- Live Reviews
This show was part of the The Music Network tour featuring, Julie Fowlis, Kris Drever, Pádraig Rynne, Aoife Ní Bhriain. Music Network is an organisation that organises nationwide tours of Ireland with musicians that they invite over especially (trad, folk, world and classical). Often they bring groups of musicians together specifically to get them to collaborate. In their programme they liken it to matchmaking.
I wonder whether it is skillful choices or luck as to whether these unique partnerships work out. I have been to quite a few Music Network concerts over the years and the groupings are nearly always good, sometimes great, but it can also happen that individually brilliant musicians actually are not that suited to sharing the stage.
This criticism could not at all be fired at tonight's line up, which combined the talents of Scots Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, singer/songwriter Kris Drever from Orkney, young concertina player extraordinaire Pádraig Rynne and Dublin violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain.
The quartet met initially in Inverness to get to know each other and develop a repertoire for this nine date tour. My options were either going to the second show, in the Sugar Club, a lovely venue a stone's throw from where I live, or to go to the last show at the Pavilion, a sympathetic theatre with nonetheless terribly cramped seating out in Dún Laoghaire. I went for the latter, since trad collaborations do get better with time.
Julie Fowlis was my main reason for going and once the musicians took the stage I recognised Pádraig Rynne from Triad (with Dónal Lunny and Sylvain Barou). Kris Drever I have seen him many times as he tends to guest with musicians I like. Aoife Ní Bhriain was the surprise of the night. She plays both traditional and classical violin and as per the programme she has played with many renowned orchestras and won numerous competitions.
Aoife's solo slot got the biggest cheer of the night. She talked about a project she has been involved in featuring songs collected by a Canon Goodman from Dingle. This man compiled a manuscript collection of traditional tunes that is now kept at Trinity College. These are often very well-known songs, that have been preserved in earlier, often slightly different versions. They played a variant of 'The dawning of the day'.
Both Kris Drever and Pádraig Rynne are musicians known to work with loops and other trickery, but for this show these gadgets were left out. Pádraig impressed with his virtuoso concertina playing, including some tunes he composed himself, with his skillful accompaniments and also his sense of humour. I liked Kris' guitar playing. 'Capernaum' (“Edinburgh, Edinburgh”) was his standout song. Julie Fowlis sang backing vocals to some of Kris' songs. It is curious to hear Julie sing in English, given that I have many CDs with her singing exclusively in Gaelic.
Julie's songs were fabulous. She has a beautiful, crystal clear voice and nice stories to go with her songs. She played tin whistle and the shruti box; a smaller, more portable type of harmonium, which she travels with so as to have more space for shoes in her suitcase, she said! Though its drone is similar to that of the pipes, it is actually an Indian instrument. Highlights of Julie's performances were a two part song about seals and the encore, which was some of the traditional mouth music that she is most famous for.
All in all a fantastic night of music. There were signs saying that the performance would be recorded. I wonder whether this is just for the Pavilion's archives or with a view of making this available to the public?
- Live Reviews
The annual Bristol Xmas gig notwithstanding, this is the first live dates, and tour from the Aeroplanes for what seems like forever, and thankfully they made a pit stop up North in Sheffield.
Sheffield is not unknown to Gerard Langley, as he and Wojtek went and met at Uni here a few decades earlier, and the decent turnout in the back room of the Leadmill were anticipating a night of classic tunes, and tracks from recently released new album Welcome, Stranger!
The night began with the customary spine tingling intro of aeroplanes passing overhead, before the band kicked things off with new track Dead Tree, Dead Tree! A surefire future live favourite and almost immediately the audience is swaying along.
It’s at this point that I realise that I’m here watching the Aeroplanes on a tour....at last, a tour, and they are playing as tight and rehearsed than I’ve seen for years and years, and what a joy that is. Wojtek is doing his thing, both on and off the stage, and he’s getting a lot of attention from the first timers in the crowd, who are mainly here with the your girl who opened the night.
The set is a mix of old favourites, with some surprises such as Missy Lane, which I’m not sure I’ve heard live before, and the wonderful And Stones, sounding as vibrant as it ever has, but the main message of the evening is that this is the Aeroplanes mk plenty, and this mix of young and not so young, talented musicians are elevating the band to new heights.
