Live review Archive | 2014

Live Reviews | 2014

americanaUK Live Reviews Editor: John Hawes


Devon Sproule – York Basement Bar, 4/11/14 Support Johnathon Southern

Devon Sproule
This tiny venue is a tricky place to play with a full band, the drums dominate, booming and killing the feel, this is a problem tonight. Be-suited and with yelps of support from Sproule from the back of the room Southern is unremarkable, his voice isn’t strong and fails to cut through. He may well be an ace songwriter, we’ll never know, but sadly he’s come a long way to be little more than a…
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Martha Wainwright, St Mary’s Church Ashford, 20th November 2014

Martha Wainwright, St Mary’s Church Ashford, 20th November 2014
It’s worth mentioning that the church of St Mary the Virgin has been burrowed down in the centre of Ashford town centre for well over a thousand years. Martha Wainwright remarks as she casts her eye about this intimate yet awe-inspiring setting, that it is the oldest church she has played in. This is how we find ourselves, the audience, just quietly drinking in these sacred surroundings before we are plunged into the heart and…
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Cam Penner with Jon Wood, Blackfriars, Glasgow, November 8, 2014

Cam Penner with Jon Wood, Blackfriars, Glasgow, November 8, 2014
The log chopper and his close friend the beer maker – aka Cam Penner and Jon Wood, respectively – were back in town doing what they are better known for: delivering their special potion of magical music.The distinctive flow, the masterful musical bonding and the overall atmosphere they create is both endearing and humbling. Cam’s glorious vocals drift from a holler to a whisper as quickly as he would raise and drop an axe in…
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Roger McGuinn, The Stables, Wavendon, 1st November 2014

Roger McGuinn, The Stables, Wavendon, 1st November 2014
Roger McGuinn sits comfortably on the stage at The Stables, with giant vases with sculptural arrangements of dry flowers tastefully set either side of him as if to emphasize that this is very much a solo tour. Shaded under the brim of his dark fedora he has the animated look of a man clearly enjoying himself, and totally at ease with the music that he frames within anecdotes of his varied musical life - there…
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Bella Hardy & Cara Luft, Black Swan Folk Club, York, 16th October 2014

Bella Hardy & Cara Luft, Black Swan Folk Club, York, 16th October 2014
Bella Hardy is no stranger here, she was a student at the University and she did her shift as a support act and floor singer here. Cara Luft, it also transpires, has been a turn in the ricketed old upstairs room of the Black Swan. It’s a proper folk club, something new to me, floor singers aren’t really my thing and folk; of the old school variety leaves me a bit cold. The rooms sold…
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Phil and Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones, The Art School, Glasgow, 28th October 2014

Phil and Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones, The Art School, Glasgow, 28th October 2014
Focused and wary, the student crossed the road outside Glasgow School of Art carrying a delicate, glass-baubled creation. Seconds later he reached the safety of the new Art School reception area, opposite the charred exterior of the world famous Rennie Mackintosh building. I felt like applauding, but resisted.It was hard to stop clapping for the next 90 minutes, though, thanks to a blistering blast from Phil and Dave Alvin and their vibrant band, The Guilty…
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Old Crow Medicine Show + Daniel Meade, O2ABC, Glasgow, Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Old Crow Medicine Show + Daniel Meade, O2ABC, Glasgow, Wednesday 22nd October 2014
The sold out notices for the Glasgow leg of the incredibly popular Old Crow Medicine Show's latest tour appeared shortly after this show was announced and sure enough the cavernous room was packed to the gills for a band who seem to have taken on the mantle of Glasgow's favourite adopted roots band from The Pogues. However it's odds on that the happiest man in the room tonight is Daniel Meade, the opening act. Earlier…
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Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express + Jonah Tolchin, Bush Hall, London, 14th October 2014

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express + Jonah Tolchin, Bush Hall, London, 14th October 2014
We've all had that feeling on reaching the gig after the lengthy journey, the snatched snack on the way, and the hurried pace along the road from the nearest tube to the venue - all that only to find the opening act is Johnny Nobody who really should have stayed at home. On the other hand there's the inner joy of finally seeing the stage times and - a-ha! The support act is someone you've…
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Danny & The Champions Of The World +Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou + Jim Dead, Broadcast, Glasgow. Sunday 12th October 2014

