Graeme » Continue Reading.
Forgive the slightly shaky start, let her build up a full head of steam. Glorious.
Cherry Hinton Park, Cambs
I think this was the nicest festival I have been to, including my first visit here, 5 years ago. A belated report, the time needed to collect my thoughts eaten by too abrupt a return to work, and I know ‘nice’ verges now on a code for twee, but, skip that thought, nice it was. Civilised, good music, good food ‘n’ fluids, good company. Good weather, even, missing the downpours besetting the midlands on the day of arrival. Tent duly up, off I plodded to explore, swiftly finding @jorrox and losing my programme, in that order. My thursday order was kicked off well by the Rails, a lively electric set by Kami Thompson and James Walbourne, in demand guitarist for the Pretenders and Edwyn Collins amongst others, and their band. I had time for a bit of Sam Sweeney and his WW1 fiddle, aided by a number of familiar folkie friends, like Jack Rutter. But my dance card was already marked for Rura, the scottish band of the moment: bagpipes, fiddle, guitar and bodhran, the latter doubling on flute, with the piper equally adept on atmospheric keyboard. I like » Continue Reading.
Eldest, I believe, of the Neville Brothers.
Festival, that is. Anyone going? Great AW heavy line up this year, from RT to Lucinda, via Graham Nash, Calexico and the Blind Boys of Alabama. Even some folk music from time to time. I know @steveT is going. I also have it on good authority that @thecheshirecat isn’t, as there is a clash in his programme. Any @jorrox this year? Any of the fenland massive? Mini mingle? I am sure Steve and I will be clashing pewter tankards and putting fingers in ears (our own), as we plan which discs not to lend and share.
Interesting old/usual discussion over on our “sister site’, I know seen by many of those who keep an eye on both camps. Starting off with a request/roll call for the AW names of the FB posters, as a reminder, so in too has snuck the reasons why those who left here, never to return, had done so, raising the boring and the divisive as reasons. Sure, that’s fine, but having 2 “rival” versions, one there, one here, isn’t that divisive? And by spreading the content, doesn’t that dilute also the worth of either? Somehow seems daft. I understand/understood the point of a presence on FB in the great drupal fiasco of whenever, and it can still be handy for alerting other outages. Just saying, as I said over there……….
Yup, when a name goes up like this it can mean but one thing, and it does. Mac Rebbenack has left the building, at 77. I was privileged to see him twice, once in NY (and in my 3 top gigs just the other day’s post), then again at Warwick Arts a couple of years back. Not so keen on his scary gris-gris entry to fame as his later guardian of N’Awlins traditions, but a fabulous performer and I have some wonderful recordings to remember him by.
Hammersmith Odeon, that London
Wow. I mean Wow!. Sod that, I mean WOW!!!! I am still reeling. Shows like this a few and far between, this feeling more akin to a religious experience, entering as an interested acolyte, leaving positively evangelical. As a latecomer to DCD, via, first, the solo records of singer extraordinaire, Lisa Gerrard, and, secondly, the records of Brendan Perry, no slouch himself in the vocal department. And I have picked up some of their later stuff, including last years terrific ‘Dionysus’, where they provide the missing link between Banco de Gaia and his source material, organica/dance, if you will. But this tour was not, apparently and emphatically, to showcase that but to air the lesser known alleys of their 28 year, on and off, existence. The UK got but 2 dates in this ‘Life and Works, 1980 – 2019’ world tour, both at Hammy Odeon, last night and again tonight. Both sold out. A fairly blank stage forms the set up, with several keyboards and many percussion kits, including an orthodox ensemble, midline at the back. At the front the stage seemed split, stage left, between the hammered dulcimer of Gerrard, and » Continue Reading.