A little later than in previous years, the 2013 winner of the Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award (or BAMS as it is known affectionately in some circles) was announced, with Chvrches taking the number one spot for their critically acclaimed album, ‘The Bones of What You Believe’.
The votes were cast by 40 writers from 29 different blogs and music sites with 164 different LP’s getting nods. As ever, it was nice to see a few of our picks making the top 10. Boards of Canada, The Pastels and my top pick Kid Canaveral to name a few. Here’s how the masses voted;
1. CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe (Virgin)
2. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic)
3. Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse (Song, By Toad)
4. Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart (Chemikal Underground)
5. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp)
6. The Pastels – Slow Summits (Domino)
7. The National – Trouble Will Find Me (4AD)
8. Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time (Domino)
9. Kid Canaveral – Now That You Are A Dancer (Fence)
10. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus (ATP Recordings)
Here’s how your Elba writers voted;
1.Savages – Silence Yourself
2.Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
3.Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
4.My Bloody Valentine – mbv
5.RM Hubbert – Breaks and Bone
6.Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
7.Sparrow and The Workshop – Murderopolis
8.Bill Callahan – Dream River
9.Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
10.The Pastels – Slow Summits
1.Kid Canaveral – Now That You’re A Dancer
2.Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
3.Thirty Pounds of Bone – I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs Of Where
4.Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
5.Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
6.Sparrow & The Workshop – Murderopolis
7.The Pastels – Slow Summits
8.RM Hubbert – Breaks & Bone
9.Monoganon – Family
10. Fidlar – Fidlar
Our second Elba annual post of 2013 comes from one of my favourite songwriters and live performers, Brighton-based Chris T-T. Having released new album, ‘The Bear‘ with his band The Hoodrats, in October, Chris is currently embarking on a solo tour. He’ll be stopping off at Pivo in Edinburgh tomorrow night (11th Dec) and then Glasgow on Thursday (12th) where he’ll play The Roxy (TICKETS). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you try and catch one of these shows. Always engaging, often amusing, at times emotional, these are my favourite type of shows.
One of the good things about these annual posts are that you often discover something that you’ve never heard before, so I’m very grateful to Chris for sharing his track of the year. It’s a beauty.
Album of The Year
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
I listened to it over and over and over. I love the addition of big budget production (and crucially, studio time) to Scott’s extraordinary songs and a band becoming used to being a band. There were strong challenges through the year and if you’d asked me in summer, 2-3 other things might’ve been ahead at that point but as the autumn got colder, the Rabbit just kept going. In the end nothing toppled them off my favourite album plinth. The show I saw at Brighton Concorde, which isn’t a great venue for a subtle, layered band, was in my top 10 gigs of the year as well.
Song of the Year
She’s a close friend and I sang a bit of backing vocals on this – but still my favourite song of 2013 was Gill Sandell’s 6 minute quiet apocalypse masterpiece ‘Distance‘ from her 2nd solo album ‘Light The Boats’. I’ve not heard anyone take this quiet end of folk music and make it so dark and expansive without losing intimacy. Like that huge John Murry song but looking hopelessly outwards instead of self-indulgently inwards – I can’t think of anyone else in the folk world who could’ve done it. ‘Distance’ feels like a whole Hayao Miyazaki film in one song. Rifa and me were driving around west Cornwall in a rainstorm when we first listened properly, loud in the car, it was devastating.
Best gig you played
I’d started off 2013 not gigging – was my longest gap off tour for 10 years in the end. So most of my 2013 gigs are recent and it’s hard to pick. Twice this year I got the chance to play with an orchestra, which I’ve never done before, so probably my favourite gig wasn’t a T-T show but being part of the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra (pianist), accompanying Jim Bob at Bush Hall, in November. The orchestral enhanced version of ‘Tall Woman’ in a pub called The Boogaloo in north-west London was also transcendent. In late summer I had a wonderful evening at Uncivilisation Festival, which was entirely unplugged, in front of a roaring fire in a cabin in the woods, in pouring rain. But again, it wasn’t so much my set (although that was really fun) as the other acts, because I curated the evening and it went down a storm. A few of the support shows with Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo were magic, especially towards the end of that tour, and I just had a beautiful intimate show in Ipswich at The SoapBox House that I really enjoyed.
Best gig you saw
Easy. John Parish Band doing their film soundtrack show (mostly instrumental pieces, only two songs with words), except the gig I saw didn’t have the film clips projected, so in theory it wouldn’t have been as good. Yet in fact, it just meant there was nothing to distract attention from the live band doing their thing. In my opinion Parish is one of the greatest living composers, just happens to work with rock instrumentation: breathtakingly imaginative, incredibly atmospheric yet the (mostly Italian) band rocked like bastards and there were some stretched out groove moments that put shame to LCD Soundsystem or krautrock legends.
Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2013?