It’s clear the band are really enjoying themselves and after new album favourite Here Is The Heart of All Wind Things, it’s time for the main set to come to a close, and we all know what’s to come from the encores...
Mixed in with old live favourite Fun, and new gorgeous album closer Poetland, are 2 covers. Dylan’s I Wanna Be Your Lover, and the epic, iconic Tom Verlaine cover Breakin’ In My Heart. Like Jacket Hangs, an (almost) ever present in the set. The band are going nuts on stage - Mike and Bec are playing guitars on 2 platforms stage left and right, Wojtek is on and off the stage like a whirling dervish, while the rest of the band are shuffling restlessly around each other back on stage. The track, and the night ends with the last chord being played by Mike as he launches himself off the bass drum.
Exhilarating, exciting, refreshing, and almost tear inducing to this long time fan. The Aeroplanes are back, back, back, bigger bolder and brighter than ever, with some killer tunes that sit alongside their back catalogue as if they were recorded 20 years ago. With the promise of another album and tour later in 2017, this is going to be some year to be an Aeroplanes fan.
- Live Reviews
A night of quality hard rock was on the agenda at Manchester Academy 2 with the legendary Glenn Hughes touring in support of last years well received, and really rather fabulous album Resonate. His first solo album in 8 years.
The support band, maybe chosen because they were fellow midlanders, were the Walsall based Stone Broken. Yes, they’ve got the riffs, the looks and they can play, but most importantly they’ve got the tunes. This is a young new band, who clearly have a great rapport with their audience and genuinely happy to be doing what they do. Check out debut album All In Time.
So onto the main event, and on strode the mid 60’s but looking about 40, Glenn Hughes. Every inch the rock star - shades, shaggy hair and pearly white teeth, bowed to his adoring fans and launched into Flow from latest album Resonate. The temperature and adrenaline was turned up a notch, especially when running straight into Muscle & Blood from his collaborative album with Pat Thrall, and the battered old bass he had round his neck was put through it’s paces.
As this was my first live Glenn Hughes gig, firstly I wasn’t sure what to expect from the setlist, and secondly from the man himself in terms of his relationship with the fans. Was this going to be a trip down memory lane in homage to his stints in Trapeze and Purple, or would it be a more forward looking contemporary set ? The answer I’m pleased to say was a happy mix of both. And as for his chat and messages to the fans, I’m not sure I’ve witnessed a more warm, human and downright “normal” approach to band/audience interaction. The main message of the night (even from Stone Broken too) was that we should all celebrate life and love, and we only get one chance at this game, so make the most of it. It was genuinely heartwarming when Hughes explained he had written most of Resonate while recouperating from a double knee transplant, and that tomorrow he was back to his mothers hospital bed as she’s rather unwell. There was a genuine feeling of we’re all in this together, and there was no barrier between band and audience....Hughes exclaiming at one point that he had come tonight to see us...
Deep Purple song Getting Tighter was when the fabulous Mellotron was put through its paces for the first time by Jay Boe, and tributes were paid to lost masters of the machine Jon Lord and Keith Emerson. God bless you both.
The only Trapeze song of the night was the swirling, brooding Medusa, a song I admit to not knowing, however clearly a precursor to what was to come with Purple.
Much to my delight was the Black Country Communion song One Last Soul, and even better news was that BCC4 is on the horizon and due for an Autumn release. Black County from the same band closed the main set, and this black country reviewer was wondering why I hadn’t seen Mr Hughes live before.
Deep Purple favourite Burn closed the night, which obviously bought the house down and also showcased that despite the inevitable passing of years, Hughes’ voice is as incredible as ever....how the hell does he hit those high notes ?
What a great night...what an entertaining night. This was surely a lesson to any aspiring new rock bands of how to behave on stage, keeping the audience engaged throughout, and showing some personality coming through. Obviously it helps to have an amazing back catalogue to draw on, and magnificent musicians backing you, but this was a masterclass in stage craft.
- Live Reviews
A cult band and an iconic venue that’s soon to close...how could any music fan resist?
