I first bumped into Carol from the Mo at the Birdcage birthday celebrations in Norwich last year and have subsequently bumped into her at many gigs and exchanged communications several times but for various reasons this was my first visit to the Mo for one of the monthly fundraising gigs for the museum. The line ups thus far have been excellent and I was most pleased to be able to attend this one (thank you Hot Raisin!), the setting is amazing and the views quite stunning.
The whole evening’s music was being streamed live by West Norfolk Radio and the music room in the museum was packed with people (and a lifeboat) for the first set at around 7:30pm from Hot Raisin, introduced by Carol. Playing as the original Tory and Mary Hot Raisin duo this time. A set of 40 minutes or so enabled them to showcase their style and variety, Tory’s lovely, expressive storytelling voice and Mary’s sublime guitar playing worked magic on an appreciative. This was a wonderful set and another chance to hear the excellent re-working of an older song … Conscious. Always a treat to hear the Raisins play and this was another lovely gig. Cheers!
The Raisins recently released their debut EP, Whiskey Ginger, with most of the tracks played here at the Mo, appropriately closing with Captain, as we were on the coast. The EPs cover reflects the light and shade of the four tracks, it can be purchased from gigs or at their Bandcamp site.
I’ve seen Falling From Trees a number of times over the years but not for quite some time and I was impressed at how much their sound has developed and grown since then. Now a four-piece with the addition of a bassist they have an album in the pipeline which will also feature drums. This was definitely the best performance I have seen from them thus far.
I spoke briefly with Katie Spencer before the gig, she had endured a five and a half hour journey from Hull to get here but by the end of it, because of her songs and the purity of them I somehow felt I knew her as a result. Music can do this. There is such a purity and honest integrity about her work. On a previous visit to play in Norfolk at the Sheringham festival she was spotted by Carol and invited back to play the Mo, something for which I am grateful as I was spellbound by her beautiful set. All alone on the stage in a with her acoustic guitar and dressed in a beautiful shirt she totally charmed the audience throughout the set, connecting with her songs and also her humble Northern charm between songs … “I forget how blue the sea can be ’til I come down south … and also how Northern I am!” It can’t have been easy starting out as a solo artist travelling around the country and taking to the stage alone and playing almost all original compositions with no band share the stage with … but what songs, what a voice, and what playing! The audience absolutely adored her and it was great to see the mutual respect among the musicians. Self-taught, her guitar playing is just incredible and with her storytelling songs it was one of those special sets which just seem to pass all too quickly, seemingly passing by in the dreamy blinking of an eye, she takes you to the worlds and characters within the songs. The whole gamut of emotions and the end of her set felt like waking from a beautifully vivid musical dream. I made sure I came home with a copy of her mini-album, Good Morning Sky. Fans of Laura Marling, John Martyn, Ryley Walker, early Neil Young et al. will absolutely love her. Charming, talented, hard-working and dedicated, we have to get her back to Norfolk to play in Norwich.
This was such a lovely evening, everything about it. The music, the venue, the welcoming people at the Mo, the attentive but relaxed audience and the stunning setting on the north Norfolk coast. I also really want to go back again and take a proper look around the music, as well as experience some more music there. A gem.
Big thanks to all the artists, everyone at the Mo and extra special thanks to Ray, Sharon, Mary and Tory.
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2017