Live Reviews | 2016

Live Reviews | 2016

Warren Haynes, The Stables, Wavendon, 20th July 2016

Warren Haynes, The Stables, Wavendon, 20th July 2016
Warren Haynes certainly has an impressive CV in the area of roots influenced rock - primarily with The Allman Brothers band and the Phil Lesh led Dead but also his own notable solo work and his band Gov't Mule. There's not much he doesn't know about Southern rock or slide-led blues, but of course there's a whole other side to his playing as well. He's noted for his "jam band" chops as much as for…
Read more...

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, St Pancras Old Church, London, 17th August 2016

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, St Pancras Old Church, London, 17th August 2016
Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, St Pancras Old Church, London, 17th August 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry have been "riding the rails" like Woody Guthrie - perhaps not in the full hoboing mode of jumping on freight trains as they slow on the bends, or pull out of the marshalling yards. No - they've bought tickets from Chicago to Los Angeles, including sleeper cars, and this is just as well as they took instruments…
Read more...

Leveret, The Stables, Wavendon, 4th September 2016

Leveret, The Stables, Wavendon, 4th September 2016
Leveret, The Stables, Wavendon, 4th September 2016 Having to have the venue send out a "two for the price of one" email a couple of days before the first gig of the tour is hardly an auspicious start, and judging from the sparse audience it had had only minimal real effect. Dispiriting, you'd think, but if it was then Sam Sweeny (fiddle, ex-Bellowhead), Andy Cutting (Melodeon's, ex-Kate Rusby Band) and Rob Harbron (concertina, currently Fay…
Read more...

JJ Grey and Mofro, The Union Chapel, London, 28th May 2016

JJ Grey and Mofro, The Union Chapel, London, 28th May 2016
It's always tempting to try and drop musicians and bands into particular genre boxes - it's a habitual and convenient shorthand so that we all think that we know what we're discussing. Where this approach starts to go wrong is when the band in question is as multifaceted as 'JJ Grey and Mofro', who have a great voiced soul singer as a frontman in the person of JJ Grey himself, and with a horn section…
Read more...

Martin Carthy & John Kirkpatrick, The Stables Wavendon, 27th February 2016

Martin Carthy & John Kirkpatrick, The Stables Wavendon, 27th February 2016
Just when you think you've bagged a viewing of every permutation of Martin Carthy's collaborations yet another one pops up - or a rarity from bygone days gets revived. This was an especially good draw as it features another folk stalwart, squeezebox and accordion maestro John Kirkpatrick. The Stables saw a good turnout for the appearance of this duo performance by these noted folk veterans who have previously shared the stage as members of Steeleye…
Read more...

Charles Bradley, The Forum, London, 30th March 2016

Charles Bradley, The Forum, London, 30th March 2016
Having seen the rapturous reception for Charles Bradley at The Barbican a few years back when he was opening for Sharon Jones, it has been something of an ambition to see The Screaming Eagle Of Soul as the headliner. He's certainly, if belatedly, come a long way in a short time and The Forum was rammed full to the extent that it was physically difficult to move more than a few inches in any direction.…
Read more...

Roky Erickson, The Forum, London, 13th April 2016

Roky Erickson, The Forum, London, 13th April 2016
The appearance on stage of a pottery demi-john at least built the confidence that this would be, as billed, Roky Erickson performing the music of the 13th Floor Elevators. The last occasion that I'd had a chance to see him - his first ever UK gig at the Royal Festival Hall way back in 2007 - had seen only a couple of Elevator's tunes make the set list which had been dominated by the later…
Read more...

The Askew Sisters, Hitchin Folk Club, Hitchin, Sunday 1st May 2016

The Askew Sisters, Hitchin Folk Club, Hitchin, Sunday 1st May 2016
A return visit to the Hitchin Folk Club by The Askew Sisters - Emily on violin and Hazel on Melodeons, Concertinas and vocals. The duo celebrated their tenth anniversary last year, although as Emily drily added "they have known each other a bit longer". They delivered an excellent set drawn mainly from their last two albums "In the air or the earth" and "Through Lonesome Woods", although they also had material from as far back…
Read more...