So we travelled deep into the beating heart of Harlow and into in the car park of this humble, welcoming venue as we reflected on it’s loss to the local music community, so that developers can build 69 new flats. Its maybe not the most beautiful place, but what a history, all the bands who played here, all the careers spawned and new dreams created. Bar staff and security are friendly, the sound is great, sightlines are good and there is space to watch standing or, sit as you wish.
Seems appropriate that the Blue Aeroplanes are almost the last act to play here (that honour goes to Eddie and the Hot Rods and venerable locals the Newtown Neurotics). Like the Square itself, they seem the product of another, happier time (this was Trump inauguration day). Their original blend of art rock, pop, poetry and performance influenced bands like Radiohead. They are having a resurgence, with excellent new album Welcome, Stranger (reviewed elsewhere on this site by Keith) getting rave reviews, and a big tour winning them new fans.
Their set started with a fanfare, then straight into standout track from the new LP, Dead Tree! Dead Tree! There are three original members, Gerard the poet/singer, John the drummer, and Wojtek, who doesnt play anything but does energetic dances to every song. It is fair to say these 3 are not as young they used to be, but somehow this makes them more distinguished and measured in their performance, especially Gerard, and even Wojtek...on the 2 past occasions I saw them I found his dances irritating, but now I am totally impressed by his energy.
The other 4 band members all play guitars, and 3 of them sing a song each. ..they seem like good friends having a great time, rocking out at the end of even the most poetic numbers. It is certainly Gerard who holds it all together, with his stage presence and understated vocals. Twice he makes the point that this is not "an exercise in nostalgia", and many of the best songs are from the new album...'Nothing will ever happen in the Future', 'Elvis Festival' and 'Here is the Heart of All Wild Things' were my favourites, standing up to the classics they played like 'Jacket Hangs'.
I found it quite endearing that he carried a big book of lyrics lest he forgot any, and was most impressed by his ‘shades roadie’ who swapped his glasses around for him after a few numbers. They ended the first of two encores with the dedicated to Nobel prize winner Mr Dylan, followed by Poetland, which closes the new album, about where Bob might now live.
A special mention for support Blazing Zoos. A self styled country(not Americana) band from London, they had a great stage presence, with many songs linked to the sports of his native Australia by main man Andrew, and one about a terrible festival they once played. He had a great interaction with the crowd, and much banter with bassist Lara, whose fans included her 7 month old son in the crowd. After their slot Lara kindly introduced me to their charming drummer Gen...who turns out to be from Jesus Jones! He gave me not just an autograph for a friend who is a big fan, but added his own blood from a minor drumming wound to his knuckles. I bet that is worth something on ebay!
- Live Reviews
Mental note for the future: Remember that folk fans arrive early.
It was the opportunity to see Seth Lakeman tour 'Ballads of the Broken Few' that had me in Norwich, a city I had not visited before. I spent the day taking in the sights and thought I was still in good time, arriving at Norwich Open half an hour before doors open. To my surprise there was already an enormous queue, stretching around a corner and way down the road alongside the venue. Seth Lakeman is a popular performer. Perhaps it was also to do with the free seating. Going solo to gigs has its advantages though and I still found a free seat in the third row.
Seth Lakeman's most recent album is a collaboration with Wildwood Kin, a folk trio from Exeter. That album is a great artistic success in my view. This tour continues the collaboration, with Wildwood Kin also playing a support set.
Wildwood Kin are a trio, however one of the girls was out sick, so sisters, Beth and Emillie Key performed as a duo. It was nice, but I reckon the absence of Meghann Loney was felt. The vocals sounded thin at times, and the sisters were a bit shy and giggly, admitting that Meghann normally does the talking. On the plus side, their songs are strong and I particularly liked the parts where Emillie took up the electric guitar. They finished with a new song, which was especially good and no doubt will sound even better with the band complete.
I have seen Seth Lakeman perform in different set ups over the years (thought he was great solo actually), and his current band is his best yet. The band are Full English collaborator Ben Nicholls on standing bass and concertina, multi instrumentalist Jack Rutter, and super enthusiastic Irish drummer/bodhrán player Cormac Byrne, who played the cajón a lot and hit cymbals with his bare hands! The Wildwood Kin girls joined for the songs off the last album and also provided backing vocals on some of the older work.