Danny & The Champions Of The World +Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou + Jim Dead, Broadcast, Glasgow. Sunday 12th October 2014
It's never the best idea to tout a band as "the best live act" around as that's the way arguments arise. However after three opportunities to see Danny & The Champions Of The World live in the last ten months I'm pretty convinced that I'd win any such argument and be able to back it up, slapping a copy of their new live album, Live Champs! into the nearest boom box. The album's been universally…
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Ian Hunter & the Rant Band, The Stables, Wavendon, 30th September 2014

Ian Hunter & the Rant Band, The Stables, Wavendon, 30th September 2014
Ian Hunter is fond of saying things like "I came to the game late, I may as well stay late" when reflecting on why he's still a touring rock and roller at the age of 75. It's hard to believe, he still looks much the same as when he fronted up Mott the Hoople for their big hits - but it's true, even back then he was the lead singer of a really successful rock…
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Sturgill Simpson + The Flying Mules, Glasgow Americana Festival, Oran Mor, Glasgow. 5th October 2014

Sturgill Simpson + The Flying Mules, Glasgow Americana Festival, Oran Mor, Glasgow. 5th October 2014
Sturgill Simpson is the guy who most likely will end up on the Americana equivalent of Time Magazine's Person Of The Year when 2015 beckons. Since the release of his first album a year ago he's blazed like a comet here and in the States gathering awards and prized top TV appearances. Simpson's two albums of hard-core country recorded in the belly of the beast have been seized on as the best thing since sliced…
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Blue Rose Code, The Glad Café, Glasgow, 1st October 2014

Blue Rose Code, The Glad Café, Glasgow, 1st October 2014
What is it with the first-night-of-the-month gigs at The Glad Café, this excellent small venue on Glasgow’s Southside?I ask the question because for the second time this year I was at a gig there on the 1st and was bouncing with pleasure on the way home. It happened on May Day as well when Dan Stuart and Antonio Gramentieri played a simmering set that had me thinking: “gig of the year.” But, now on October…
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Ryan Adams, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, September 25, 2014

Ryan Adams, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, September 25, 2014
When he’s good, as he was at this sell out show at Glasgow’s most posh of venues, Ryan Adams is very good, indeed. The new tracks from his latest album release – his 14th – seamlessly sat alongside those in his hefty back catalogue making for a 75-minute set where performer and fans had a great time. With a competent four-piece band, Adams was engaging, entertaining, endearing, pleased with his new songs while clearly delighted…
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Stephen James Adams support Sam Griffiths, The Basement Bar, York, 13th September 2014

Stephen James Adams support Sam Griffiths, The Basement Bar, York, 13th September 2014
Nu-folk hipster Sam Griffiths, proves that Noah and that damm Whale have had some impact on the ‘yoof’ open the show, I last time I saw him he was opening for the excellent French for Rabbits at the same venue. Since then he’s filled out, adding double bass and some great female harmonies. With a set mixed with songs about David Lynch films, the whole thing is desert songs, in the basement below the river…
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Gruff Rhys, St Mary’s Church, Ashford, 19th September 2014

Gruff Rhys, St Mary’s Church, Ashford, 19th September 2014
In the intimate, hushed and hallowed surroundings of St Mary’s Church, nestled in the centre of Ashford town centre, Gruff Rhys retraces in story and song the journey that 22 year old farmhand John Evans took when he left Wales for America in 1792. His goal was to find the fabled Welsh speaking Native American tribe, the Madogwys. Evans never found the tribe but instead shaped American history. In his seven years of travelling through…
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A Time and Place, Sam Lee & The Unthanks, The Barbican, London, 18th September 2014

A Time and Place, Sam Lee & The Unthanks, The Barbican, London, 18th September 2014
A Time and Place is described as a musical meditation on the First World War, and is a performance led by Sam Lee and the Unthank Sisters with major musical input from pianist and arranger Adrian McNally (who, conveniently, is married to Rachel Unthank). This was the second of three presentations of the show - and presentation and show are very appropriate words. There is an undeniable theatricality attached to this evening - songs, mostly…
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Lauren Shera, The Social, London, 8th September 2014

Lauren Shera, The Social, London, 8th September 2014
Don’t look out of the window and don’t check that weather app on your phone. It’s September which means end of summer which means end of festivals which means plenty of gigs in permanent structures. It’s not that I don’t like music out doors and it’s not that I don’t like loading a tent into the back of the car and going off for a weekend; it’s just that I like getting home from work,…
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Sheesham & Lotus & Son. Selby Town Hall. 6th September 2014