Explosions In The Sky, Royal Albert Hall, London, 25th April 2016

Explosions In The Sky, Royal Albert Hall, London, 25th April 2016
It's been an upwards trajectory for Explosions In The Sky in London - previously playing an incredible set at the much missed Astoria, then the Roundhouse for a similarly amazing experience. And now the ultimate London accolade, a sold out Royal Albert Hall. It would be nit-picking to point out that it wasn't quite as sold out as the advertising had said for several weeks in advance ñ but it was strange to find myself…
Read more...

The Long Ryders, Under the Bridge, London, 5th May 2016

The Long Ryders, Under the Bridge, London, 5th May 2016
I've been waiting thirty years for this gig - the last time I saw The Long Ryders was in 1985 or maybe '86. This latest appearance is part of the tour that has been put together on the back of their ìFinal Wild Songsî box set - a 10/10 choice according to this very site. However, on the night it seemed as if the world was conspiring to prevent me getting to the venue -…
Read more...

Colvin & Earle, Union Chapel, London, 15th June 2016

Colvin & Earle, Union Chapel, London, 15th June 2016
Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle have come together to make a fantasy record - and thatís not just the record label. It's a double - no a triple - fantasy with one part being just the concept of them making a record together and then putting a number of tracks out that were of the "wouldn't it be cool to do a take of..." strand of fantasy. And, of course, it is on Fantasy! This…
Read more...

Diana Jones + Daniel Meade. Fallen Angels Club. CCA, Glasgow. Tuesday 12th April 2016

Diana Jones + Daniel Meade. Fallen Angels Club. CCA, Glasgow. Tuesday 12th April 2016
A welcome return to Glasgow from Diana Jones, teller of Appalachian tales and singer of songs of doom and gloom. At least that's what Ms. Jones would have us believe as she often referred to her songs in her informative introductions as, "the darkest one yet", or, "the saddest I've written". Grim they may be with Jones singing about mining disasters, death and the ecological rape of the Appalachians. Desperate songs but delivered with a…
Read more...

Blood and Roses: The songs of Ewan MacColl. The Barbican, London, 9th November 2015

Blood and Roses: The songs of Ewan MacColl. The Barbican, London, 9th November 2015
Blood and Roses: The songs of Ewan MacColl was a special event arranged to celebrate Ewan MacColl's songwriting on the centenary of his birth. It promised a rich variety of song, and a rich variety of singers and performers - with familial connections at its heart - so as well as lead singers generations of MacColls also made up the band, there was a smattering of Carthys (unfortunately Norma Waterson was too ill to attend),…
Read more...

Ron Sexsmith Pocklington Arts Centre – October 17th

Ron Sexsmith  Pocklington Arts Centre – October 17th
Single mic singers, Hannah Lou & Trevor Moss, last enjoyed at Bexhill a few years back at Record Store Day are opening for Sexsmith. Tonight they seem to have forgotten it’s a business call show, scruffy, uncoordinated they are limp and lacking vigour. It’s a tame, vanilla start to the evening disappointing, I liked the new record a lot and last time out they had pep. Sexsmith, universally acknowledge as one of the best song…
Read more...

Simone Felice (with Anna Mitchell) - Black Swan, York, October 25th

Simone Felice (with Anna Mitchell) - Black Swan, York, October 25th
It would be trite to use the term ‘Irish songstress’ to describe Anna Mitchell, there is much too inherent beauty in what she does to be so lazy, she is that, and then four or five more stops along the line as well. A deft piano banger she is light, floating across us filling this wonky old room with wispy otherworld music. She holds the room in a suspended status, dreamlike, bathing us in a…
Read more...

Wizz Jones, Baldock and Letchworth Blues,Folk and Roots Club, Baldock, 14th October 2015

Wizz Jones, Baldock and Letchworth Blues,Folk and Roots Club, Baldock, 14th October 2015
I almost gave up and went home again - I was struggling to find parking and, aware of the smallness of the venue - a side room off the bar in the Orange Tree pub - was not unnaturally concerned that I'd be turned away on the door due to the club having reached capacity. The foreboding only became more concrete as I hurried down dimly lit backstreets as the rain started up again -…
Read more...

