Another show promoted by Cosmic American Music who do a terrific job bringing American roots, Americana and new Country music to the Midlands which is one of the few good reasons to venture outside on a bitterly cold Nottingham night. Tonight at the Running Horse is Native Harrow their most recent album 'Closeness' provided one of the musical highlights of 2020.

Opening is Jason McNiff whose 2003 album 'Nobody's Son' was Americana UK's album of the year. Jason plays a set of beautifully finger-picked tunes about his time in Nottingham as a student (he was kicked off his course), a mid-Winter songwriting retreat in a freezing cold Cadiz hotel and a lovely Townes Van Zandt cover (we were offered a choice of covers between Townes and Dire Straits).

My first concert in 20 months (discounting two socially distanced shows). On 10 March 2020 I saw Frank Turner solo in Middlesbrough. Frank ended up having to cut his tour short. For the first year of the pandemic I thoroughly enjoyed livestreams. Nick Cave solo, Celtic Connections and Lucinda Williams' Jukebox are some highlights that come to mind.

Manic Street Preachers' two nights in support of the NHS (the previous night was free to NHS workers) were originally organised for December 2020, however a serendipitous set of events means that these twice delayed shows are happening in the same week that the Manics' 14th studio album 'The Ultra Vivid Lament' is No.1 in the UK. Tonight's set consists of tracks from the new album, covers and a selection from the 'National Treasures' singles collection.

I’ve felt for a long time that BCNR are the band I’ve been waiting for all my life. But in the days leading up to this gig I must confess I was wondering whether the COVID-induced 17 month absence from seeing them live might have cooled my ardour. I was foolish to have worried. This band continue to burst with fresh inventiveness at every turn. No question of just going through the motions.

Small gig venues take on a forlorn demeanour when their doors are closed and there’s nobody around. Such was the scene at 7.30pm on this Saturday evening outside the Joiners, Southampton. Our gig party had enthusiastically turned up early, ready to take up our ‘table for 4’ at this evening’s socially distanced gig featuring Zoe Mead (aka Wyldest) with Will Blackaby as support.

Positives to come out of the pandemic ? Well not many, but the concept of socially distanced gigs has at least meant a few new venues have popped up on the gig circuit that promoters might not otherwise have considered. And so it is that we find ourselves at the Constitutional Club, Lewes, West Sussex on a Sunday afternoon. An extremely tidy social club with a good-sized performance space leading off from the main bar area.

And now, live from Brighton, it's The Wedding Present appearing on your screens at home. For 75 minutes tonight it's a multi-camera, multi-angle presentation of the 2021 version of the band with David Gedge accompanied by Melanie Howard (bass), Jonathan Stewart (guitars) and Christopher Hardwick (drums); Wedding Present band member numbers 27, 28 and 29 in the complex and fluctuating 36 years of line-up changes.(thanks to a quick count on Scopitones website).

Only by seeing this band live can their relaxed togetherness be fully appreciated so tonight provided an opportunity for this to be shared with a wider audience. The event gave an insight to their live performance on the wide QE Hall stage, performing their recent LP ‘For the first time’ in full. In case we doubted they were playing the album in order, the stream announced each track title in huge white letters across the screen at the beginning of each song, giving a structure to proceedings usually gloriously absent in the melee of a ‘real’ gig.

Before anyone decides to inform the authorities of an illegal, socially non-distant house party in the Barnsley area this show is folk duo Gilmore and Roberts' last Patron gig before Katriona Gilmore's maternity leave starts. The show is being live streamed from their garage which they recently had converted into a performance and rehearsal space.

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