Sheesham & Lotus & Son. Selby Town Hall.  6th September 2014
Using the power of fish & chips there is to be a real stomp tonight, dust is to be kicked up, no red dirt but coal dust, Selby, former colliery town and focal point of mining tonight has unearthed a rich seam. Its banjo, sousaphone and fiddle with a few lumps of blues harp and Jews harp for good measure.The pre-amble someone wisely state that Sheesham & Lotus & Son, hereafter referred to as SLS,…
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The Stray Birds, CCA, Glasgow, 11th September 2014

The Stray Birds, CCA, Glasgow, 11th September 2014
We seem to be confusing the Americans – no, not with the Yes/No Referendum (well they might be puzzled) – but with the Scottish weather.The Stray Birds declared they weren’t fooled by how nice it was in warm and sunny Glasgow on the day of this polished show at the CCA and a short time ago, when the mighty Steve Earle appeared at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in the city, he reckoned the weather here was…
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Israel Nash (support from Pete Gow), The Borderline, London, 2nd September 2014

Israel Nash (support from Pete Gow), The Borderline, London, 2nd September 2014
The brief return of summer meant that The Borderline was already a sweatshop by eight o'clock even though it was still slowly filling when Pete Gow took the stage. Booted and blue suited, Gow cuts the figure of a careworn George Harrison - long haired and bearded with a gimlet glimmer in his eye. With just an acoustic guitar, an array of harps and a fistful of passionate songs he delivered an engaging opening set.…
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Steve Earle, Kelvingrove Park Bandstand, Glasgow, August 7th 2014

Steve Earle, Kelvingrove Park Bandstand, Glasgow, August 7th 2014
The full-blooded hymn that is Jerusalem has been played plenty in recent weeks in Glasgow when English athletes picked up gold medals for Commonwealth Games’ successes – and many a spectator enjoyed the stirring tune.Steve Earle’s glorious track of the same name from the 2002 Jerusalem release, which rails against hopelessness and lack of solutions both personal and international, brought this excellent open air gig to a close. It is way beyond stirring: it is…
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Rosanne Cash, Southern Fried Festival, Festival Theatre, Perth, July 27th 2014

Rosanne Cash, Southern Fried Festival, Festival Theatre, Perth, July 27th 2014
Doubtless it must be difficult to appear so effortlessly classy as Rosanne Cash. Mind you, if you are touring and the world is loving your latest album, being relaxed is maybe a natural default position. Cash is cool but warmth and respect oozed throughout this 80-minute showcase that brought the Fair City’s Southern Fried Festival to a hugely pleasing end.A southern and soul food fest had been served up all day in the venue before…
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Richard Thompson, Folk by the Oak Festival, Hatfield 20th July 2014

Richard Thompson, Folk by the Oak Festival, Hatfield 20th July 2014
Folk by the Oak is a one day - well really a long afternoon and evening - folk festival held in the grounds of Hatfield House. Despite being in its seventh year it is still surprisingly small for the first time visitor - just two stages which conveniently run out of synchronisation. So whilst the main stage is being prepared for the next performer there's a more junior act on at The Acorn Stage. That…
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Emily Barker & Red Clay Halo / Trevour Moss & Hannah Lou National Record Store Day – Bexhill-on-Sea, Music’s Not Dead 19th Apr 2014

Emily Barker & Red Clay Halo / Trevour Moss  & Hannah Lou National Record Store Day – Bexhill-on-Sea, Music’s Not Dead 19th Apr 2014
My guess is you’re reading this for one of three reasons; 1.you love music, probably American flavour, but you’re definitely a fan of music, 2. You work in an office, bored and nobody knows you’re reading this or 3. You’re my Mum.The fact of the matter is Record Store Day matters, not because music is rare or that vinyl is better or even to keep shops in our town that people, real normal people want…
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King Courgette - Volunteer Arms, York. 12th July 2014

King Courgette - Volunteer Arms, York. 12th July 2014
When you operate in the margins you end up in some unusual places, fringe venues, interesting spots converted to enable the artist to find an audience. We know this I’m sure, Bob Harris gets his show stuffed to the early weekend hours, for example, yet pushed to the outer reaches the music, for that is what it is all about survives, despite the obsession with homogenisation, vanilla’ing the gene pool constantly.The Volunteer Arms, is one…
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Billy Bragg – Beverley Folk Festival, Friday 20th June 2014

