Never Ending Tour – continues

As never ending tours should do, of course. In this particular case it is Lloyd Cole’s own one which will be rolling across the British Isles – well, England and Wales anyway – in February and March.  Lloyd Cole surely needs no introduction – he’s the literate singer songwriter who first stepped into the spotlight in 1984 when when Lloyd Cole & The Commotions released their effortlessly hip debut album Rattlesnakes.   Two further albums of era defining jangle pop were to follow until Lloyd went solo and decamped to New York. Continue reading “Never Ending Tour – continues”

Will Varley taking the Spirit of Minnie out on tour

Will Varley will be releasing his latest studio album – his fifth – on February the 9th – which will coincide with his biggest headlining gig to date as he brings his ten date tour to a crescendo at the Shepherds Bush Empire. The new album, Spirit of Minnie, marks a distinct change of direction for the singer songwriter, being the first time he has recorded with a full backing band. This gives him an expanded musical palette, but he’s not abandoning his gift for painterly, affirming and immediate lyric writing. No – it’s just that having been lifted by pedal steel, violins, piano, he’s brought a new vividness to his music – like seeing things in colour for the first time. Continue reading “Will Varley taking the Spirit of Minnie out on tour”

The Incredible Vickers Brothers “Mirrors” – Listen

So, which one’s your favourite ?  Rob ?  Or is it Bob ?  Hah!  They’re the same person, and unsurprisingly they both share a love of jangly Anglo-Indy-Pop.  Someone’s been listening to XTC – Rob knows who I mean.  And so does Bob.  This song is from the upcoming album Torch Songs for Swingers.

Mumford & Sons to receive AMA-UK Trailblazer Award

Mumford & Sons – oh, you remember them don’t you ?  The band that caused the largest schism in UK Americana history (possibly).  Well, divisive as they are it can’t really be denied that they raised the profile of a more rootsy approach to Indy Rock.  They were the band that made the banjo cool – you’ll recall Emmylou Harris saying words to that effect.  They toured with a Nobel prize winner.  They sold a lot of records.  They ditched the banjo on their last album. Continue reading “Mumford & Sons to receive AMA-UK Trailblazer Award”

Anastasia Minster “When I Die” – Listen

Anastasia Minster went from Moscow to Toronto to be able to sit at her piano in front of window looking out over an open park and be inspired to compose her fragile and spectral songs.  On her album Hour of the Wolf she skirts around dark topics in a Stephanie Dosen like gothic semi-darkness – put another way she makes beautiful music which echoes long in the mind.


Eliza Carthy and Martin Carthy tour dates

That’s Eliza and Martin, together, there’ll also be a range of dates in various other guises and groupings throughout the year for both musicians. February and March of 2018, however will see the daughter and father duo criss-crossing the country playing a range of folk clubs, arts centres and theatre venues.   With a focus on their duo album from 2014 – The Moral of the Elephant – there will also be a wide selection of tunes and songs associated with their various other solo and band outings. Always a memorable evening, offering a real insight into the dynamics – musical and otherwise – of the Carthy family. Continue reading “Eliza Carthy and Martin Carthy tour dates”

Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro to tour the UK

The combination of slide-guitar and bass that Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro present is musicianship of the highest quality.  The much-praised duo will be returning to the UK as part of Celtic Connections, and will then spin out an extensive tour over the subsequent weeks.  The tour follows on from their well received album Static in the Wires. Continue reading “Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro to tour the UK”

Nicole Atkins tours UK late Winter

Photo: Anna Webber

As February slips into March the lingering chills of winter will be dispelled in a half dozen places by the fiery Nicole Atkins who’ll be touring her latest album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, which garnered good reviews all round last year. It was the tangible outcome from a whole series of life changes, not the least being a relocation from New Jersey to Nashville. At the same time she reconnected with her old friend Chris Isaak who encouraged her to write songs that emphasised the one trait that most sets her apart from the mere mortals of the industry, telling her, “Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. Continue reading “Nicole Atkins tours UK late Winter”

Girl from the North Country is on the move

Photo: Manuel Harlan

In fact by the time of publication Girl from the North Country – the critically acclaimed musical derived from Bob Dylan’s songs will have completed its  transfer from the Old Vic to the heart of London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre.   Want  a plot synopsis ?  Well, it’s Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for.

Continue reading “Girl from the North Country is on the move”