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.
The Roundhouse, that London
Well this was fun! A full 42 years since I last darkened their doors, here was I back in the drizzle of Chalk Farm Road, queuing up with more eager elders than a post office on pension day. And hasn’t it polished up well? No sooner inside than a tap on the shoulder, and it was @philpirrip, each of us gagging for a pint. After a brief check of our credentials, concerts seen and records heard, in we went to catch McNally Waters. Strange, I thought, that the support group for a Pink Floyd offshoot, if I can call them that, should contain a Waters, and, of course, it was indeed the son of Rog. Quite the wrong band for this evening, they weren’t bad, playing a very Band like set of songs, ragged harmonies and tinkling piano. Only an incongruous drum solo reminded us we were in dinosaur territory. So much for nepotism, they played perhaps 30 minutes, and, in another setting, outside, mid-afternoon at a festival, I think they would go down as well as a pint in the sunshine. A short break and momentous music, all feedback and 60s » Continue Reading.
Clearly in an effort to detract from the hamper availing my posts confer, here’s a little combo I have just chanced upon, one that might appeal here, thinking of @niallb amongst others. Allman Betts Band, with the sons of Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley. And a decent racket they make too. Devon Allman has a track record with his own band and with the Royal Southern Brotherhood, his earlier amalgam of the Allman/Neville bros family trees, and the boy Betts, confusingly (if understandably) called Duane, has been live guitarist with Dawes in recent years. What price they mysteriously somewhere/sometime appear on a bill with Tedeschi-Trucks Band and make a surprise coalescence?
OK, arguably a shameless bid to drum up ears for my new favourites, Bear’s Den, but don’t you love a bit of maraschino trumpet? And, yes, I mean mariachi, before you correct me, but Mrs Path seems unable to ever recall the right name, always calling it this. I used to be frightened of trumpet, associating it always with the 60s production of pop groups on TOTP, drowning out any sound the supposed band were playing, usually Dave Dee, Beaky, Mick and Tich. And I didn’t like jazz, which to me then meant Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball, especially when they put that way-wah device on the end. I think I slowly got it in the pairing with other brass is soul and R&B, with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra first making a trumpet solo seem bearable. Dick Cuthell, playing alongside Rico Rodrigues on trombone, which, oddly, I have always loved, on all those Specials single made another leap into my credibility consciousness. Next the judicious parping of Chumbawamba and the floodgates were open. But I particularly came to love the pure choral tone of the maraschino style, hoovering up the Calexico catalogue. Hell, I am now a sucker for those » Continue Reading.
Rock City, Nottingham
I remain, I feel, in a minority here, a sole figure occasionally banging on about this band. and now, on the cusp of their 4th full length recording, here was the opportunity to catch them live, so very glad it was taken. Strange, I would think their brand and style catnip to our increasing and increasingly grizzled ranks, they taking the cream of 1980s “big music” and drawing it into a credible new century focus. Originally a trio, now a duo, the band is from London, yet is undoubtedly a celtic band, the sound and the phrasing of the lyrics unmistakably of their forbears. (Bear’s Den. Bearsden. In Glasgow. Geddit?) Chock full of the chiming anthemic stylisations of Big Country, U2, early Waterboys and, yes, even Simple Minds, heavy on the chorus pedal and lots of harmonics, the songs all have a wry yearning feel of a life just escaping ones grasp or hold upon. But, with the addition of a folk application of banjo, as an occasional lead instrument, definitely not bluegrass/country banjo: think the banjo in Del Amitri, and the genius of occasional mariachi trumpet, and the sound is whole. I » Continue Reading.
Or, alternatively, show me you 12 inches. Remixes and remodels is my ask, in anticipation of a road trip next week with the boy (my son). We are driving to Sweden, to where he is going to live. He has asked his old dad to make sure of a decent playlist, and, being a well brought up young fella, has a wide and eclectic cast in musics. Our itinerary is Harwich – Amsterdam – Bremen – Odense – Malmo (via Copenhagen). Then, after a day or 2 in Swedens most southern, I speed home via Munster, Antwerp and Calais for the chunnel. So, please: 1. Post your favourite 2. Any advice about these cities duly taken. To start, here’s mine.
https://youtu.be/KlnhRQ6DsV0Video can’t be loaded: Frankie goes to Hollywood – Power of Love – Rob Searle remix (https://youtu.be/KlnhRQ6DsV0)
O2 Academy 2, B’ham.
I suppose my expectations were never set too high, given Evan Dando’s reputation, and, on that basis, I got my moneys worth. Overall I liked it, despite the chaotic and seeming unrehearsedness of the show, the atrocious sound balance and the often cluelessness as to what he was actually playing. (His? Mine? The band? The soundman? A little, perhaps, of each.) Yet, every so often, and tantalisingly randomly, the clouds parted and a song would emerge in an eye blinking fragile beauty. One such was the opener, Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, the sole contribution from Varshons 2, the release thereof being purportedly the rationale of the tour. Dando’s agreeable tenor has deepened a little, with the country-rock jangle of the band pitched just as you would imagine how Dando would tackle this standard, and I drew a sigh of relief. But this was clearly the lull, as there followed a storm of short and squally songs, some recognisable and some not, mainly emanating from the early Lemonheads songbook, guitars all ramped up to 11, feedback screeching, whether or not invited, both probably. Where discernible, memory kicked in to sweeten the » Continue Reading.