Monday, 19 November 2018

Gary Numan at the Newcastle City Hall

Gary Numan
Newcastle City Hall
15.11.2018
On 5 April 2018 a new tour announcement on Gary Numan's website:

''I’m so happy to be able to announce a string of UK dates in November 2018

The regular band will be joined by The Skaparis Orchestra for 6 exclusive shows taking place in Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, London and Glasgow. The shows will feature songs drawn not only from the highly successful ‘Savage’ album, but also key songs from my back catalogue.

I have often felt that my music has had, at times, a filmic quality but, with The Skaparis Orchestra joining us for these six shows, that mix of hard electronic and soaring cinematic atmosphere will finally come fully to life. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to this come together.

In addition I will be showcasing the biggest and most extravagant light show that I’ve taken on the road for over three decades, designed specifically for these special orchestral performances.''


I was fortunate to be able to attend one of the six dates to notch up my fifth Numan gig (York, Liverpool, Brixton, Middlesbrough and now Newcastle.)

Chris Payne - former Numan band member and co-writer of Visage's Fade to Grey, was there as the support act to enhance the electronic feel to the evening.

Numan's light show had to be scaled down for the City Hall but remained spectacular.

It was very clear as soon as he took to the stage that he was very happy and there is no doubting that he is on terrific form. The 'Savage' material is exceptional and the older songs have been revitalised.

The Numan band is tighter than ever, thanks to the extensive touring of the last few years and the Skaparis Orchestra certainly added an extra dimension. The evening flew by at a terrific pace.

Gary Numan is absolutely at the top of his game and I want to see him again as soon as possible.


Set List

Ghost Nation

Metal

Bed of Thorns

Films

Everything Comes Down to This

Pray for the Pain You Serve

Down in the Park

Broken

Splinter

Here in the Black

My Name Is Ruin

Jagged

Mercy

My Breathing

Are 'Friends' Electric?


Encore

This Wreckage

The End of Things

A Prayer for the Unborn

It Will End Here


Here is a gallery of some moments captured from the sensational evening.














Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Scott Lloyd: Living in the Dark (Revisited)

One week ago we announced the release of Scott Lloyd's new single, Living in the Dark.

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Now it is time for some thoughts on the single.

The song represents something of a departure from Scott''s more overtly autobiographical work and offers a dark tale of the sort of person who, despite having talents and being strong up to a point, somehow doesn't quite have the strength to avoid being overwhelmed by his own personal problems and demons. Consequently the man fades away and ends up living in the dark - in more ways than one.

We all know people such as the man in question; they stumble, they fall and they never make it back. It could so easily be any of us, which is why this song really resonates with the listener.

'I feel lucky; I'm glad to be free...but man I look where he tripped so easily; could have been me...'

Living in the Dark was recorded at Red Sand Studios, Chorlton, Manchester and produced by Mathieu Garcia and released via Aardvark Records UK.

I have followed Scott's career for a long time and feel suitably qualified to suggest he is growing in strength both musically and lyrically.

Living in the Dark is a new peak for Scott, but don't take my word for it; have a listen for yourself.




Head here for the standard stores and find out more about Scott and his music over at his official website.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Hugh Cornwell at the Georgian Theatre

Hugh Cornwell
The Georgian Theatre, Stockton
10.11.2018
Hugh Cornwell's long-anticipated return to Teesside coincided with the release of his new album, Monster.

Last time he appeared at the Georgian Theatre it was to promote his Anthology album and he was solo, acoustic in a seated hall, which didn't suit some of the local yokels at the time. Hecklers, presumably expecting nothing more than a 'best of The Stranglers' were ejected.

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This time the billing was much clearer: Hugh would be with his band and the show would be in two halves, with Stranglers songs taking up the entire second half. The only seats were located up in the small balcony area.

The first half started with the opening track from Monster, called Pure Evel. The spelling gives away the theme of the new record, which is all about Hugh's personal heroes. Further songs he played from the same album included Bilko (about Phil Silvers) and the title track, Monster (all about Ray Harryhausen.)

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The set included songs from several more of Hugh's albums, with stand outs such as I Want One of Those (from Totem and Taboo) and Black Hair, Black Eyes, Black Suit (from Guilty).

The set was played at a very fast pace and the Georgian Theatre continued to fill up as the evening progressed.

There was a short interval between sets and when High and the band returned for the Stranglers section the eager crowd had moved forward to fill up the room completely.

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Apparently the set list of the second half changes every night 'because there's so many songs to do.'
On this night we started with a frantic Five Minutes and hurtled through a fine collection of the classics, with Duchess, Always the Sun, Goodbye Toulouse, Nice 'n' Sleazy, Skin Deep and (Get a) Grip (on Yourself) all present and correct, plus slightly rarer cuts such as Nuclear Device.

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The audience kept in a good mood and there was no trouble; just lot of signing and dancing.

There was no encore - it had already been a long evening - but Hugh soon came out, as he usually does, for the signings and chat.

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It was a fine evening and just the sort of intimate gig the Georgian Theatre continues to produce with great regularity.


Thursday, 8 November 2018

Scott Lloyd: Living in the Dark


Out today - Scott Lloyd's new single, Living in the Dark.

This is Scott's third release on the independent label Aardvark Records, following the success of Looking Out to Sea and Down to Earth.

Head to Scott's website for further details and links to buy a download of the song.

A full review will follow soon.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Project 30 Tournament Update

Project 30 Tournament Results

The updated results can be seen below.

The draw for the respective second rounds will follow soon!


