Grapevine @ Bedfords featuring The Tony Brook Band, The Woodland Creatures, and Jules Talbot. Bedfords Bar, Norwich 19 August 2015
This is yet another Grapevine that will go down as a “special” one. I’m not quite sure how the word special just by the definition can seemingly be applied to every event here but Steve Howlett somehow manages this with the artists he chooses and the very precious atmosphere created at Bedfords. They do all seem to be special.
Opening the music at around 8:30pm was Jules Talbot, my first time hearing Jules (from The Bank, in Eye – a lovely venue I visited with Steve and Jan recently for Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra). A most humble chap who came over as very likeable with his gentle self-deprecating and modest humour between songs and delicate and captivating performance.
It’s been way too long since I have heard the Woodland Creatures play so was eagerly looking forward to hearing Christina and Lizzy again. They have a whole host of new songs and a new album to promote, I was delighted to pick up a copy of “Fool the Wolves“, a beautifully packaged, hand printed cover with some gorgeous tracks. Special highlights for me are Darling I’ll Be Home, and Norfolk Lullaby.
They totally charmed the audience and won over anyone hearing them for the first time. Playing and swapping a range of instruments the set seemed to pass so quickly but they got a tremendous ovation at the end and got a deserved encore. It was magical.
Tony Brook, from Alabama is someone I’ve had the pleasure of bumping into at gigs several times lately. I love the blues he plays and this was to be my first time hearing him with a band (Geoff Cooper and Stewart Aitken). To say this was a treat would be a massive understatement. The sound, with Dickie on the desk, was sensational and the songs superb. The set was played in great spirit and flawlessly. It was one of the most enjoyable Grapevine sets I’ve been privileged to be at and I can’t have been alone in this as the applause at the end was probably the loudest and longest I have heard here, indeed the set merited and got a standing ovation.
Tony is around for another couple of weeks or so and has a number of local gigs coming up at the likes of The Rumsey (tonight), and The Plasterers (Sunday).
I now have a couple of Tony’s albums and hugely enjoyed listening to them yesterday, do get yourself a copy if you can. Thanks Tony, you are a gentleman and I hope to hear you play again very soon.
As so often happens with gigs as enjoyable as this I was somewhat buzzing afterwards and so with a couple of friends retired to the Ten Bells. I have gotten used to the new decor now and especially pleasing for me was that it still has the relaxed and friendly late night vibe. The music continued here with some great tracks from The Stones, Funkadelic, and Fleetwood Mac actually getting a little dance area going on. Brilliant vibes in the Ten Bells. The perfect end to a superb night.
Many thanks to Tony Brook and his band, The Woodland Creatures, Jules Talbot, Steve and Jan, Dickie, Bedfords Bar, The Ten Bells, and all the great company throughout the evening.
The next Grapevine is 16 September and is the 8th birthday for Grapevine. The line up features the wonderful Sadie Jemmett, Dan Wilde, and Jake Morrell (trio).
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2015