Tuesday 16 November 2010

The Banoffee Pie Tour Collective

The Banoffee Pie Tour Collective
The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

'The Banoffee Pie Tour Collective' is an unusual name but one which manages to perfectly sum up exactly what the events are all about. It's a number of artistes getting together for a tour (Newcastle, Manchester and London) with the added twist of a free piece of banoffee pie for every member of the audience.

Free banoffee pie for everyone!

The musical genre is folk (or alt-folk, or even post-folk…). There's more on the genesis of the venture here.

I was fortunate to be able to make it to the first leg of the tour on Bonfire Night in Newcastle. The fireworks against the night sky gave the evening a celebratory air before the show had even begun.

The Cumberland Arms proved to be an ideal venue for the collective. The upstairs, intimate performance room offered a small stage and close-as-you-like seats, complete with a bar at the other end. There was a good turn out and the intimacy of the evening was further enhanced by a good percentage of the audience sitting cross-legged on the floor, conjuring up the ambiance of the bygone beatnik years.

Laura Kirby was the compere for the evening and she started the show by introducing Matt Stalker & Fables, who played a very pleasant set of quirky, acoustic ballads.

Stand out track: 'Welded to Me, Barnacle to Bow'.

There's more on Matt Stalker & Fables here.

Manchester's Samson & Delilah were next up. I don't think I've ever seen so many instruments used by one group: guitars, drums, accordion, keyboards, mandolin, double bass, a flute and probably one or two more things all featured during their extraordinary, varied set.

They played a number a couple of songs from their debut album and several from their forthcoming new one.

Samson & Delilah's musical virtuosity was never in doubt at any point during their set.

Left to right:
Tammy Hermann, Michael Doward, Anna Zweck,
Tom Rydeard and Sam Lench

Stand out track: 'Back Dog'.

For more on Samson & Delilah, pop along to this site.

Newcastle's 'home' act, Bridie Jackson, followed soon after Samson and Delilah. Regular visitors to Marsh Towers will know that we are currently running a series of interviews with Bridie (please see here for further details).

Bridie brings an incredible intensity to her songs. Her extraordinary, haunting voice and deep, poetic lyrics create a very unusual listening experience.

It's all challenging, thought-provoking and sometimes even bordering on the uncomfortable (in a good way!).

Bridie's group produced wonderful vocal harmonies

Stand out track: Aliens.

Bridie's own website can be found here.

The final act of the evening was Kid Kirby, featuring the ubiquitous Laura Kirby.

Kid Kirby's acoustic set was the shortest of the evening, but by then it was getting quite late. Nevertheless, it maintained the high standard of the evening and the softer sound brought the show to a fitting conclusion.

Stand out track: 'Cold Coffee'.

For more on Kid Kirby, pop along to this site.

It really was a wonderful musical evening and everyone genuinely seemed to really enjoy themselves, whether they were on the stage or in the audience.

Let's hope it's not too long before the Tour Collective is back for more, because I'm sure I'm not the only who wants to see and hear more of all of these artistes very soon.

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