Shane’s Shenanigans @ The Reindeer: VEEG + Bag of Cans + The Wash + Joe Quinn 10 January 2019

In 2018 I attended 213 gigs/festivals, seeing 276 different bands/artists and 438 sets in all but I had only been to one gig since Midwinter Moonshine, which also happened to be a Shane night at the Reindeer. So 2019’s tally kicked off at The Reindeer on Thursday with the legendary Shane O’Linski‘s brilliant “Shane’s Musical Shenanigans” night. This bill featured a solo set from Joe Quinn, The Wash, Bag of Cans, and a debut performance of VEEG, being Lewis of Mssr. Mortimer. The billed Monkiboy was unable to play on this occasion.

bag of cans

joe quinn

Joe Quinn played a lovely set, hood up and back to the audience there was a good vibe to it all. Dave in The Wash also had his back to us but probably because it was such an improvised set he was facing the rhythm section. As there were two drum kits and Stacy was here Shane suggested he jam along. Oskari on bass was also improvising but it all worked wonderfully well and was atmospheric and hypnotic, Shane playing keys behind the speakers. Some of this reminded me a bit of The Cure’s Carnage Visors soundtrack but the final song felt like a krautrock epic, fantastic stuff.

The Wash

 

 

 

 

 

Third set was about the first time we saw anyone’s face and it was the deliciously bonkers fun of Bag of Cans, who also celebrating guitarist George’s birthday, which meant there was some impromptu messy cake eating onstage.  They are so much fun, are tight and play with a spirit that reminds me so much of Serious Drinking back in the day (especially Antboy) though there are also funky moments and others that sound like a punky Blur.  The large crowd were going nuts for it all too.

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It wasn’t over yet though as Lewis had a precisely timed 14 minute set to close with, premiering his new venture as VEEG which was quite unlike anything I think I have ever heard before!

 

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“There will be a host of awe-inspiring musical talent on display for all to hear and enjoy, come along and fill your boots with pure talent on a stick…

20:00
Joe Quinn, aka The Quinnstar Extraordinaire will be performing, here’s a link to his bandcamp page for a little taster of what he’s up to… https://josephquinn.bandcamp.com/ hope you enjoy it to the moon and back much like I do…

20:35
The Wash, noise merchants and eloquence on a stick will be performing their heart out to all and sundry with an eloquence that knows no bounds…

21:10
Monkiboy, an experimental set I hope that I lack a musical link to, I have a link to some of Monkiboys splendid work for his one month album project and I hope this will suffice.. https://ezifreak.bandcamp.com/album/freakezi
.An awe-inspiring performer on every level

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Bag Of Cans, To hear more of this awe-inspiring band please visit the link below https://www.facebook.com/BagOfCansBand/ I saw them perform in the summer in Chapel Field Gardens and they literally stole the show, an awe-inspiring spectacle it was indeed, fan favourite Antboy really got my gizm flowing 😀

22.35
VEEGCOLLECTIVE, well what is there to say about this artist? It’s me of course, check out and leave us a comment, hope you enjoy the night x ♥ ” https://soundcloud.com/user-167965762

bag of cansbag of cansbag of cans

So, my first gig of 2019 was Shane’s Shenanigans and so was my final one of 2018 when the line up included Kate Abbott from Brighton, a beautiful Joni Mitchell inflected and just lovely songs. I was pleased to catch her set.  Also playing were Of the Clay, one of my favourites but this duo are relocating to Ireland next month and will be much-missed.  I’m always grateful to Shane for giving me the introduction to them (as he has for so many of my favourites) when they played one of his Cactus nights early in their career.

katherine abbott

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Joey Herzfeld was also on the bill, here playing with Hugh and Chris and his set and engagement went down very well indeed.  Yellowhammers were also a hit and there was plenty of dancing going on to their brand of post-punk.  The night concluded with a storming and energetic mod, soul set from The Primes despite being beseiged with microphone gremlins. It was another great night and incredibly varied but it all works so well.

joey herzfeld

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Midwinter Moonshine @ NAC 21 & 22 December 2018. The Vagaband + The Hanging Stars + Hot Raisin + Lucy Grubb + Big Steve Arlene + Earl Harlem