It was a very balanced set, encompassing all parts of Seth's solo career. He went right back to 'Freedom fields' for 'Take no Rogues' and included one of his Full English contributions, 'Stand by your Guns'. The Norwich Open is in a former bank building and Seth commented that it felt strange playing 'Poor Man's Heaven' there. 'Portrait of my wife', played acoustically, was a standout moment.
For the 'Ballads of the broken few' songs the band left the stage, and these were performed by Seth and the girls, mostly standing around one microphone. For these songs in particular the theatre setting with the respectfully quiet audience worked well. In my review of the album a while back I already wrote that Seth is to be applauded for continuing to find new ways to present his folk songs. It is a genre in which some musicians could be accused of releasing more of the same with each new album. Seth's hook-up with Wildwood Kin was a very good move.
While the whole show was worthwhile, it was really the last quarter of it that brought things to a higher level. Bruce Springsteen has talked about the "home stretch", when everyone is up on their feet, the biggest hits come out and you clap until your hands are sore. Whilst I would not compare Seth to Bruce, the last six or so songs of his set had that vibe. I suddenly wished I was wearing Wellingtons and standing in a muddy field. 'Lady of the Sea' and 'Kitty Jay' are two extraordinary songs that never fail to make an impact. For 'Lady...' a kind of green glitterball was switched on, creating a rather magical atmosphere. 'Kitty Jay' is a monster of a song. You have to experience it live to know what I am talking about. I get goosebumps every time.
Seth used the word hoedown to describe one of the songs he played on the home stretch. It was also in these songs that Seth the fiddler really got a chance to shine. The audience got up on their feet, which was a relief after being confined to upper-body-chair-dancing. When the show finished my neighbour said, "Beats staying at home watching the telly, innit?" Absolutely.
All in all a fabulous show. Am equally looking forward however to the opportunity to experience this in a field in the summer. Festival bookers, take note!
- Live Reviews
Tonight is the final night of a pre-album release tour for Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band. Now, as much as I hate to use the word 'supergroup' a quick check on the musical bios of the twelve (yes 12) piece band tells you there's some pretty hefty musical talent on stage. Squeezing such a large band on the Glee Club's stage was always going to be a tight fit and means that support duo Marry Waterson and David A Jaycock have to tiptoe between the various instruments and cables to arrive at their designated positions on stage .
Marry is part of the Waterson-Carthy folk clan (a cousin of Eliza) and is accompanied by David A Jaycock on acoustic guitar. Their set tonight is a mix of the traditional such as 'Some Old Salty' and songs they wrote over the internet ,having previously not met, for their album 'Two Wolves'. The title track calls for an audience “howl along” during the chorus. Marry has a strong, Northern folk voice which is beautifully and sensitively accompanied by David's' acoustic guitar playing, the use of a megaphone and a variety of guitar effect pedals adds flavour and separates them from other folk duos.
A quick head count of The Wayward Band reveals 4 string players, 2 brass (special mention must go to the trombone player who appears to be playing with a broken right hand), 2 percussionists, melodeon , accordion + keyboards, guitar and bass, five of the band also contribute vocals so it shouldn't be a surprise that it's loud but the wall of noise that hits when the full band start the opening track 'Devil in the Woman' still makes you jump.
There are many tracks from Eliza's back catalogue such as 'Great Grey Back', 'Gallant Hussar', 'Stingo' from 1998 'Red Rice' album and ' Good Morning, Mr Walker' from her days with The Kings of Calicutt, all of which are given a tremendous reinvention by infectious, joyful energy of the big band she has assembled here.
'You Know Me' has been written to highlight the positive points about immigration in response to the stance taken by the majority of the mainstream media and features a rap section by MC Dizraeli , who clearly didn't get the dress code memo on white tops as he's wearing a rather fetching blue Hawaiian number. The single 'Fade &Fall (Love Not)' is an epic James Bond theme thing with big, brassy blasts punching holes in it.
Encore 'Willow Tree' is given a New Orleans jazz style makeover and the final track 'Cobbler's Hornpipe' turns into a huge wall of sound with various band members leaping up and down on stage and audience members dancing wherever they can find a space on the floor.
There's something joyous about watching a large band having a blast playing live on stage, and it's the big full band instrumentals which gets the whole place bouncing, musicians on stage jumping and the audience dancing. The joy from the stage is being reflected back from the audience who are all having a great time.
