Originally written immediately after the gig, I didn’t post it because I was never really happy with it. It hadn’t quite captured how I felt. Re-edited and published for the anniversary of the gig – and still waiting for that DVD!
Kate Bush, Apollo Hammersmith, London 16 September 2014
Like every other fan who missed out on the 1979 Tour Of Life, I was reconciled to never seeing Kate Bush perform live. Or so I thought.
When her residency at the Apollo, Hammersmith was announced, I was uncertain. What if – dare to think it – it wasn’t much good? What if it destroyed my decades of admiration for this woman’s work? In truth, there was no way that I would miss out on the chance to get tickets. Stalls, mid-run and on one of the nights being filmed for DVD – and our wedding anniversary, to boot (which helped me feel better about the ticket cost). Continue reading
The Unthanks / The Young’Uns, The Roundhouse, London, 07 March 2015
To the Roundhouse, a venue I’ve not visited in about 25 years. Back then it was John Cooper Clarke and Nico in this dingy but atmospheric former rail shed. Camden’s still greedy, grimy and squalid, but the Roundhouse now gleams and sparkles. It’s horribly soulless and corporate with an over-the-top security system that would put most international airports to shame. Still, we’re here for the music which, luckily, is one thing the Roundhouse does still do well. Continue reading
Moulettes, Cecil Sharp House, London, 06 December, 2014
Well, the evening starts on a bit of a downer as Eliza Jaye (support act and Moulette) tells the audience that the band’s green room was ransacked during soundcheck and their personal effects stolen. It doesn’t help that she then goes into an angsty song, that only reinforces the bleak note we’ve started on. There’s a lovely song called Déjà Vu, which reminds me of Tanya Donnelly, but unfortunately, the rest of the set leaves me a bit cold, especially the “rock chick” (her words) number at the end. Continue reading
Kings of The South Seas, Cecil Sharp House, London,
18 November 2014
Tonight involves a long, drizzly walk, past the near-invisible joggers by Regents Park (who don’t think to wear lights or hi-vis clothing to warn you that they’re going to mow you down, oh no), to listen to Ben Nicholls, Richard Warren and Evan Jenkins – the Kings Of The South Seas – launching their new album of 19th century whaling songs. Continue reading
Martin & Eliza Carthy, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 6 June 2014.
Father and daughter are onstage to launch their new album – and their first together – The Moral Of The Elephant. It’s the perfect partner to the mother/daughter pairing on Eliza and Norma Waterson’s The Gift a couple of years ago.
Barbican, London, 11 October 2013
The album Bright Phoebus is a modern folk classic, a game-changer in the way of Dylan going electric. The contemporaneous nature of the songs, far from The Watersons’ own roots in traditional folk music, earned them much criticism. Mike Waterson’s sunnier, pop-tinged songs earned comparisons with The Beatles, while his sister, Lal, wrote intriguingly dark, earthy, mystical songs, at once fragile and primal. Continue reading