As is traditional for the winter Solstice the Norwich Arts Centre once again hosted The Vagaband’s Midwinter Moonshine. As with last year it was held over two consecutive nights with live sets from special guests The Hanging Stars, Lucy Grubb, Hot Raisin, and Big Steve Arlene with several cameos from Noel Dashwood and of course Earl Harlem/Hank Jd Sleek with his Borderline honky tonk in the Mission Hall Bar.

the vagaband

 

The first night brought The Hanging Stars for their debut in Norwich and they were quite brilliant. Beautiful harmonies, melodies and hooks, with a Long Ryders / Morricone vibe.  These songs are just stunningly and upliftingly beautiful.  Lucy Grubb also performed another assured set and to close both nights The Vagaband played ninety-minute sets which featured the Hanging Stars’ pedal steel player, Joe Harvey Wright.

the hanging stars

the hanging stars

lucy grubb

 

I always love seeing Hot Raisin on the bigger stages and they certainly delivered here in a hugely enjoyable forty minute slot.  Opening with Little Tiger which sounded slightly different and rockier what with Tory also playing electric guitar.  That was followed by the beautiful Read Your Mind and the set also included their “angry” song, a powerful Feel. Set closer Whiskey Ginger sounded so punchy and big, the whole spectrum of light and shade in this one song alone. A fine set which was sadly Daryl’s last with the band but what a gig to go out on.

hot raisin

 

big steve arlene

Big Steve Arlene opened his set with Six Junkie Pounds – the story of someone who stole, and sold, his treasured guitar for a quick fix many years ago – and a few solo numbers. Achingly sad but beautiful before then being joined by the amazing Noel Dashwood on dobro and lovely harmonies while Vagabandits Jose played bass, Greg piano and Dan drums, with Joe once again on pedal steel. Steve was stepping in at fairly short notice to cover for the unwell Paul McClure and it was a privilege to hear these songs. He had planned to have a break from gigging over the winter to concentrate on writing and family commitments so this was quite a treat.

What more can be said about The Vagaband?  They have an altered line-up this year as they continue to evolve and Boweevil certainly adds a strong ingredient on electric guitar. Opening, as on the album, with Something Wicked This Way Comes there was a heck of a solo from Bo leading Jose to jokingly wonder if they’d peaked too early but went into an impressive There’ll Only Be One Elvis and the duet with Yve, An Eye for an Eye.  My own feeling sometimes when I see the band though is that I just can’t help wishing Yve herself was higher in the overall mix … and on night 2 not so hidden in the shadows at the back. She has an amazing voice, charisma and stage presence but she seemed a bit buried though certainly animated and having a great time with her gypsy dancing.

the vagaband

 

 

 

It was a curious thing how different the audiences were on the two nights. The Friday night crowd obviously had fun but Saturday night seemed to be on another level altogether, with a much fuller and livelier hall. Perhaps a tad too lively at one point by the sounds of things but I missed that bit of action while I was getting a drink and chatting to Earl Harlem in the bar.

the borderline

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My review for Outline :

