Ryan Adams + Karen Elson, 02 Academy, Bournemouth, 19th September 2017

In a rare moment of chat towards the end of this show, Ryan Adams took a swipe at a previous live review where he was accused of being self-indulgent. “Man” he proclaims, “That’s like eating a dessert and then complaining that it’s sweet.” He does have a point. Although perhaps Ryan Adams’ stage presence is often closer to shoegaze indie than fist punching stadium, tonight he plays for over two hours straight through and picks from a set list that spans his entire songbook. What more he could or should do, he’d be excused for thinking. Continue reading “Ryan Adams + Karen Elson, 02 Academy, Bournemouth, 19th September 2017”

Karl Blau + The Empty House Band, The Boileroom, Guildford, 24th August 2017

Karl Blau took to the stage adorned in a dark suit that was splashed and stained with Jackson Pollock like whitewash. It’s a decent bet that the suit is something created by himself and indicative in a way of his career path. Based in the small town of Anacortes in Washington State, oyster farmer Blau (and his many associated bands) made many a record as part of the eclectic Knw-Yr-Own/K-Roc Records collective. His introduction to the larger market came via Bella Union’s aptly titled 2016 covers compilation Introducing Karl Blau with many of the songs from that collection featured in tonight’s show. Continue reading “Karl Blau + The Empty House Band, The Boileroom, Guildford, 24th August 2017”

John Murry + Lucas & King, St Mary’s Church, Guildford, 22nd July 2017

Upon arriving at the cobbled graveyard front entrance of St Mary’s church (with the support act having already begun) I could see looking at me in the shadows, by the corner of his tour van, the top-hatted and dark coated, pale thin features of John Murry. Sadistically I felt like requesting that he walk to the church’s rear side where a crowd of backpacked American students were investigating, selfie-ing & photo bombing. The gothic haunted vision of Murry would no doubt have provided them with the exact image they possibly sought. Their biggest surprise however would’ve been finding out this Dickensian non-ghost was actually from their very own shores. Continue reading “John Murry + Lucas & King, St Mary’s Church, Guildford, 22nd July 2017”

The Hellfire Club, The Troubadour London, 20th July 2017

Full credit to sound guy Stacey, the venue owners and the staff for their enthusiastic running of this basement bar of a music venue in London’s West Brompton, the easy option to have the premises solely as a bohemian cafe/bar in the increasingly by the day gentrified area. First of the acoustic support acts is Elliot Pritchard with a very fine vocal and mix of earnest songwriter with British indie melodies. He was followed by Anglo Aussie duo Hux whose dual guitar upbeat riffing combined with fine harmonies was received well by the sold out crowd. The Headliners, the Glasgow based Hellfire Club can only yearn for a wide stage but tonight the eight piece (vocals/guitars/bass/drum/keys/fiddle/saxophone) daren’t move too much due to the small stage limitations. Continue reading “The Hellfire Club, The Troubadour London, 20th July 2017”