4 Play Quo. The Lion, Castleford. 12.01.2018

Decent.  Better than John Coghlan’s Quo. Discuss.

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Crosscut Saw. Duck and Drake. 6 Jan 2017

Back in 1969 there was a film called ‘If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium’. Similarly there is a gig called ‘If it’s the first Saturday in the month at the Duck and Drake it must be Crosscut Saw’. but it’s not quite as catchy a title!

The usual 9.30pm start, with the usual opening salvo of Bo Diddley’s ‘I can tell’ and Magic Sam’s ‘All your love’.  Once again. the rhythm section show they are as tight as Marc Almond’s thong, and the decent crowd soon shows its appreciation. There are a couple of songs from their latest ep and ‘Swamp Thing’ is  a great showcase for the dual harmonica bit of their repertoire.

Halftime came but no cup of Bovril for us or reading of the programme notes. We had to go for the last bus home but the trip into Leeds was worth every penny.

For those who think ‘The Blues’ is Eric Clapton playing on autopilot at Madison Square Garden with a ticket price as stupid as Donald Trump’s…er…no, just as stupid as Donald Trump, then check out these lads. THIS is the blues. No door charge, but worth more than a few bob going in the bucket.

Poco. City Winery. NYC. 13.9.2017. Update

At last year’s Poco gig, I bought a couple of cds at the merch desk, manned by Mrs Young. Being a Yorkshireman. I tried for a discount!  No luck, but Mary kindly gave me a pick…which I bloody lost out of my wallet the same night!

I emailed her when I got back to the UK, asking if I could send some $ in the post for one. She replied straight away, and promised to mail one free of charge.

And on Jan 5th, the package arrived, containing two. Posted on 15th December, but well worth the wait.

Somehow I can’t imagine Don Henley doing the same. (Poco nuts will know that Rusty Young has the occasional dig at Mr H).

Thanks again Mary

Tom Russell. Brudenell Social Club. 26.11.2017

Not the first review of Tom Russell on the site and hopefully not the last. There have been times over the years when Tom must have been a casting director’s first choice for a dwarf in ‘Snow White, The Musical’, (the one whose name begins with a ‘G’), but he is comparatively Ken Dodd-like nowadays.

As usual, he has a new record (his 36th?)  to plug ( ‘Folk Hotel’), and we get plenty of tracks from it.  Many references to other songwriters/poets, viz. Ian Tyson, Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas, Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen, Hank Williams… Plus an ode to JFK*.  Mr R always gives us an insight into each set of lyrics and there have never been any  Moon, June , Spoon – type songs.  I must add that there has been a number of observations about ‘The Sparrow of Swansea’ having a chord structure not unadjacent to a very popular Ralph McTell song though!

As well as the very good new songs, there are plenty of older singalongs for his public to get stuck into. ‘Tonight We Ride’, ‘Blue Wing’, ‘Stealing Electricity’, ‘St Olav’s Gate’ , ‘Veterans’ Day’ and ‘East of Woodstock…’ have all aged well. And ‘Who’s Gonna Build  Your Wall’ has taken on a whole new relevance. A bit of Johnny Cash in the encore was a reminder of how the late JC was a fan too.

A raconteur par excellence, he was on the main stage today, a much better place to be in than last time in the smaller room (the latter was akin to a bijou cinema).   His songwriting never falls below great and it makes it difficult to recommend a start point for any Russell virgins out there.

Invest in a ticket for a date on his UK tour and join those of us ‘in the know’.

*His intro to his song about JFK is interesting. It revolves around playing (American) football the day of the assassination. Mr R’s age is difficult to pin down. March 5 seems agreed but year of birth is down as 1947, 1949 or 1953, depending on which of three websites you look at. So at least two examples of ‘Fake News’ but which is correct?  Answers to Mrs. Jessica Fletcher please.

 

The Petty Heartbreakers.Duck and Drake. 9.11.2017

I came down on the 22nd October, to see them (two days after what would have been TP’s 67th birthday.)  Packed to the rafters with loads of people who had probably just been out and bought the ‘Greatest Hits’ cd. I left at halftime, it was too packed.

Tonight was very much back to their normal audience. Plenty in (mainly ‘real’ TP fans) , but with seats available and room to get to the bar and get served.   Started about 9.15pm, with ‘Kings Highway’ being the introduction to a first set  of an hour of songs from their first  to their 13th (and last) studio lp.  There was a cracking version of ‘So you want to be a rock n roll star’ and a great out-take from ‘Long after Dark’.  They even fitted in a couple of requests at short notice, ‘The Waiting’ (for yours truly) and ‘Breakdown’ (for Her Ladyship).

‘Walls’ is a much-overlooked number and their Thunderclap Newman cover is a regular feature.   ‘Don’t come around here no more’ brought the first hour to a close and it was time for us to go for our bus.  No doubt all the ‘hits’ to come after a short break and if it was as good as the first set a good time would be had by all.

I have said more than once that they are the only tribute act we go to see regularly.  ‘Nuff said.

But I would PAY BIG to see the wonderful Beatallica!

The Dream Syndicate. Brudenell Social Club. 1.11.2017

I checked back on my old ticket for when I saw Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 in Leeds.  Can’t believe it was more than 14 years ago. Mr W has aged a hell of a lot better than yours truly.

Back then the opener was ‘Halloween’. I was blown away, bought cd and T-shirt!   Tonight it was the same opener, after a ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ intro (the Tony Bennett version?).  ‘Halloween’ is a great song, brilliantly using a one chord intro (D).  Long time buddy Chris Cacavas then joined them on keyboards. After that they could have played ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and I would have gone home happy.   Followed up with new song  ‘The Circle’ and the set was pretty much the standard one featured in the tour so far. They have a new record out, so there was a mix of old and ( a lot of) new.  It would have been interesting to hear His Bobness’s ‘Blind Willie McTell’ which has previously been slotted in.

Rather than list all the songs, please go to http://www.setlist.fm.  It already has the set  listed, it is a good site. Yes there are occasional inaccuracies but it relies on contributors’ memories, after all.

‘Days of Wine and Roses’ had a brilliant burst of complete silence in it and the encore featured a snatch of Tom Petty’s ‘Refugee’. A really great gig. They all looked really up for it.

Her Ladyship was also well-impressed. still fighting against jet lag having returned from her Great Wall of China Challenge.

 

Soft Machine . Fourth/Fifth CD

Bit of a lull in live gigs and Her Ladyship is currently doing a Great Wall of China Challenge walk…really!

I went into a charity shop and bought 3 cds for a quid.  ‘SF Sorrow’ by the Pretty Things, ‘Buffalo Springfield’, eponymous first LP but was struggling for a third. So in view of the test of endurance Her Ladyship was currently undertaking, I plumped for the above, with the intention of listening to the whole 2-on-1 disc. A similar test of endurance, I told myself. (See ‘A New Day’ review re Soft Machine)

I fell somewhat short of Her Ladyship’s endeavours. I set my stop watch but could only last 9 seconds. Pitiful, I am ashamed to concede absolute defeat.

So it will be in the camping stuff next year for a new home. Mind you, it looks brand new!