Such has been the popularity and demand for tickets for The Vagaband’s annual Midwinter Moonshine that in recent years it has been expanded to a double-header over two nights at Norwich Arts Centre. This year I went to both nights.
Midwinter Moonshine I (with a suitably impressive full moon not only in the sky as I journeyed in but also on the NAC stage backdrop) was opened by rising star and Sonic Youths graduate Lucy Grubb, playing with a pared down version of her band which featured beautifully sympathetic and complimentary keys, banjo and guitar. I’ve seen Lucy numerous times so was already a convert and I felt that those hearing her for the first time here were more than impressed too. Dear Walter, from her recent EP, was just sublime and created one of those pin-drop moments. It’s clear to see why she is getting some well-deserved attention not just locally but nationally as well.
I’m familiar The Hanging Stars from some memorable Red Rooster appearances and a couple of albums but this was their first time playing in Norwich and they were quite simply magnificent. Fans of The Byrds, The Paisley Underground, and especially The Long Ryders will love them.  We even had the rare treat of hearing a Gun Club classic performed live when they covered Mother of Earth towards the end of their set. I do hope they’ll be in Norwich again at some point for their own headline show.
This year’s solstice falling on a Friday meant there were about a hundred other parties and gigs going on around the city which perhaps dented the attendance for the first Midwinter Moonshine but it was still a healthy and appreciative turnout who welcomed Norwich legends The Vagaband onto the stage at about 10:10pm as they filed on to an intro tape. 
The Vagaband 2018 have changed slightly and are more electric with the addition of Mark “Boweevil” Howes on guitar and Tris now also playing electric bass.  With one of the finest voices in the county, Yve Mary B has joined to bring her vocals and special, unique magic whilst The Hanging Stars’ Joe Harvey Whyte was on pedal steel.  The ninety-minute set drew heavily from their excellent recent Something Wicked This Way Comes but covered all their albums and also included a healthy smattering of established live favourites such as The Whistling Song and Gabrielle. It’s been a good year musically for The Vagaband with the release of their third album, lots of rave reviews and festival appearances and the recent highly successful collaboration at OPEN with the Youth Orchestra.
Midwinter Moonshine II the following day was due to have been opened by Paul McClure but as a result of an untimely back injury he was unable to perform so the wonderful Steve Arlene was called at short notice to come out of his self-imposed winter gigging hiatus.  Big Steve is a huge but understated talent. His songwriting is truly special and should be recognised as such. Many Arlenes songs are cherished and held very dear in the Shashamane household.  He performed the first few numbers solo before being joined for a couple of numbers by another Norwich legend, Noel Dashwood on dobro, and then a few members of The Vagaband themselves. The mutual respect between artists was obvious. It all passed by too quickly though and they were really hitting a groove during Springboard which proved to be the last of the set. I’d love to see these guys playing together more frequently, this was gorgeous.
Another of my favourites was next up, the wonderful Hot Raisin.  As they were setting up the mic was still set for the height of Big Steve, for a moment I thought Tory was going to have to sing Lemmy-style with head tilted back so high was the mic. She said she’d neglected to bring a stack of Yellow Pages to reach it!
It was a powerful performance from the full electric Raisins on what was sadly the last gig to feature drummer Daryl. They sounded especially punchy though with the somewhat rare sight of Tory playing electric guitar alongside the guitars of Luke and Mary,  with Tom on bass.  They are always great fun but the bigger the stage the better the show it seems from Hot Raisin and this one was up there with their best. I felt they were having a lot of fun (we certainly were) and this aspect of their friendly and genuine love of playing always comes across strongly, plus with their now traditional beer toasting between songs. They definitely won a lot of new admirers here with this set. Such a well-balanced band, both in terms of their music and their personalities.
The night closed once again with another triumphant set from The Vagaband, the whole band tight and in fine form. It was quite a lively crowd and watching from the side at one point I could see people dancing everywhere I looked.  They were once again joined by some cameos from Noel and sent us back into the midwinter night in rousing, uplifting style but for those who wanted to linger longer there was still a honky tonk going on in the bar with Earl Harlem’s brilliant Borderline.

 

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Lera Lynn + Worry Dolls @ Omeara, London 10 December 2018

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Exactly a week after that beautiful Union Chapel gig where Courtney Marie Andrews healed our souls and we in turned tried to heal her cold I was back in the capital again for a gig by Lera Lynn, Omeara at London Bridge being the most doable journey of the handful of UK dates.  I was delighted to discover that support was provided by Worry Dolls, who I have seen and enjoyed a couple of times before, at Red Rooster and at OPEN in Norwich.  They and Nashville-based Lera apparently met in that music city when Worry Dolls were recorded their album there.

There was a lot of interest in this gig which sold out many weeks ago, even though it was for a Monday night, I even saw people queuing at the door when I walked past the venue at 6pm.  It was a bit later when I headed there though, shortly before the arrival onstage of Worry Dolls who played a most impressive set that the crowd clearly enjoyed.  Their final song they performed completely unplugged right up at the front of the stage almost on top of the crowd. It was beautiful. I love their heartfelt and expressive form of Americana. Fans of Hope in High Water, whom we know well, will love them, they both have an obvious integrity and passion about what they are doing too.

Lera Lynn‘s latest album is called Plays Well With Others and as the title suggests is a collaborative work of co-written duets alongside names such as JD McPherson, Peter Bradley Adams, John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, Andrew Combs, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, and Nicole Atkins.  The songs all fit together on the album well too, giving it a cohesive and whole feeling.  I held back buying my album until this gig though as I wanted to get my copy signed!  (So many thanks to the lovely lady on the merch table who kindly looked after my vinyl and t-shirt until the end of the gig, much appreciated!)

