The Travelling Band – The Borderline, 21 November 2017

Having premiered their Sails album live in full for the first time back in August at the Water Rats in King’s Cross, The Travelling Band returned to the Borderline in London on Tuesday as part of a tour to promote the new record. The scope and breadth of The Travelling Band’s ambition is fully apparent throughout Sails – traversing a range of styles from pop to folk, and from indie to Americana. Continue reading “The Travelling Band – The Borderline, 21 November 2017”

Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Scala, London, 22nd November 2017

Those who still pine for the folk excesses of Bellowhead can take some comfort from Jon Boden’s latest outfit. After a solo tour Jon Boden has got the old band back together and is taking new album Afterglow out on tour with The Remnant Kings, backed up by the string trio that is the Remnant Strings. This makes the stage at the Scala impressively full with eleven musicians, and since most of them are also multi-instrumentalists an almost excessive number of instrument stands and microphone setups. Continue reading “Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Scala, London, 22nd November 2017”

Jim White + Cicada Rhythm, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 19th November 2017

It was pleasing to see a near capacity crowd turn up on a wet and cold Sunday night in Glasgow to see Jim White. Often seen as a cult artist and with an idiosyncratic style that rarely bothers the airwaves, White is a bit of a polymath. Aside from his songs he has worked in books, art and film while he had a well noted list of occupations before making his music debut at a relatively late age with (The Mysterious Tale Of How I Shouted) Wrong Eye Jesus. Tonight’s show saw him backed by Cicada Rhythm, a Georgia two piece, and drummer, Colin Agnew, also from Georgia,  who were just about the perfect accompanists for his richly textured songs. Continue reading “Jim White + Cicada Rhythm, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 19th November 2017”

William The Conqueror, Moth Club, London, 14th November 2017

Expectations for William the Conqueror’s first headline London performance were high given that Ruarrri Joseph’s latest musical project has resulted in a debut album which is one of four nominees for UK Americana album of the year in 2018. The buzz around the three piece has already been building through a recent touring slot supporting Danny and the Champions of the World, and also with the band forming part of the UK cohort of the Americana Music Association’s delegation to Nashville’s Americana Music Festival. However, the MOTH Club – which is an acronym for the Memorable Order of Tin Hats – is about as low key a place as possible for a headline slot, a former ex-serviceman’s club converted into a nightlife and music venue, the only glitz provided by the glittery ceiling and a gold tinsel curtain by way of stage backdrop. Continue reading “William The Conqueror, Moth Club, London, 14th November 2017”

Jade Jackson, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 13th November 2017

The music room of The Slaughtered Lamb is a cosy basement of this spacious Clerkenwell hip-boozer, with a stage squeezed into a corner. It’s surprisingly full of instruments, but this is explained by the support – Ferris & Sylvester – who between them need three or four guitars, a violin electric bass – Issy Ferris’ “new toy” which she jokingly describes as making her feel more of a rock-chick – and a kick-drum as well as the usual range of pedals. All this allows for a range of slightly folky, slightly rock, songs often featuring some nice slide guitar from Archie Sylvester, and all with the girly-sweet lead vocals of Ferris. Continue reading “Jade Jackson, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 13th November 2017”

Nathan Bell + Jack Henderson, Fallen Angels Club, The Admiral Bar, Glasgow, 17th November 2017.

Ten months after he wowed an audience at Celtic Connections, Nathan Bell returned to Glasgow as promised. In the interim he had ditched a proposed album of love songs, electing instead to record a modern protest album, Love > Fear (48 hours in traitorland). Appalled by the election of “a clown,” Bell was like a modern Woody Guthrie on the album, his tales of ordinary folk, ground down and abandoned, delivered with conviction. Continue reading “Nathan Bell + Jack Henderson, Fallen Angels Club, The Admiral Bar, Glasgow, 17th November 2017.”

Andrew Combs + Eric McEntee, The Victoria, Dalston, 1st November 2017

If you are a lover of beautifully crafted, passionate and intelligently written Americana songs then an Andrew Combs gig is always going to be something special.  Andrew is one of those enigma artists who everybody that comes across his work is amazed that he is not far more famous than his current standing. Tonight was a small gig in a room behind a pub in the increasingly trendy Dalston.  Sadly for Andrew, Dalston is also one of the places in London not served by the underground and a bit too far out of the way for everyone except the locals and his determined fans.  Continue reading “Andrew Combs + Eric McEntee, The Victoria, Dalston, 1st November 2017”