KO Championship
Round 1


Paul Weightman 1-0 Sean Cassidy (after two draws)

Graham Edwards v Richard Harris

Peter Harker 0-1 Mike Creaney 1-0 

Rayelynn Posadas 1-0 Kevin Waterman

Mike Pointon 0-1 John Garnett

Brian Whitaker 0-1 David Baillie

Royce Parker 0-1 Sean Marsh

Matt Jackman 1-0 Bye



Rapidplay Match Championship
Round 1


Graham Edwards 0-2 Sean Marsh

Royce Parker 0-2 Mike Pointon


Peter Harker v Richard Harris

David Baillie 2-0 John Garnett


Bernie Price v Rayelynn Posadas

Kevin Waterman v Mike Creaney

Sean Cassidy 2-0 Paul Weightman

Matt Jackman 2-0 Bye

Karine Polwart at The Sage


    Karine Polwart
The Sage, Gateshead
        4.11.2018

Six years have flown by since I saw Karine Polwart at Stockton's Arc and it has been two since she was part of the extraordinary Songs of Separation collaboration I felt honoured to see play at King's Place in 2016.

The feeling of the previous tour was that A Pocket of Wind Resistance was her finest work. It is still early days, but there is every indication that the new album, Laws of Motion, may be even better.

Joined as usual by her brother Steven on guitar and multi-instrumentilst Inge Thomson on...well, virtually everything, Karine delivered a stirring and thought-provoking of dark folk, with the lightness of her touch belying the depth of the message. The songs covered a plethora of subjects, from Donald Trump to the tale of how the robin got its red breast

Standouts from Laws of Motion included Ophelia, I Burn But am Not Consumed, Cornerstone, and The Robin. 

There was even room for an unexpected and magnificent version of Video Killed the Radio Star and the welcome announcement that next album - a set of cover songs from Scottish artistes such as Annie Lennox and Bronski Beat - is almost ready to go. Intriguing!

Keep up to date with news and tour dates over at Karine's official website.


Caro Emerald at York Barbican

Caro Emerald
York Barbican
3.11.2018
'Sweep me off my feet and show me something different...' sang 'The Shocking Miss Emerald,' the twist being, of course, that she was doing exactly that to the rest of us at the York Barbican.


A blustery autumn evening was transformed to a sunshine world of jazz, pop and swing; of escaping the concrete jungle for a moonlight rendezvous on the beach; crazy nights of the Riviera life.

Backed by a fabulous seven-piece band, Caro had the entire, sold-out audience in the palm of her hand, with a perfectly crafted set list guaranteed to have everyone up singing and dancing for the final third of the show.

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The finale summed it up:

'Have you ever dreamed a night like this?
I cannot believe it
I may never see a night like this...'


Well, I certainly hope there will be another night like this, which was easily one of the best gigs of the year. Pure entertainment from start to finish!

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Find out more about Caro Emerald over at her official website - and catch her on tour, of you can.

Meanwhile, here is a gallery of images from the excellent evening.



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Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Return of Rachel Harrington


Rachel Harrington
Old Cinema Launderette
2.11.2018
Following a (longer than anticipated) spell away from creating music, Rachel Harrington is back!

More than six years have passed since that most memorable of Yarm nights, when Rachel and I collaborated on a project to bring a wonderful show to Teesside. Rachel has now returned to writing and performing music and has been playing select UK dates this autumn.

For me, the opportunity to see Rachel again presented itself at one of the most unusual of all music venues - Durham's Old Cinema Launderette.

I had heard of the impressive series of events put on by MrWishyWashy but had never before been to this most intimate of venues. There is room for the performer and two rows of chairs in front of the bank of washing machines - but little else! An extraordinary venue - and it works perfectly, even though our taxi driver took several attempts to deliver us there.

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There was no support act and Rachel - completely solo, for the first time - preferred to play an extended set rather than take a mid-evening break, but stressed to the audience that convenience breaks were very much allowed.

Six years of waiting fell away once Rachel appeared - looking relaxed and fabulous - to present a showcase of some of her own finest songs together with a couple of covers thrown in for good measure. It all added up to an excellent evening of folk, Americana, country, blues and gospel.


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We had Sunshine Girl at the start and plenty of other favourites along the way, including Little Pink, You'll Do, Spokane, Under the Big Top, Up the River, He Started Building My Mansion in Heaven Today and then two big audience participation numbers to bring the wonderful evening to a close: I Don't Want to Get Adjusted to This World and then a sensational rendition of Ode to Billie Joe.

Playing intimate venues completely solo can be difficult. There is no escape, no one to fall back on and no way to avoid the staring eyes. It must be a daunting prospect at times but Rachel took all of the potential challenges in he magnificent stride, engaging with everyone via not only the music but also through the stories behind them. There were other anecdotes too, such as the time she met Willie Nelson. Oh yes, and the secret to success is - apparently - tassels.

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We could all do with more good news and the return of the Sunshine Girl is a big step in the right direction. Thank you for coming back to the North East, Rachel! Hopefully we can meet again next July.

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More good news: Rachel is working on two new albums.

The first, I Wish I Was in Austin, is an album of covers and should be out very soon.

An album of new songs, Hush the Wild Horses, will be out in 2019. Head for this page for further information and the opportunity to become a part of the project.

Rachel's website can be found here.

Keep up to date with MrWishyWashy's forthcoming gigs here.

To assist further reading, here is the Marsh Towers index for our interviews, reviews and other matters regarding Rachel Harrington.

Maverick

Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

Interview Part 3

Discography Part 1

Discography Part 2

Discography Part 3

Rachel Harrington and The Knock Outs CD

Celilo Falls Interview

Gig Review: Cleveland Bay Part 1

Gig Review: Cleveland Bay Part 2

Gig Review: Cleveland Bay Part 3

Gig Review: The Studio, Hartlepool 2010

Gig Review: Sage Americana Festival 2010

Pitch In (1)

Pitch In (2)