Lots of gigs to round up, notably The Vagaband at The Owl Sanctuary on the 16th. Their first time playing here and sounding beefy and punchy. Almost the full line up with Jose, Tris, Dan, Patrick, Ali, Hugh, Greg, and Noel. I like it when bands play different venues although it did feel a little unusual seeing the Vagaband here without some of their core regulars in the audience, they will hopefully have been playing to some who hadn’t seen much of them before and been won over. It was good to hear some brand new songs get an airing alongside some live favourites. The music for the night was opened by Alan Hoim playing his first solo gig since the demise of Darwin & the Dinosaur, and the inimitable Chad Mason who I just enjoy hearing more and more each time. Brilliant storyteller, and not only in song.
A couple of days later I caught The Dirigibles at a very hot and rammed Plasterers Arms for “Sunday Funday”, and a rare visit to Gonzo’s which was really chilled out and mellow which suited Joseph Quinn and the Amazing World of Living Things, and finally the last few numbers of a three hour set by recent YouTube sensation Pirate Joe in The Doghouse.
On Tuesday the regular BFR night started a bit later than usual at The Plasterers with only Hot Raisin playing on this occasion. I saw them recently at OST but only caught the last few songs and missed out on their CDs so tonight I was able to put right both of those issues. See them on 11 November at Grapevine at Bedfords as part of a stunningly strong line up alongside the excellent Robert Chaney, and Blood Bird.
Again at the Plasterers which feels like a home from home these days, I was back there on the 22nd for an Ideal Surreal night – which certainly lived up to its name – with sets by Robyn Astrid, Zoe Arrow, Haemo-Sapiens (who on with guitar, double bass, accordion covered Chumbawumba!), and Echoes in the Well whose set was an absolute delight. Crazy scenes in the Plasterers with Zoe playing harp right underneath a speaker, Tom playing guitar stood on the bench and harmonica coming somewhere from the back room, played by Justina of Miss Mute et al. The atmosphere was tremendous and it felt like being part of some ghost ship adrift on the oceans where everyone is having a party nevertheless. It was glorious fun.
To end the night it was another dash to The Murderers to catch the last couple of songs by Kat & Co. playing as part of the Fine City Blues Explosion Festival. She was great, sassy and entertaining.
Many thanks to The Vagaband