Billy Bragg – Beverley Folk Festival, Friday 20th June 2014
It’s not traditionally Billy’s crowd, but it’s fast becoming so, folk is really what he’s always done, sung songs of politics and love, often alone, like tonight with just the acoustic. The “one man Clash” I’ve heard him call himself, and over the years, we’ve grown more comfortable, rounder, slightly less angry, but our convictions are still there.This isn’t Bill’s room, or tent, and given where we are, Hague’s constituency is just up the road…
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Hat Fitz and Cara, Stables Stage 2, Wavendon, 11th June 2014

Hat Fitz and Cara, Stables Stage 2, Wavendon, 11th June 2014
Hat Fitz and Cara are an unlikely looking early blues duo - the rough clad long bearded Hat Fitz surrounded by a variety of guitars and the vintage dress clad Cara Robinson behind a basic drum kit, with a ragtime washboard close at hand. It didn't leave a lot of room on the small Stage 2 at The Stables, and the room was pretty packed as well - I've seen audiences hardly any larger in…
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Merrymouth, Kings Place, London, 2nd June 2014

Merrymouth performs at Kings Place 2nd June 2014
Well, Kings Place is a pretty new venue space, beneath The Guardian's offices and conveniently placed close by to Kings Cross Station. It's approached through a combined gallery and upmarket eatery area, has a nice little bar and quite oddly it has something of an affinity for folk gigs. Merrymouth is the folkish side project of Ocean Colour Scene's Simon Fowler, and this gig, the last of a short tour, doubled as the launch party…
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French For Rabbits support Sam Griffiths / Red Trees, Basement Bar, York, 13th May 2014

French For Rabbits support Sam Griffiths / Red Trees, Basement Bar, York, 13th May 2014
Whilst you’re reading this do consider that the cover charge was just £5. York’s Basement Bar is one of the best places in the region to see bands, but only if they don’t have drums, Candlelight, dingy and in the often flooded cellar of the arts cinema, it is the city’s hidden gem for bands, who you’ve never heard of, but are often spectacular – tonight is no exception.Opener Sam Griffiths does that sort mock…
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Martin and Eliza Carthy, The Stables, Wavendon, Sunday 4th May 2014

Martin and Eliza Carthy, The Stables, Wavendon, Sunday 4th May 2014
This is not just another random permutation of the Waterson-Carthy clan aimed at proving that there is a prospect of fine music from them in any combination from one upwards. Following on to some extent, though, from the Eliza and Norma album of a couple of years back now Martin and Eliza have also recorded an album - The Moral of the Elephant - and this gig is part of quite a big tour to…
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Spiers and Boden, The Stables, Wavendon, 9th May 2014

Spiers and Boden, The Stables, Wavendon, 9th May 2014
Well, that's it then - the end of an era. John Spiers and Jon Boden are winding up their duo - the defining folk duo of the first decade of the 21st century. Yet the packed out Stables is alive with a spirit more of a celebration than of sadness, for in Jon Boden's introduction of the evening as their "first farewell tour" there is the glimmer of hope for the future. The reason for…
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Austin Lucas Support PJ Bond / Jimmy Islip & the Ghosts, Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, 28th March 2014

Austin Lucas Support PJ Bond / Jimmy Islip & the Ghosts, Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, 28th March 2014
“But if it ain’t got no soul, Honey that ain’t rock and roll.”Tonight has been something ever since I heard Alone in Memphis on our sampler I had been looking forward to. Sometimes you just hear something and instinctively you know it is for you. Something deep within your being is touched, the ‘bones’ of your soul are touched, only art does this truly, Lucas' opus to the lonely is one such piece. So much…
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Dan Stuart, The Glad Café, Glasgow, May 1st 2014

Dan Stuart, The Glad Café, Glasgow, May 1st 2014
This was a gig that simmered and sparked, racking up the magic track by track. On this evidence, Dan Stuart with flawless guitarist, Antonio Gramentieri stage right formed a duo that will never be short of admirers.It was a marvellous performance in a tight venue before a big crowd hell-bent on enjoying one of senor Stuart’s rare forays from his base down Mexico way. None of us was disappointed by the inimitable Stuart whose cracking…
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Curtis Eller’s American Circus, The Blues Bar, Harrogate, 1st April 2014

Curtis Eller’s American Circus, The Blues Bar, Harrogate, 1st April 2014
It’s the first time, in 16years of living 20minutes away I have entered this place, and something about the name just puts me off. It makes me think of Hollywood themed dinners and Rock Café, it shouldn’t, it’s brilliant. It’s the sort of venue that has the act playing in the window, on display, wares spilt out for the passing punter to enjoy, to entice them in – tonight is an evening to be enticed.Curtis…
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Stuart Maconie - The People’s Songs, Pocklington Arts Centre, 25th April 2014