The lights dimmed and Lera came onstage illuminated by a single spotlight and went straight into the set, with her duet partner for the set, Todd Lombardo, who was brilliant taking on the roles of these other singers for the tour.  The whole set seemed to pass so quickly as we enjoyed it so much, sublime playing and vocals, great songs and terrific sound and lighting in this lovely venue. Most of the material was obviously from Plays Well With Others but we also had some gems from Resistor and The Avenues which pleased the appreciative and attentive crowd too.

I’ve only seen Lera Lynn once before, at a Spiegeltent gig in Norwich for our festival a couple of years or so back and she’s one of very few that I will travel down to London for, what with all the expense that a day in the capital seems to entail but it was so worth it.  To cap a special night Lera did come out to meet fans and sign records, and I was even lucky enough to get a photo. Thank you Lera.

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“Throughout her career — a nearly decade-long run filled with three album releases, a career-shifting appearance and soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective, hundreds of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sound encompassing everything from Americana to stark indie rock — Lera Lynn has balanced her fierce independence with a string of collaborations. 

She’s written songs with T Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash. She’s recorded albums with full bands (2014’s The Avenues, hailed by outlets like Rolling Stone and American Songwriter) and smaller lineups (the experimental, NPR and New York Times-approved Resistor, which Lynn co-produced at her Nashville home). On her fourth album, Plays Well With Others, she teams up with eight different duet partners and seven co-writers, resulting in her most diverse, collaborative work to date. 

“…her gorgeous Emmylou-like voice which wraps itself around the varied tone of her collaborators…” – Uncut Magazine”

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@RShashamane

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The Blockheads + Ben C Winn @ NAC 8 December 2018

Yet another sellout gig at the Arts Centre for the return of the Blockheads.  Apparently they have played NAC in each of the past eight years and yet somehow this was my first time seeing them since a couple of UEA gigs, in 1998 and again in 2000 which was sadly one of Ian Dury’s last gigs, and so it’s taken me all this time to see them with a different front-person.  Occasionally they are fronted by Phil Jupitus but their more regular vocalist is Derek “The Draw” Hussey, Ian’s former bodyguard and on lead vocals duty here at Norwich.

blockheads

Support, as it was last year, was provided by the excellent Ben C Winn who is absolutely perfect for this crowd with his humour and clever use of words. Not surprisingly he went down brilliantly with the audience. Rita, Don’t Retire almost cries out to share the same record as Razzle in My Pocket.

ben c winn

ben c winnben c winnben c winn

Despite the massive loss of Ian Dury it is still well worth seeing the Blockheads live, not least for the chance to see some incredible musicians playing with absolute joy. The band still contains such legends as Chaz Jankel and Norman Watt-Roy and of course the songs are incredible.  Derek walks onstage and drapes one of Ian’s silk white scarfs around the mic stand and proceeds to deliver a set of classic Blockheads tunes. Of course he is no Ian (nobody is) but he strikes the right tone and the crowd lapped up hearing these songs played live by these outstanding musicians.

 

blockheads

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SOLD OUT

Saturday 8th December 2018
8:00 PM
£25.50 | £23.50 concessions (includes admin fee)
Standing 

This is without doubt one of the finest bands touring. The band still have four of the original founding members from the 1977 lineup.

The Blockheads are now fronted by one of Ian’s best friends Derek ‘The Draw’, the band’s vocalist and wordsmith. Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher still remain from the original band and the current line-up is augmented by John Roberts on drums and a rolling line up of saxophonists including Gilad Atzmon, Terry Edwards or Dave Lewis.

These legendary Brit-Funkers will be playing all the old favourites and new material. In 1978 Chaz composed ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’ with Ian and in 1979 had a number one hit record. In 1982 Ian Dury & The Blockheads disbanded and were not to play together again until 1987 when they went out to Japan to play three shows, disbanding again until 1990 when the death of Charlie Charles in September of that year re-united them to play two Benefit gigs at The Forum, Camden Town in aid of Charlie’s family. The last performance by Ian Dury & The Blockheads was February 6th 2000 at The London Palladium. Ian died at 9am on 27th March 2000.

