Live Review Archive | 2010

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Live Reviews | 2010

The National, O2 Academy, Glasgow, Friday 26th November 2010

The National are possibly half way through recording their follow up to “High Violet” by now so apologies for the delay in presenting this review. This was a brilliant performance, all brooding power, tender interludes and fiery fretwork that left no-one in any doubt that this band merits its place at rock’s top table. Crikey, they work hard, going flat out through a set-list that harbours no slackers – one cracker followed another. Runaway, Slow…
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Dar Williams, Telfords Warehouse, Chester, Tuesday 30th November 2010

Dar Williams has been around for a generation now but the time it takes to pass from one generation to the next seems like an eternity when you first remember her music when you were barely out of school - now the changing nature of both the songs and the audience seem to almost reflect the changing nature of life from adolescence to middle age, whatever that is. Still, it's been an apparent nine years…
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The Duke and The King, Electric Ballroom, London, 22nd Oct 2010

I must confess I was a little nervous about this gig; in little over twelve months The Duke and The King have provided probably 4 of the best shows I've seen (their support to The Willard Grant Conspiracy at The Garage, headline performances at The Scala and The Union Chapel and, away from London the Academy in Manchester. These shows were all following their début album 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' whereas this was for the…
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Midlake, The Junction, Cambridge, 10th November 2010

Midlake may have been trying to undermine themselves by slating their latest album in a recent issue of Mojo, but it hasn't worked, The Junction is heading towards full even as the first support act came on. This was Jason Lytle, late of Grandaddy. Performing a solo set, accompanying himself on electric guitar, this was pretty engaging considering it was completely new material to me. Good enough to have proven worthy of subsequent investigation. The…
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Tom Paxton, The Stables, Wavendon, 11th November 2010

A really packed out Stables - even the overflow car park had needed an additional overflow area - for Tom Paxton’s return to the Stables - he mentioned how much he'd like The Stables when it was a Stables, but graciously added that he loves the new theatre as well. And I have to note that it's been a while since I've been able to say that I was without doubt one of the youngest…
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Cowboy Junkies, Old Fruit Market, Glasgow, 7th November 2010

Sitting in on a Cowboy Junkies’ gig is like peeking through the blinds of someone’s house to eavesdrop a private musical session. No glaring spotlights or histrionics - a vase of flowers the only on stage prop. But we were there to listen, absorb and be captivated, nonetheless. Clearly, this was a very personal occasion for many of the hushed audience as the band delivered a delicious set with instrumentation plus Margo Timmins’ timeless vocals…
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Dave Arcari, King Tuts, Glasgow, 1st November 2010

Scotland’s favourite and best bluesman launched his latest album “The devil’s Left Hand” on a very rainy night in Glasgow. Despite the deluge a fair crowd gathered to catch the show which Arcari delivered like a man possessed. Perhaps emboldened by several sips of the water of life passed up to the stage from members of the audience he fired on all cylinders, careering across the stage and dredging slabs of sound from his various…
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Mumford & Sons, Johnny Flynn and Matthew & the Atlas | Manchester Apollo – 2nd October 2010

The trio of Matthew and the Atlas, Johnny Flynn and Mumford & Sons is probably the best example you could ask for in 2010 of how the new folk “mafia” have taken over venues previously reserved for rock, pop, soul, any type of music other than folk really. But given that it’s a Saturday night in Manchester, the stereotypical idea of a folk audience and indeed folk (or folk-ish) musicians couldn’t be further from the…
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Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band, The Barbican, London, 23rd September 2010

It’s interesting watching the evolution of a musician. Rarely does the opportunity arise to chart their progress right from the beginning but, having seen Josh Ritter’s very first performance on this side of the Atlantic all those years ago in Dublin, there’s a longer trajectory to work with here. On that night, the ever-affable Idahoian was a shy young man in a plaid shirt, blushing at every round of applause. Almost ten years later and…
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Josh Ritter, The Barbican, London, 23rd September 2010

It would seem that Josh Ritter has fully come to terms with both his "new Dylan" status and the fully deserved, lavish praise which places him securely in the firmament of greatest songwriters. Surely an intro' tape that includes Dylan's "Isis" and Cohen's "No Cure for love" can be taken in no other way than a firm statement of "this is the company I keep" ? And so to the opening act, Dawn Landes, with…
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Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, The Barbican, London, 10th September 2010

Yes, she is the elfin beuty with the delicate breathless voice and he is the gruff voiced singer of Queens of the Stone Age, but really - 3 albums and an EP in surely we all know this and can stop being surprised by it ? This gig at The Barbican formed part of the promotion of their new album, Hawk.The evening got off to a good start with the pre-concert warm up on the…
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The Felice Brothers, Oran More, Glasgow, 9th Sep 2010

This is a difficult review to write without it reading like a long moan. So, I’ll start by saying how much I have liked The Felice Brothers’ music ever since I first heard Roll On Arte on an Americana-uk sampler a couple of years ago. Their CD output has pleased me enormously, too. Indeed, the opening line of Rockefeller Druglaw Blues – “the smoke from the prison van’s heading to heaven, but I’m heading for…
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Roosevelt Bandwagon | The Troubadour, Earl’s Court, London, UK

I have been to The Troubadour many times before, seen all manner of artists and sat through a wide variety of performances; good and bad. However, I have never seen the venue as packed or as reverentially silent as it was last Thursday during a truly mesmerising set by London- based Roosevelt Bandwagon. Many of the crowd that swelled the seams of the coffeehouse’s ancient basement were familiar with the Americana collective from last July’s…
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Jack McNeil and Charlie Heys - The Stables, Wavendon - 17th June 2010

A sudden attack of nothing to do provoked a spur of the moment decision to head out for folk duo Jack McNeil (guitar and vocals) and Charlie Heys (violin, backing vocals and giggling) at the small second stage at The Stables. It was a first foray to Stage 2, which would be described as neither vast nor cavernous - it's about the size of a respectable pub back room, and this has very much the…
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