Curtis Eller’s American Circus. Duck and Drake, Leeds. 17.11.12

After last night’s excellent entertainment, an early return to the Duck and Drake to experience the banjo-playing, yodelling New Yorker that is Mr Eller, along with his American Circus.

Straight away from his appearance, you get the feeling this is not going to be another bloody Thin Lizzy tribute act. Having said that, I don’t think I have ever been in here and not sat near someone with a manic stare and inane grin who is desperately arguing with an invisible friend, so he fits in quite well! A fantastic performer, whose eccentric delivery of songs about eg pigeons, coal-mining in Alaska and Richard Nixon masks some serious social comment. Unfortunately, we had to again leave early for the bus home so we got ”After the soil fails’ and it had to be goodbye.

Next time we are hoping for the full experience and I would urge the more daring of you to do similar. If your idea of music is The X Factor and the subsequent purchase of the winner’s cd, (which seems to find its way into the nearest charity shop in no time), that’s fine but Curtis Eller just might not be for you.

Full marks to the landlord for letting us enjoy Mr E and chums with no door charge, but the main drawback with that is the amount of customers who then just stand at the bar and talk loudly. A small beef in a much-appreciated gesture.

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