Stuart Maconie - The People’s Songs,  Pocklington Arts Centre, 25th April 2014
I have been a fan since Collins and Maconie and reading Stuart in the NME as I devoured the latest record from Mega City 4, or Senseless Things tour. We all move on I guess, but in Maconie’s case he’s grown with his generation, 6Music has given him that scope, and rather quaintly my generation still read books, we might own Kindles, but we still like to own the thing.The essence of Maconie’s thesis is…
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Eric Andersen, The Green Note, London 24th April 2014

Eric Andersen, The Green Note, London 24th April 2014
The last time I saw Eric Andersen was at The Barbican as part of the Greenwich Village Revisited evening with Roger McGuinn, Carolyn Hester and Judy Collins. A big show - tonight by contrast is as intimate as you can hope to get. The Green Note - if you haven't frequented it - reminds me of the folk clubs in pub backrooms I used to frequent many years ago. Big enough, and with enough tables…
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Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin, Hitchin Folk Club, Hitchin, 13th April 2014

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin, Hitchin Folk Club, Hitchin, 13th April 2014
An evening of firsts and surprises, and the first surprise was that opening act Joe Topping had brought two of his three bandmates from The Vagrant Kings, so as well as Joe himself there was Jack McCarthy on a variety of percussion and Scott Poley on pedal steel. And that was one of the firsts for the evening - the first time a pedal steel player had graced the Hitchin Folk Club! Hard to believe,…
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Tom Paxton and Janis Ian, Glasgow City Halls, Sunday 29th March 2014

Tom Paxton and Janis Ian, Glasgow City Halls, Sunday 29th March 2014
Together at Last was the strap line for the pairing of these Greenwich Village veterans in a show that was actually a collaborative effort. No separate sets but Janis Ian and Tom Paxton together on stage (ably supported by Robin Bullok on mandolin) and for most of the evening singing and playing together, trading verses and harmonising well as if they have been doing this for years. Although separated by more than a decade Paxton…
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Ray Davies, The Stables, Wavendon, 3rd March 2014

Ray Davies, The Stables, Wavendon, 3rd March 2014
And here's a surprise - and I don't mean Ray Davies at The Stables, I don't know how they do it but they do get names far too big for their hall. No, the surprise is the opener, a duo called The Rails - only, surely the female half of The Rails is Kami Thompson? Oh wonders, it is. Now I've seen Kami Thompson several times over the years - guesting with her dad, or…
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Sons of Bill + The Wynntown Marshals. Stereo, Glasgow. Sunday 9th March.

Sons of Bill + The Wynntown Marshals. Stereo, Glasgow. Sunday 9th March.
Anticipation was high for this, the Scottish debut of Virginia bred Sons of Bill, a five piece band featuring three brothers, Sam, Abe, and James Wilson, sons of the titular Bill (who is professor emeritus of philosophical theology and southern literature at the University of Virginia, hopefully he approves of their career choice). The primary reason for the audience's high hopes was the 2012 album Sirens which posited the band as prime purveyors of classic…
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John Renbourn and Wizz Jones, Union Chapel, London, 28th February 2014

John Renbourn and Wizz Jones, Union Chapel, London, 28th February 2014
Well, it was certainly wet out - which just made the well heated interior of the Union Chapel that much more inviting. It's a quirky venue - there is a bar, but the auditorium is the main body of the church, so booze is banned. Mugs of tea and coffee become the order of the day, which certainly added an appropriate cosy "at-home" feel to the gig. John Renbourn and Wizz Jones are two of…
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John Murry, Broadcast, Glasgow, February 25, 2014

John Murry, Broadcast, Glasgow, February 25, 2014
Just over a year ago in Glasgow, John Murry played in the majestic surroundings of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum next to a Spitfire suspended from the vaulted ceilings, a stuffed Asian elephant called Sir Roger and, stage left, dozens of heads ‘floating’ in space. He was great, but the acoustics were a big fail.On this visit, the venue was a packed, basic, and typical Glasgow sub-street level space with a stone floor, tiny bar,…
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Jefferson Starship, The Borderline, London, 21st January 2014

