As we’re hit with more lockdown restrictions and things continue to look bleak for live music, we have another exclusive AUK Mini-Gig to lift the gloom and provide a little light and joy for music lovers. These shows are a way for great artists to connect with an audience for their songs. Today, it’s the turn of Manchester-based James M Carson, surrounded by his fabulous new band. We’re delighted to share an excellent live version of Carson’s 2017 single, ‘Calico’, featuring excellent musicianship throughout this brilliantly shot performance, recorded during the lockdown.
Based around a strong beat, a rhythmic strum and a melodic vocal, Carson’s influences are clear: there are traces of Petty and Young while also offering something fresh and new. Lyrically, the song explores the things we hide or leave unsaid, using the concept of the calico hoods worn by prisoners subjected to solitary confinement in the past. When outside of their cells for exercise, prisoners wore the hoods to restrict communication and to reinforce the isolation. Those forgotten prisoners were like the uncomfortable feelings that we choose to ignore. Carson manages to convey such weighty ideas sensitively.
The new band, comprising Robbie Cavanagh (Guitar and Vocals), Dan Wiebe (Drums), Sam Quinn (Bass) and Tom Rothery (Guitar and Vocals), put on a strong show at Manchester’s Green Velvet Studios. 2021 will see the band on tour with Carson in support of a new album due for release soon. In the meantime, look out for the compilation album, ‘Lockdown Live!’, featuring Carson alongside a host of Manchester artists, with proceeds going back into supporting the local music scene and venues in Manchester. Sit back and enjoy.