King Creosote, The Barbican, London, 10th October 2015

King Creosote at The Barbican
You never really know what to expect from King Creosote until you get there - it might be just Kenny Anderson with guitar and accordion, it might be him and a couple of sidekicks. Or, as it was tonight, it might be an eight piece band giving it their all in full rock band with string section mode. First though there was an entrancing thirty minutes or so in the company of Sam Lee and…
Read more...

The Milk Carton Kids, Union Chapel, London, 22nd January 2016

The Milk Carton Kids, Union Chapel, London, 22nd January 2016
The Milk Carton Kids - Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale - are perhaps the most perfect artists for a Union Chapel gig, especially one held in a deep and dark winter evening. Eschewing a support artist, they took to the stage to a warm reception which became, deservedly, rapturous as the evening rolled by. Bringing just two acoustic guitars, one microphone and a pair of gorgeously harmonising voices to the stage they were affable from…
Read more...

Blitzen Trapper, The Lexington, London, 8th February 2016

Blitzen Trapper, The Lexington, London, 8th February 2016
A darkened and packed out Lexington saw the return to the UK of Portland's Blitzen Trapper after a lengthy absence during which they have produced a number of excellent albums that have served to define their current sound as less experimental and more classic rock, with more than a touch of the style of the big Southern Rock bands of the Seventies. Their UK dates are just a leg of a larger European tour in…
Read more...

Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party, St. Pancras Old Church, London, 15th February 2016

Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party, St. Pancras Old Church, London, 15th February 2016
St. Pancras Old Church, standing apart from the surrounding busy London streets in one of those oases of greenery is as attractive without as it is within. The heart of the building offers a charming and near perfect small room - although it has to be said that the seating is not of the most comfortable, having been designed for short periods of sitting interspersed with periods of standing. With all the trapping of a…
Read more...

Search americanaUK

Where but the legendary 100 Club would be more appropriate for the legendary Tom Russell…
Sunday October 11
Nashville, baby!! Music City twinkles in the distance as my packed United Airlines jet sets…
Wednesday October 07
You always feel like a mole at The Duchess, and you’d have to be a…
Monday September 28
There is a double annoyance at tonights gig, firstly that Barna Howard isn’t the support,…
Monday September 28
Drawing a curtain on the tour celebrating the release of their latest long player, The…
Thursday September 24
A welcome return to Glasgow for Willard Grant Conspiracy who opened their short UK tour…
Monday September 14
New look line-up is the same old Curtis. It’s fair to say that Curtis gets…
Tuesday September 08
Joe Pug’s latest Windfall is one of the best albums of the last 12 months.…
Tuesday September 08
Joe Pug’s latest Windfall is one of the best albums of the last 12 months.…
Tuesday September 08
The Bluebird café in Nashville should be familiar to anyone with a vague interest in…
Tuesday September 08
Crammed in to a sweat pub, on the hottest day of the year this is…
Wednesday August 05
Crammed in to a sweat pub, on the hottest day of the year this is…
Wednesday August 05
Tonight’s full house are treated to a sit down, relaxed, chilled out performance, Jolie Holland…
Tuesday August 04
Openers Bramble Knapskins are full of that youthful vigour and exude confidence that the young…
Tuesday August 04
Local support Sam Griffths is more than able, his guitar & double bass combo are…
Tuesday August 04
Opener Meade, 4 piece band, double bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and brushed drums, it’s a…
Tuesday August 04
Opener Charlie Tophill reminds me of an acoustic Betty & the Werewolves, a cheeky glint…
Tuesday August 04
It appears to be Nashville night in Leeds with 3 of the UK’s premier exponents…
Tuesday August 04
Another night, another church - Suzanne Vega had played the Union Chapel on the previous…
Thursday June 25
It's been a long road from there to here, with ups and downs along the…
Monday May 25