Monthly Archives: November 2017

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  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.