Now over 15 years since Ian passed away, The Blockheads still perform Ian’s songs to packed out venues around the World.

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Mark Sultan + Ravenous Hounds + DJ Tom Eagle @ Louis Marchesi Crypt 4 December 2018

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This was a gig originally scheduled to be held at The Crunch but was cancelled due to a peculiar council decision. Luckily Gluttonous Mutt stepped in to save the gig which was moved to the city’s Crypt beneath the Louis Marchesi. The last one here with James and the Ultrasounds was an absolute belter so I knew we were in for good things.

tom eagle

Tom Eagle was dj-ing before, inbetween, and after the acts entertaining us with punk, soul, ska and “yob-rock” and the live music kicked off with the excellent four-piece of Ravenous Hounds.  I love this band and experiencing their garage punk rock in an undercroft is always an exciting experience. Very loud and visceral, up close in the small confines of this packed undercroft. Just brilliant.

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Headline act was of course Mark Sultan whom I’d only previously seen in his King Khan incarnation but he’s obviously also well-known from his Spaceshits, BBQ, Les Sexareenos and solo projects.  Seated throughout and with lots of dialogue with the audience between songs this wasn’t exactly the typical gig experience but nor was it meant to be, it was a man doing what he loves to do and not giving a damn what anyone thinks about it, though the crowd did seem to be digging it and pretty familiar with a lot of the songs too.

mark sultan

Thanks to Gluttonous Mutt for another great night of garage rock and roll in the perfect space.

TUESDAY 4TH DECEMBER – LOUIS MARCHESI UNDERCROFT

Gluttonous Mutt Presents

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Mark Sultan/BBQ – all-time garage punk legend from such great bands as the King Khan & BBQ Show, Spaceshits, Les Sexareenos and of course many incredible solo albums, under the BBQ and Mark Sultan monikers. A massive coup for Norwich to have him in an intimate venue as part of his UK tour, you won’t get a chance like this again, believe us!

“If there’s a Patient Zero in garage rock’s recent shift from emulating the troglodytic stomp of teenage Stones wannabes in 1965 to embracing the Golden Oldies pop and doo-wop of the years just before Beatlemania, it’s probably Mark “BBQ” Sultan, who releases albums of catchy, clever garage-pop more frequently than most people buy shoes.”
– Chicago Reader

“Not Another Day” – https://youtu.be/KYqwmKShuyk

New album on Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2ONUZrX

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Ravenous Hounds – High-energy psych-punk rock and roll, guaranteed to raise the roof and move the floor. Coming off a string of great support slots on their debut year in 2018, this will be a great one to top it off. 

Youtube playlist – https://bit.ly/2RT8IQ3

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DJ Tom Eagle – a legend on the Norwich scene, playing the best rhythm & blues, reggae, soul, punk etc on vinyl.

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This gig was previously to be hosted by our good friend Mr Jason at The Crunch – Recording Studio, but due to restrictions on events and threats from the council he was forced to cancel, hence us picking it up. We’re very grateful to him for booking the show in the first place. If you’re in a band and want some recordings that don’t just have a generic sterile sound, and sound incredile instead, he’s the best around, so hit him up. 

If you bought tickets for that show you should have an email asking if you want your tickets transeferred or refunded – check yr inbox!

GET IT!

 

@RShashamane

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Courtney Marie Andrews @ Union Chapel, Islington, London 3 December 2018

This year has been another vintage one for gigs and also one in which I’ve been lucky enough to see Courtney Marie Andrews performing live three times, twice in London and also that wonderful NAC gig. This was to be my fourth time this year alone such is my appetite to experience her magical performances.

cma union chapel 2

The day started in rather slow and comical fashion though with the train grinding to a halt before it had even properly left Norwich station due to an obstinate swan refusing to leave the bridge at Trowse. I guess it was in a grumpy Monday mood but some 25 minutes later he was coaxed off and the train was on its way. I suppose that was quite a Norfolk moment.