The album 'Big Machine' is due for release at Celtic Connections in February 2017 (there are various options and packages available on Pledge Music now), and a tour post album release was hinted by Eliza at the end of tonight's show.
If you want a fun evening out with a tremendous band I would urge you to add one of these promised shows to your gigs to see in 2017 list.
Alisdair Whyte (from his hospital bed!)
- Live Reviews
A week may be a long time in politics, but a year seems like a lifetime as a music fan, especially during the bonkers year that 2016 has been. This time last year, us 40 somethings were excitedly anticipating the promised new music and live dates that the recently “reformed” Lush were promising, and here we are now facing into Lush’s last ever gig.
After tragedy split the band first time around, this time it appears that the leaving of original bass player Phil King has something to do with the decision, although he is not named in the bland statement on the band’s website, instead citing the need to return to their families. I suppose we all move on, and with just the 2 girls remaining from the original 4 piece, it was no longer Lush up there on stage.
The biggest disappointment ironically, is the fact that they still sound fantastic ; like 25 years have never happened. Miki’s voice is as haunting as ever, Emma is as stoic as she ever was, and the swirling etherial sound they make feels as relevant today as it did in the 90s.
I’m guessing there wasn’t anyone present tonight who didn’t already know and love the band, and despite the disappointing turn out, the crowd were determined to have a good time and dozens of camera phones were at the ready to record a slice of history.
Undertow and De-Luxe kicked us off and we were already in familiar territory. Never a particularly demonstrative band, the between song chat was sparse yet warm and on occasion funny - Miki informs her daughter was at Brixton Academy watching Savages....”that’s f...... loyalty for you”
The gorgeous Out of Control from this year’s Blind Spot EP was surrounded with familiar favourites Thoughtforms, Etheriel, Undertow, Scarlet, and still one of my favourites songs of all time Sweetness & Light which closed the main set. Slightly moist eyed at the end of that one.
Unusually nowadays, 2 encore slots closed the night, with the sublime Monochrome completing the night. And that was that. The band exited stage left without much ceremony, seemingly emotionless and possibly relieved ?
I guess as time passes, we’ll all feel a greater sense of the occasion, but at the moment the overall emotion is disappointment. With the band for lasting only a year back together, with only giving us 4 news songs in that time, and for raising our expectations during a shitty year for music fans. Ultimately however, we must be grateful for one last chance to see this fantastic band and for turning the clock back 30 years, if only for 1 last night.
- Live Reviews
William Tyler and band opened tonight’s show. an ex-member of The Silver Jews and Lambchop, William’s solo career is now three album’s old and tonight’s set showcases this year’s ‘Modern Country’ LP. Instrumental tunes that really warmed the crowd up in fine style.
Wilco hit the stage just before 9pm for their two hour set to wind up their latest Euro tour.
‘Normal American Kids’ seemed an apt show opener and the first of six songs from new album ‘Schmilco’ ‘If I Ever was a Child’ and ‘Cry All Day’ totalled a three new songs opener which, with the very effective forest like stage set that turned 3D with the lighting, had the audience’s full attention from the off.
This was a career spanning show, six songs also from ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ as well as visits to numerous other album’s including ‘Box Full of Letters’ from ‘AM’. Hard to nominate standout songs because the set was just superb start to finish but, classics like,' Via Chicago' , 'Bull Black Nova', 'Impossible Germany' and 'Misunderstood' were really special.
Surely still one of the best bands in the world out there for live shows, you are never short changed. Long may they roll!
Normal American Kids
If I Ever Was a Child
Cry All Day
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Art of Almost
Someone to Lose
Pot Kettle Black
Bull Black Nova
We Aren't the World (Safety Girl)
Box Full of Letters
Heavy Metal Drummer
I'm the Man Who Loves You
The Late Greats
Random Name Generator
A Shot in the Arm
- Live Reviews
Many fans had travelled for the show and we had a very nice pre-gig meet up in the Foggy Dew. As a result we did not quite get front row, but we made it into the Olympia's mini pit. This was the first show of a considerable UK & Ireland tour, and I was a little disappointed that there was no new stage backdrop and that it all looked the same as the last tour. Minor quibble. The new merch is very nice however so, a hoodie :)
I liked support act Esme Patterson. She reminded me a bit of Anna Calvi. I had hoped that her presence on the tour might mean that 'Silent key' would get played (as she does the female vocal on the studio version), but not as of yet.