Jefferson Starship, The Borderline, London, 21st January 2014
"Wait a minute", you may be saying, "didn't we just have a Jefferson Starship gig review?". Well, yes we did - and normally I might agree that it's a bit soon for another but there are reasons to do so. The St Alban's gig review was a little downbeat - it had been in many ways a very good gig with the band on form and enjoying the freedom afforded by a large stage. They…
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Tav Falco's Panther Burns + The Primevals + The Reverse Cowgirls, Broadcast, Glasgow, Sunday 9th February 2014

Tav Falco's Panther Burns + The Primevals + The Reverse Cowgirls, Broadcast, Glasgow, Sunday 9th February 2014
Freakin' at the freakers' ball, y'all. Shel Silverstein's ode to the outsiders could well have summed up some portions of the crowd that flocked to see Memphis legend and ultra cool dandy and spiv Tav Falco return to Scotland after an absence of almost three decades. If there are indeed tribes of rock then this was a tribal gathering, wizened and wild haired elders mixing with indie kids along with the eccentrically attired, the somewhat…
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Del Amitri, O2 Academy, Leeds, 27th January 2014

Del Amitri, O2 Academy, Leeds, 27th January 2014
Much ignored, and certainly not paid their dues, Del Amitri are Scotland’s greatest ever band. A plethora of great rock songs, their brand of tartan jock rock has been sorely missed. Also blessed with a great riff, a catchy lyric and sharp wit I have always wondered, as have many others (I have heard Karen Miller of the brilliant The Miller Tells her Tale podcast pontificate about this) why the hell aren’t they biggest band…
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Del Amitri + The O’s, Liverpool Empire, 2nd February 2014

Del Amitri + The O’s, Liverpool Empire, 2nd February 2014
“We are absolutely speechless after tonight's show at Liverpool Empire Theatre - what a perfect night all around...” is The O’s post-gig tweet, and their obvious delight at their reception in arguably the most musical city in the world is not misplaced. As support acts go, the audience response was one of the most positive this reviewer has ever seen. Two young men from Dallas, Texas playing guitar, banjo, foot percussion, slide guitar and harmonica…
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Lloyd Cole & The Leopards, The Sage, Gateshead, 28th January 2014

Lloyd Cole & The Leopards, The Sage, Gateshead, 28th January 2014
Those of you getting your fix of music TV from Andrew Marr will have recently realised that one of the most accomplished and gifted song writers of his generation has returned, briefly to these shores to serve us a reminder of just how good he is. Often unfairly branded as an “80’s” artist Lloyd Cole has chugged out, almost despite himself, a consistent body of work that is so much more than the jangled smash…
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Suzanne Vega, The Barbican, London, 7th February 2014

Suzanne Vega, The Barbican, London, 7th February 2014
Suzanne Vega emerged at just the right time to help make the 1980's bearable. In amongst all the vapid TV soap actors turned pop musicians, the dreary long life of disco, the dullness of hair-metal, the overlong life of synthesizer bands and the initial stirrings of a world dominating commercial rap scene there were few things for those looking for something more - literate, articulate, arch, acoustic. Just when we needed an intellectual woman with…
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John Kirkpatrick, Hitchin Folk Club, Hitchin, 19th January 2014

John Kirkpatrick, Hitchin Folk Club, Hitchin, 19th January 2014
John Kirkpatrick is a force of nature. Tall and wiry, a master of all things squeezable. And a voice for which the word "strong" is simply inadequate. Anyone near the front at this well attended gig must have been wondering why on earth he'd been miked up - the accordion is hardly one of nature's whispering instruments and neither is John Kirkpatrick's voice. If a gale could have the quality of being oaken then that…
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Jefferson Starship, Alban Arena, St. Albans, 20th January 2014

Jefferson Starship, Alban Arena, St. Albans, 20th January 2014
There was no Grace Slick. Well, there hasn't been for a long time so that was no surprise. This incarnation of Jefferson Starship has Paul Kantner and David Frieberg as the original members, with long serving keyboardist Chris Smith (16 years as part of the Jefferson Starship family) and Cathy Richardson (5 years) on guitar and lead vocals. Lead guitar maestro Jude Gold is fairly new to the band, and this tour’s line-up was rounded…
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Sturgill Simpson + Treetop Flyers, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 20th January 2014

Sturgill Simpson + Treetop Flyers, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 20th January 2014
Sturgill Simpson is country. Great singing, great playing and great songs. That's it; no frills, no fancy stuff, no extras required. Last Monday night at the Slaughtered Lamb in London's Clerkenwell was one for the purists.
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