 

With a few hours to kill before the gig I checked out the evening’s venue, the stunning Union Chapel which is only a couple of minutes’ walk from Islington Assembly Hall where I also saw Courtney play earlier in the year. I also noted that the pub opposite was called The White Swan. Hmmmm. Afterwards I spent a couple of hours in Camden, saw a black cat stroll out of Amy Winehouse’s former garden and then I dried off from the rain with a Guinness at The Hawley before heading back to Islington.  I’d been told it is a good idea to queue early to get anywhere close to the front, so I did just that, standing freezing outside a good hour before the doors opened. The queue was asked by a passer-by if we were queuing for mass! In a way we were, a congregation bonded by a love of CMA.  Even with just a dozen or so people in front of me all the front pews were already commandeered when I got in but there is no bad view at Union Chapel and I was more than happy with my space about four rows from the front. This venue is one of the best and most beautiful I have been in and it was no hardship to warm up for an hour or so with a hot chocolate before the music got under way with support from Andy Jenkins of Richmond, Virginia.  He rather bravely opened with an a cappella song which he later spoke of: “Opening your set at Union Chapel with an a cappella number is either hubris or a triumph”, he certainly seemed to pull it off.

union chapel

9pm was Courtney time. She came on to warm applause from the sold out audience of about 800 and started straight away with Put the Fire Out which sounded amazing in this space.  Pointing to the tray of medicinal drinks she explained that she’d just played Dingle for Other Voices and then Belfast but now had “the cold”.  She was clearly suffering but through sheer determination, commitment, professionalism and not wanting to let her fans down she said she wasn’t going to let a cold and sore throat stop her. “I’m not gonna cancel after making it all those miles over here” which is so admirable but cannot have been easy.  The audience, some of whom were coughing too, either through empathy, sympathy or common symptoms, were fully on side with Courtney and appreciated what she was doing, trying their best to carry her through and somehow her voice didn’t sound too affected by her cold but she clearly felt most unwell and I felt concerned for her. There was a beautiful vibe in this lovely venue, a two-way feeling of kindness, a theme with Courtney as she mentioned. I have found this, wearing a t-shirt with the words May Your Kindness Remain has noticable effects, it radiates positivity and it has connected me with many strangers. There was a heartwarming connection after her Norwich gig where in the pub afterwards I was asked about the words. I asked the barman if he could stream her song through the pub and he did, playing the whole album to great appreciation and some lovely bonding with new friends. Without that t-shirt it’s most unlikely any of us would have even spoken to each other. It’s a great message and in humble style it doesn’t even mention her name.

courtney marie andrews

 

It was good to hear these familiar songs stripped right back and even with a sore throat her voice was still incredible. She said it was the “squeakiest show I’ve ever done” but that’s just her high standards. She was magnificent. The songs are stories inhabited by real characters, some lonely, some vulnerable and the writing itself draws me in but with her voice and playing too they become treasured gems. Her songs are precious to me.

 

She told us a few stories about the songs, some being explained for the first time, and then she was joined by the brilliant BJ Cole for several numbers (he also joined her in Ireland for the Other Voices show), including a fantastic Table for One and a bit later they were further joined by a trio of backing singers (Embasan, whose album Coutney produced) sounding like a soul choir on Long Road Back to You, and a cover of Neil Young’s One of These Days, plus a real goosebumps moment with Let the Good One Go, despite everything Courtney’s voice absolutely soaring at the end. This alone would have made me want to give a standing ovation and I could feel I was not alone in that.

 

I think she needed to preserve her voice and although she really wanted and hoped to play for longer and take some requests she asked if we would mind if she closed with a solo May Your Kindness Remain. Of course we didn’t, she’d already given us about 75 minutes of magic. A few warm-ups with her voice and then she said “You know, I think I’ll do this one unplugged and hope you can hear me at the back”, and this was one of the show highlights. In an impromptu moment she walked to the back of the stage and down some steps, and to our surprise and delight sang the last couple of verses right in front of us on the floor.  When the song finished the crowd rose as one for a thoroughly deserved standing ovation which was rapturous and prolonged. I’ve rarely seen such an ovation at a gig. I’m not quite sure how she got through the show at all, to be honest, dogged determination probably but she was obviously in a pretty bad way and feeling extremely rough. How she performed at all is amazing but that it was one of the best gigs I have seen all year makes it all the more incredible. After every Courtney gig I always feel in some way healed and I hope I can send some healing vibes back her way too.

courtney marie andrews

Courtney and BJ Cole

The last train back to Norwich felt like a slow one and when it eventually arrived I noticed some December ice on the ground but my heart was still glowing warm from an incredible gig when I finally did make it home a little before 3am. It may not have been the request show she planned but I still got to hear many of those I would have chosen anyway such as Paintings from Michael which was played at the piano, Table for One, Let the Good One Go, Near You, and another of the set highlights, Border – possibly her angriest song the pedal steel from BJ adding something powerful. We even got to hear a couple of brand new songs It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault, and Ships in the Night that makes me excited for a future album. They sound great with her usual style of songwriting that connects with us so deeply. The background stories to the likes of Irene, Border, This House (and Tucker! This resonates with me so much), Paintings from Michael drew us further into her world and her beautiful soul. Her wise, kind old soul.