When you see a band repeatedly there are songs that you never get tired of, songs that you feel could be given a rest and songs that hit you anew for some reason. And for every fan they will be different songs. For me, 'Long live the queen', 'If ever I stray' and 'The way I tend to be' are songs I always love hearing. I could do without 'Wessex boy' and 'The road' (but on the plus side he has finally dropped 'Peggy...' and 'Glory hallelujah'). Standouts for me were the punchy full band version of 'Love forty down', 'The opening act of spring' (still my favourite off the last album) and 'Hits & Mrs', with a kazoo playing couple from the audience guesting. Frank introduced it as a song he rarely plays, yet somehow I think I have caught it four times so far. Lovely song.
Frank's solo section halfway through the show is generally where the surprises come. He played the aforementioned 'Hits & Mrs' and 'Redemption' as requests. I resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to get my request. Oh well.
The main section ended with 'Photosynthesis' and then Frank returned on his own for the encore. One introductory strum of the guitar and I realized he was about to play 'Balthazar impresario'. I got my moment in the sun and the people in front of me let me stand on the barrier for this one. I have had requests granted before ('Pancho and Lefty', 'Cowboy chords') but this one was definitely special. I hope I can get a recording of it.
We went for something to eat after the show and as we were heading back towards the Foggy Dew we saw a small group of people in the lane way beside the Olympia. Frank was still out there meeting and greeting so we got the chance to say hello.
All in all a great evening and as this was only night one of the tour there is plenty more to look forward to.
- Live Reviews
If you go down to the woods today...you may find some unlikely wild life. It all started like this ..I saw the Membranes at the wonderful Seachange festival at Totnes, and afterwards chatted with their striking, erudite and approachable front man, John Robb. John is well known as a music journalist, writer and BBC pundit, so we talked about music, until I made chance mention of one of my other interests – I am an ecologist and for 25 years have been leading wildlife tours, mainly for educational charity the ACE Foundation; I was just about to head off to Albania. John said’ Why didn’t you mention this earlier?
All the band are really interested in nature and science!’ Indeed the highly acclaimed Membranes comeback album is called Dark Matter/Dark Energy, and features interviews with CERN scientists along with tracks called The Universe Explodes into a Billion Photons of Pure White Light and catchy rock single Do the Supernova. More to these guys than meets the eye ..which is saying something, as they have a strikingly powerful stage show and look amazing. So, one thing led to another, and we agreed that when they next played near me, I would take them on some kind of nature excursion.
Turns out they were playing Norwich Sound and Vision festival in October, and I was around then. We made a plan to meet at a café in Thetford Forest, on the way to Norwich, and on the appointed day I set off early to figure out an interesting route. I had once years ago seen evidence of red deer rutting near here .. and October is the peak time. So I checked the site, with no real expectations of success...but on approaching I heard the eerie cow-like wail of a male red deer in full testosterone flow, the largest native British land mammal. I watched several stags and lots of hinds for some hours, including two subordinate males who attempted to mate with each other. Then it was time to get the band!
Everyone was as excited as I was, and asked lots of probing questions. The leather jackets, quiffs, DMs and brothel creepers looked slightly out of place, but only just; all dark colours, so good camouflage. There was a lovely mood, all laughing and joking at the weirdness of the occasion until hushed into silence as we approached the rutting grounds.
First we heard them, and had a whispered discussion about using the roaring on the next album. Then we saw the first distant hinds...then a proud male posing with head up. We watched and took photos through my telescope, slowly inching forward. To my surprise two stags actually came towards us! Craning their necks to make us out, as we must have looked like a strange multi-headed leather creature hunched together over the scope.
Everyone could have stayed there all day, but sadly soundchecks beckoned. I mentioned never having found a shed antler...and on return we found one, which the lads insisted I kept. Instant karma! Later at the Owl Sanctuary (great venue, though no sign of owls) the Membranes headlined a great gig, and I got even more rewards.
