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Showing posts from October, 2015

Beach House, Manchester 271015

This has been a hard one to write. The problem was I'd been to see Simone Felice in Leeds the night before and had been totally blown away. Beach House, from Baltimore, Maryland, a band I've liked for a few years now, and had wanted to see for a while, just happened to rock up at the wrong time, as I was still caught up in the previous night's music. After an intimate gig in a small, cosy venue like the Brudenell Social Club, in front of maybe 150 people at most, where we were able to chat and pose for pictures with the musicians for a while, and then going to a sell-out event with 1,500 people at the Ritz in Manchester the following night when the band kept themselves remote and in the dark with only the backdrop being illuminated was not really where my head was! Which, with hindsight, is probably not a fair reflection. I managed to get a good space on the top balcony, at the front with a good view. The band came on, played a lot of tracks off their new al

Scarecrows and Water Spiders: Simone Felice in Leeds

Still trying to get back down to earth after last night's amazing gig by Simone Felice at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. Dave Kennedy, lead singer with the Rainey Street Band had invited me along to see someone who has greatly inspired and influenced him. Whilst I hadn't heard Simone - pronounced 'Simon' - perform before, I was familiar with a number of his songs as they are regularly included by the Rainey Street Band in their set -  'Radio's On, 'Whiskey into my Whiskey' and 'One More American Song'. The day had started quietly enough with a pint in Spoons in Brighouse, where I met Dave, ace harmonica player and multi-instrumentalist, Ian Crabtree, and his wife Chris, prior to catching the train over to Leeds. A few quality pints then ensued in the pubs of re-vitalised Holbeck - the Northern Monk Refectory, the Cross Keys and the Midnight Bell - before we headed back into town where we met Dom, and then Tom Firth, another man of many i

The Rails: On Track in Hebden Bridge

One of my favourite albums of all time is 'I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight' by Richard and Linda Thompson, a timeless classic from 1974 which still sounds as good now as it did then, and which is still a source of inspiration for musicians today. I went to see the Thompsons back in 1975 at Manchester's Free Trade Hall during my student days and although I have only vague memories of the evening, the music has always been a source of pleasure. I was reminded of that gig the other day when I went to see The Rails, featuring Richard and Linda's daughter Kami, perform at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge. I first came across them last year when Mark Radcliffe played 'Jealous Sailor' on the Radio 2 Folk Show, and from there I bought their debut album 'Fair Warning', co-produced by Edwyn Collins, and featuring fiddle from Eliza Carthy. And in another throwback to the past, it was the first album released in the Island Records pink imprint since the he