 

 

courtney marie andrews

Courtney closes the set on the floor with an unplugged May Your Kindness Remain

Thank you Courtney, your gigs are always among my favourites, and I hope you feel better soon. As for Union Chapel, this has instantly become one of my favourite venues too. Observing the festive tree to the side of the stage, CMA said it made her think of her mom, who “loves Christmas”.

I’m on just over 200 gigs for this year so far and this one is definitely one of the best of them. If 2017 and Honest Life was a breakthrough then 2018 and May Your Kindness Remain has been a triumph with the album appearing in many of the ‘album of the year’ lists, including my own.

union chapel

“Union Chapel is a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in centre for the homeless in Islington, London, England. Built in the late 19th century in the Gothic revival style, the church is Grade I-listed.”

 

 

@RShashamane

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Best gigs, courtney marie andrews, live music and dance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tilting Sky presents: Morganway + Turf Club Racebook + Sweet Crisis + Lisa Redford @ NAC 30 November 2018

Craig Hill’s Tilting Sky returned with this full line up in a packed out Norwich Arts Centre.  The stage was beautifully set and the night opened with a short but lovely solo set from Lisa Redford who is currently recording at Jose McGill’s studio with contributions from Mark Boweevil Howes and Noel Dashwood. Hopefully there will be a launch show to accompany it. She said she was struggling a bit with a cold but still sounded good to my ears.

lisa redford

lisa redford

lisa redford

Her set was quickly followed by a new name on me, a blues rock outfit from Cambridge called Sweet Crisis. I didn’t catch too much of their set but they seemed to be well-received by the Norwich crowd.

sweet crisis

The music kept on coming and after another quick turnaround it was time for Turf Club Racebook, a six-piece line-up featuring Graham on vocals and resonator guitar, Chase on upright bass, Jess on violin and Mary, Tory and Luke from Hot Raisin on guitars and mandolin. They are in the process of recording an album and there’s a taster available for free download, the excellent Well, Yeah.

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turf club racebook

The NAC certainly felt busy, full and bustling and by the time Morganway were about to come on there weren’t too many spots available near the front and the atmosphere was really building.  This was my first opportunity to see the new seven-piece line-up.  It still feels a little weird hearing some of the older songs and not seeing Yve but they still sound slick and professional with their trademark big sound. Great songs are great songs and they are all excellent musicians with some super harmonies. A well-delivered and triumphant Norwich return.

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SOLD OUT

+ The Turf Club Racebook + Sweet Crisis

£11.50 adv | £13.50 door (includes admin fee) 

Following their sell-out gig last year at the NAC, we’re delighted to welcome back Morganway, after a hugely successful summer that’s seen the band gathering momentum and fans (who include the legendry whispering Bob Harris). Opening the Cambridge Folk Festival Stage 2, a barnstorming set at Buckle & Boots, two nominations for the British Country Music Awards (Group of the Year and Entertainer of the Year) … plus, recording their debut album which is due for release in early 2019. 2018 has been a hell of a year for this East Anglian-based seven-piece, so grab your tickets and catch their brilliant live act (did we mention that Stradisphere Festival voted them best live act?)

Morganway delivers a fiery fusion of Americana, country, rock and blues, melding five part harmonies with driving riffs. The band features twin brothers Callum (vocals/guitar) and Kieran Morgan (lead guitar), SJ Mortimer (vocals), Nicole Terry (fiddle), Matthew Brocklehurst (keys), Rory Hill (bass) and Ed Bullinger (drums).

 

 

 

@RShashamane

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

 

 

 

Posted in lisa redford, live music and dance, morganway, Norwich Arts Centre, tilting sky, Turfclub Racebook | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment