The Handsome Family, Nell’s Jazz and Blues, London, 22nd October 2018

The last time the Handsome Family visited these shores they played the Grade II listed Hackney Round Chapel, an appropriate venue for their 20 year celebration of the ‘Through The Trees’ album. Tonight’s end-of-tour performance is in the more intimate surrounds of Nell’s Jazz and Blues club and there are no restrictions placed on what … Continue reading “The Handsome Family, Nell’s Jazz and Blues, London, 22nd October 2018”

The Handsome Family, Hackney Round Chapel, 15th March 2018

“For us to have Loose Records here tonight and for us to still be married…” is Rennie Sparks’s wryly improbable reflection towards the beginning of this evening’s performance in Hackney – a nice acknowledgement of the record label who have long supported them but also a sly nod to the unlikelihood of a musical and … Continue reading “The Handsome Family, Hackney Round Chapel, 15th March 2018”

Van Life: Rennie Sparks (The Handsome Family)

Got to be honest, there probably isn’t a square mile of the US or Europe that Brett and Rennie, The Handsome Family, haven’t covered at some point. The husband and wife duo must have one hell of a relationship to endure that many miles on the road together without serious risk of divorce or mental instability. … Continue reading “Van Life: Rennie Sparks (The Handsome Family)”

The Hazey Janes “Hands Around The City: Live” (Armellodie Records, 2017)

Dundee’s Hazey Janes have been around for over a decade, so releasing a live album would seem well overdue. This one’s different from the norm though as it’s a complete performance of their “lost” (unreleased) album Hands Around the City, originally recorded in 2008 but never seeing the light of day until now. Details of … Continue reading “The Hazey Janes “Hands Around The City: Live” (Armellodie Records, 2017)”

Miranda Lee Richards “Existential Beast” (Invisible Hands Music, 2017)

One thing that is certain, Miranda Lee Richards has created in Existential Beast an album of some astonishing beauty. Profound of lyrics, gorgeous in the playing, sung with a voice which embodies an unearthly allure. Every song has an emotional resonance, a soul satisfying lyrical depth, even as Miranda Lee Richards dances elegantly and effortlessly … Continue reading “Miranda Lee Richards “Existential Beast” (Invisible Hands Music, 2017)”

The Handsome Family, The Union Chapel, London, 2nd March 2017

Brett and Rennie Sparks brought a four-piece Handsome Family to The Union Chapel for one of those rare evenings that truly deserve the accolade “magical”. Demonstrating the ability for even a little television exposure to change the size of an audience The Handsome Family have stepped up to a considerably larger venue than on previous … Continue reading “The Handsome Family, The Union Chapel, London, 2nd March 2017”

London Folk & Roots Festival 2017

Between Saturday October 28th and Saturday November 18th this brand new festival is putting on Foy Vance, Rhiannon Giddens, CC Smugglers, Show of Hands, Chuck Prophet, The Worry Dolls, Gretchen Peters, The Hot Club of Cowtown and many more in over thirty concerts in venues including the Union Chapel, St Pancras Old Church, the Borderline … Continue reading “London Folk & Roots Festival 2017”

Underneath The Stars Festival announces more acts

Kate Rusby’s delightful Underneath The Stars festival, which runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 July has announced its latest wave of artists.  Edward II, a powerful English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles, Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble; actor, songwriter, producer & theatre legend John Tams, Marry Waterson … Continue reading “Underneath The Stars Festival announces more acts”

Alex Seel “Spell On A Tin Drum” (Independent, 2019)

Wandering singer-songwriter Alex Seel has been from Devon to London to Ireland and back again, picking up on as many musical influences as possible along the way. On his second record, ‘Spell On A Tin Drum’, he went to the dysfunctional method of writing the majority of it in a caravan on the west coast … Continue reading “Alex Seel “Spell On A Tin Drum” (Independent, 2019)”

Travis Hayes “Sleepless” (Independent, 2019)

Travis Hayes’ sophomore album ‘Sleepless’ is impressive from the first listen. From start to end this predominantly rock album is easy to listen on repeat as it is hard to find a weak link between the ten tracks. The album stemmed from Hayes lamenting the loss of his friend who died after being hit by a … Continue reading “Travis Hayes “Sleepless” (Independent, 2019)”