Call us gifted with foresight – or maybe it’s just a case of great minds thinking alike – but we had recent cause to feature Peter Bruntnell’s song ‘N.F.B.’ in our regular ‘Song for the Apocalypse’ feature, while ‘By the Time My Head Gets to Phoenix’ – also from the same album – was included in our recent article on ‘10 songs for lovers of great songwriting’. Continue reading “Peter Bruntnell’s “Normal For Bridgewater” turns 21″
Nottingham’s Cosmic American Music has teamed up with the historic Thoresby Park in Sherwood Forest to curate a brand new Americana and Roots festival within the grounds of the estate in North Nottinghamshire, a stone’s throw from Robin Hood’s famous Major Oak. Continue reading “Walled Garden Music Festival announced for July”
My musical relationship with New Zealand born but UK based Peter Bruntnell began with his album ‘Normal For Bridgwater’ back in 2000 which is actually fairly difficult to track down these days, and omg this song – the kind of title track from the album – well, I literally couldn’t sleep for days after first hearing thanks to the earworm “NFB – why don’t you write it down for me?” Bruntnell has gone from strength to strength ever since. He plays AmericanaFest 2020 in Hackney tonight.
It’s traditional now to note that Peter Bruntnell is a true “cult hero” (courtesy The Guardian) and is commonly regarded as one of the UK’s best singer-songwriters and performers by those “in the know.” So it was great to find him popping up at this year’s Celtic Connections playing with his, by now, well-seasoned trio line up featuring Iain Sloan on guitar and pedal steel, and Danny Williams on double bass. Since this line up’s debut back in 2017 they’ve had time to hone their chops and tonight’s show was certainly the best this reporter has experienced in their company so far. Continue reading “Peter Bruntnell + Mally Smith @Celtic Connections, The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 23rd January 2020”
Mark Underwood continues his irregular feature on music by great songwriters with great lyrics.
Continue reading “10 songs for lovers of great writing”
It’s part two of our writers picks from 2019 where we collectively list the albums that made the biggest impact on us over the last 12 months. There’s one album repeated from yesterday’s list which I guess by default makes it our album of the year but we’ll leave you eagled-eyed beavers to work that out for yourself. So once again, here we go! Continue reading “Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part two”
We’ve already covered 2020’s AmericanaFest which returns to the UK at the end of January next year, and now details are emerging of the array of artists who’ll be playing the festival which is, er, extensive to say the least. You might need a calculator to count them all. Continue reading “AmericanaFest 2020 – over 75 artist head to London next month!”
Years ago, 17 in fact, I put on an event in what was then the Masque venue in Liverpool called “Americana One” celebrating the fact that this little website (and it was little back then) was one years old. Looking back, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and the day culminated in me asking my then partner if he’d drive this Guardian journalist back to Manchester because the event was running so late he couldn’t make his last train. He gave the event three stars in the end – I’m sure one of those stars was for that lift home. Anyway, one of the main delights of the day was Peter Bruntnell who had had a few drinks and made me worry he wasn’t going to make it on stage but then went on to play one of the most beautiful sets I’ve ever heard. A year later he released for me his best album ever ‘Ends of the Earth’ – one of those rare records with no fillers at all, and this penultimate track is the absolute highlight with one of those guitar breaks I could never tire of. As NME once said, his songs should be taught in schools.
That the Railway Inn in Winchester has become a hotbed of Americana is due, in the main, to the sterling efforts of promoters, SC4m.co.uk, AKA the husband and wife team of Oliver and Birgit Gray. Wind the clock back to May 2003 and, in Oliver’s own words, “We started off booking Peter Bruntnell, partly because he’s a mate and partly because he’s a crazed genius.” Since that seminal moment, Mr Bruntnell has reappeared at the Railway on umpteen occasions and it would seem, based on the packed room, that the good folk of Hampshire are still lapping him up. Continue reading “Peter Bruntnell + Sophia Marshall, Railway Inn, Winchester, 12th September 2019”
Flicking through a back catalogue of reviews of Peter Bruntnell albums – and ‘King of Madrid’ is his tenth – a hefty proportion are seemingly dedicated to dreaming up new ways of insisting that the Devon-based singer-songwriter is British Americana’s best-kept secret, the sub-text of the argument presumably being that only the inexplicably fickle tastes of the record-buying public/international music industry/whichever gods secretly rule the universe of popular music have deprived Bruntnell of the star status he so richly deserves.
Continue reading “Peter Bruntnell “King of Madrid” (Domestico, 2019)”