John asked the crowd if they had any questions for Viv Albertine, whom he was interviewing next day. A less than serious reply ‘What is the Latin name of the heron?’ Rob the drummer shouted ‘ Can we phone a friend? Where’s Kevin?’ and with some difficulty I dragged ‘Ardea cinerea’ out of my memory and shouted it back. A discussion on Latin names of birds ensued ..as I said, not your average band.
At the end of the night I got a signed poster, with cartoon stags and guitarist Pete adding ‘Thanks Kevin, you’re a deer!’. It was agreed that all future band riders should include wildlife experiences. My next challenge is to find badgers for them and the Nightingales (how appropriate!) at their Brighton gig in Feb 2017.
And what we saw through the ‘scope...
- Live Reviews
A cold damp Tuesday night in Nottingham is about to become warm, cozy and enthralling in the company of two very accomplished outfits.
Rock City is pretty much full (not sure why they did not open the balcony) tonight and the first band on are Submotion Orchestra, a Seven piece formed in Leeds in 2009.
With an expansive, ambient and dreamy sound, the venue is quickly enveloped in the band’s warm glow. New Album ‘Colour Theory’ provides the base for the 50 minute set which if there are new listeners present, they must be checking out the band further as we write.
The Cinematic Orchestra do not tour that much and recent live dates have been in London and major cities, so a regional tour is most welcome.
The Cinematic Orchestra formed in1999 by Jason Swinscoe are a band that to me that evoke memories of Jazz legends, Weather Report but, with added vocals from singers, Tawiah and Hedi Vogel that just melt your heart this takes their songs to a new level. New song ‘To Believe’ is a prime example. This is actually the first new material for a while and with the tour and the evident tightness of the band, this all bodes well for more activity soon.
A string intro started the show, as the band eased into ‘Burn Out’ and really warmed up with ‘Child Song’ and ‘J Bird’.
‘The Reveal’ is a stunning song, but by this time the people with 2 pint glasses are becoming decidedly chatty which, takes the edge off the mid section of the set until nature calls and they don’t return!
‘Flite’, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ end the main set superbly and there is still a 3 song encore to come.
We can cope with whatever winter throws at us with warm musical nights like this.
Eye for an I
Man with the Movie Camera
To Build a Home
Ode to the Big Sea
All That You Give
- Live Reviews
We've all been in a part-filled music venue which claimed to be “SOLD OUT” for the sake of good PR for the band, haven't we. Tonight as I walk up the stairs to the Main Hall at Rock City there are people standing in the doorway to the entrance it's rammed, there are 2,500 here tonight to see local heroes/ anti-heroes/ superheroes Sleaford Mods. Andrew Fearn (laptop, blue 'Still Hate Thatcher' shirt, and bottled beer), and Jason Williamson (machine-gun style vitriolic vocals, plain black shirt and bottled water) walk on stage to a heroes welcome.
Tonight's show is a mix of old faves and new stuff from the 'TCR' E.P. 'I Can Tell' and the title track (the cleaned up version of which has been getting air play on 6Music) get played early in the set. 'Face to Faces', 'Fizzy' and 'Giddy On The Ciggies' get the largely male and young moshpit going down the front.
Mid song something gets thrown towards Jason, at the end of the song he addresses the transgressor “I am not Tony Stark, I am made of flesh. If you throw things at me and I go down you have wasted ten pounds. Hit the b*****d” In spite of that incident the mood is celebratory, the band seem genuinely overjoyed with the audience's reaction “Just remember you didn't come to see us tonight, we came here to see you. We love you Nottingham” as they finish the main set.
The three track encore begins with the rattling intro to 'Jobseeker' over which Jason ad-libs a couple of lines from Bad Manners' 'Lip Up Fatty'.'Tied Up in Nottz' ignites the Catherine Wheel circle pit and rockets of beer fountains and keeps the bouncers busy attempting to repel the stage invaders one of whom gets through and takes an impressive dive back into the crowd at the climax of the song.
The lack of a traditional song structure, the minimal deep bass beats from Andrew's laptop and Jason's impressive machine-gun style vocal rattle sit uneasily with some, but as a band willing to shine a light at the absurdity and general dissatisfaction many feel in life they are a vital British band.