Norwich Road in Ipswich feels a bit like Magdalen Street in our city, and just off a side street and in the middle of a car park is situated South Street Studios, a complex of community projects which includes the purpose built venue The Smokehouse. At a time when funding for the likes of community centres, the arts and just about anything which promotes community it is really refreshing to see such a place spring up. It feels friendly and vibrant too.
Sitting on the car park railings before the gig, eating some chips in the company of a charming black cat who decided to join me, I could not help noticing a really unusual sky.
The Smokehouse isn’t a big space but it is made for music and is equipped with a sound-desk, PA, lighting, dressing room and a delightfully informal and nicely priced bar in a side room, it had a good vibe and I get the impression it is proving successful as a new music venue which can only be a hugely positive thing.
About 8:30pm the Rainbow Girls came onstage, this being my third time seeing them on the tour. I saw them at the first night of the tour in Eaton Park Cafe, and again on Monday night in Camden’s Green Note and the morning after that gig they were flying to Ireland for their two days off. They arrived back that very afternoon of the Smokehouse gig at the same time as I was on the train to Ipswich. Their energy is incredible. As is their spiritual and soulful energy which is so warm and positive, I love their company. I love their music too. Tonight it was once again split into two sets with a similar setlist but with a few inclusions I hadn’t heard on the other dates. John Craigie’s “28” about the 27 Club, and from their own Perceptronium album “No Girls Allowed”. Once again they included a storming cover of Carole King’s “One Fine Day”, also made famous by The Chiffons, as well as the new gems from the American Dream, and even some stunning unrecorded material too. Also in the set was their splendid version of “Go Home” by Lucius.
They sure have a special energy and a wonderfully inclusive spirit of acceptance and coming together, I shall really miss them but feel blessed to know them. The world is a better place for them and they inspire a lot of hope.
Big Thanks to Rainbow Girls, James at Blue House Music, and The Smokehouse.
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2017