'Moonmadness' was an album released in March 1976 with the line-up of Andrew Latimer, Peter Bardens, Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward. The guy sitting next to me at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge last night, had first seen the band when he was 13, in Peterborough 42 years ago!
Well this was a special gig. A UK tour by Jim White is a pretty rare thing and it is thanks to Clive Barnes, that Jim is touring our shores. Clive is an Irish guitarist and promoter, who also plays the support slot and plays guitar next to Jim for the main set.
Leopardstown Racecourse put on a series of concerts over the summer under the moniker Bulmer's Live. This brought a motley crew of musical guests – Hothouse Flowers, Hudson Taylor, Paul Young, Smokie and ultimately the mighty Waterboys.
I wasn’t sure whether to write about Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ concert in Dublin. As I was walking out of the Kilmainham Royal Hospital grounds I wanted the people around me to stop talking. The audience had been perfectly quiet and totally into the show while the band were on stage. I wanted that atmosphere to continue, and I wondered if trying to put words down about the night would devalue it somehow.
The second edition of Frank Turner's award-winning 'Lost Evenings' festival took place earlier this month. This was four days of music and side events in the venues, clubs and pubs of Camden Town. Frank played a headline show each night, with supports. There was a second stage, the Nick Alexander stage, named after Frank's roadie friend who was killed at the Bataclan. There was live music at the Monarch, the Hawley Arms and the Lock Tavern; festival-goers could get a tattoo at the Camden Piercing and Tattoo studio; there were late night DJ sets at Dingwalls, young artists' showcases, Q&As and panel discussions at the Roundhouse, and Safe Gigs For Women hosted a hilarious pub quiz.
In these uncertain times things change rapidly but there's a satisfying continuance here tonight in the double Welsh flags on the bass amps, the huge tunes and sky scrapping riffs of opening numbers tonight. Recent single 'International Blue' which in its live version sounds like it will exist long in the set list beyond new album 'Resistance is Futile' promotional tour (or perhaps thanks to digital consumption do new albums exist to promote tours?), and ' You Stole The Sun From My Heart'.
Finding the music stage at The Cookie feels like gaining admission to a Prohibition-era speakeasy; after entering the bar you head down a set of wooden steps to be met by a door which upon opening reveals a dimly lit room with a low ceiling and a stage at the far end. We're entering the gloom here tonight to see those self-proclaimed purveyors of 'Forlorn English Balladry' Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker touring in support of their new album 'Seedlings All'.
“And YOU can be there!” said Mark Radcliffe back in February, after reading out the Folk Awards nominations on his radio programme and announcing that this year's ceremony would take place in Belfast. I immediately decided I'd better be, and so it was that I found myself in Belfast on a wet and windy afternoon last week.
Tonight’s visit to the legendary City Varieties in Leeds is a first for me, and long overdue although music is only part of this venues repertoire with most of the upcoming programme being reserved for stand up comedians and theatre. For older readers, the venue hosted The Good Old Days several decades ago, and was a regular in my house growing up as a kid.
Ergodos is a record label and music production company based in Dublin. They specialise in site-specific concerts and their series of events at the Little Museum of Dublin is really quite wonderful. First of all there is the location – a quirky award-winning museum on St Stephen's Green. Numbers are limited, so the audience can get close to the action and the setting guarantees chatter-free listening.
CC Smugglers have played in many unusual places; I first saw them busking in the bar at Cambridge Folk Festival, then at a summer street party, and last year they had graduated to one of the main Cambridge Folk stages. They are always very riotous, a mix of bluegrass, music hall jazz and folk reels, the life and soul of the party.