I’m struggling with self-belief issues worse than ever at the moment, ironic given how proud I am of The Bear. I thought we made a proper great-with-a-capital-G record and loads of people seemed to love it and it’s getting tons of radio, yet instead of focusing on these positives and opportunities, I obsess over bullshit little setbacks. I want to be ‘better known’ without being mainstream famous, but at the same time I feel guilty for that desire. Stinks, right? There’s nothing more boring than a performing artist on the cusp of bitterness! Need to appreciate it more over the next few months.
What does 2014 have in store for you?
Second single in January, just shot an intense video for it, plus lots of gigs this side of summer (especially outside the UK) and hopefully recording some new music quickly, to keep the spirit of the band going. Then festivals and then I’ll take stock in autumn, figure out what’s next.
This December, this very day, we bring you the return of the Elba Annual! For this first annual post of 2013, we were very lucky to get some insight from Jo Mango. Jo’s career is something of wonder consisting of a great collection of material alongside regular collaboration work, including a recurring presence in the band of modern folk heroine Vashti Bunyan. Her beautiful EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is released today on Olive Grove Records and we featured the title track on our most recent mixtape. I recommend this EP most highly. It has a storytelling quality that immerses you completely in the song; the vocals, lyrics, scoring and production all contribute to this. It’s a succinct little listen that is as close to perfection as you can get. Jo’s account of 2013, much like her songwriting, is very compelling. There’s also a little bit of news regarding what’s to come in 2014. Did I say little? I meant huge. A huge bit of news!
Album of the Year
White Lighter – Typhoon.
I’m probably doing that classic thing here that big groups of people voting on best albums of the year always do, which is picking the most recent! But I think I’m mostly picking this album because of the experience that went along with it. Sometimes, as the years go by, you begin to feel like the magic and the energy of really being a crazy fight-to-the-death spend-your-last-pound suffer-the-post-gig-blues-for-a-month fan of music can wane a wee bit. Or it seems like it was a long time since you last heard an album that spun you round with how much you’d never heard anything like it before. So when you have a special moment with an album, it becomes a bit more precious. I really love the songwriting of Typhoon. I listened over and over again to their previous EPs etc. (the lyric writing in a song like “Sickness Unto Death is just amazing). So I was really waiting for their new album to come out. When it did, I made myself wait, like a little kid, until the CD from their Bandcamp arrived through the post from America. The day that it did, I took a really long bus journey with my headphones on and listened to it through twice on my headphones, in my own little world. It was like drinking a long cold drink just to sit and listen. I’ll admit I hadn’t done that in a long time. And the sun was a low winter sun that made wonderful patterns on the windows as a tiny moth walked back and forth across it while I listened. I nodded my head as they sang: “I will try to hold it, I will try to keep the moment, like a photograph of the sunset, like a little kid with a bug net, like a dying man, I swear.”
Song of the Year
Frightened Rabbit – Nitrous Gas
I really hate picking favourite songs. Eeek. I think it’s just impossible. There are too many of them! And they all serve a different purpose for a different time in your life, don’t they? However, if I have to choose, then I thought I should probably choose a song that compelled me to put it on repeat, that I could listen to tens of times in a row and still enjoy. Well… I use the word ‘enjoy’ loosely! Because this is such a sad sad song. But there’s something just so compelling about ‘Nitrous Gas’ by Frightened Rabbit. Those low voices, and the vocal harmonies are beautiful. The chord choices are perfect. It’s transfixing.
Best Gig You Played
Oh, the best gig has to be one of the shows we did in Japan. The engagement of the crowds with the music on that tour was extraordinary – it was such active listening that it felt like the music was being pulled from us. All the shows were brilliant, especially the night we played for Pastel Records in Osaka and one at the gorgeous Hi Fi Cafe in Kyoto (where Paul Buchanan was playing on the stereo when we first visited). But I think the stand-out show was out in the countryside in Ukiha – a really small town surrounded by fruit tree orchards and rice fields. Water/Wood Records and the band AutumnLeaf along with their family and friends put on the show, which was held in an old Japanese Medicine Museum. Apart from the giant bugs that fell from the wooden ceiling onto the stage while we performed (it was so quiet that you could REALLY hear a bug drop… ugh!), it was a perfect night. After the show we all sat down to a massive plate of sushi and fried lotus root, and communicated somehow in broken English/Japanese and laughed through the early hours. We slept on the floor in a hundred year old Japanese house with wood carved screen panels, Shinto shrines in the corner, and no bath (because we use the hot springs from the mountains). Altogether beautiful really!
Best Gig You Saw
I really did NOT go to enough gigs this year. But stand out shows have to be the set that Japanese band “Alps” (maarupus) did at our Kyoto show. Their music is so unbelievably delicate and quiet, and they have no idea how talented they are! I tried to record them on video on my iPhone, but you can’t hear them, because they were too quiet even for the microphone to pick up! The other one that sticks out in my mind was a two-piece version of Prehistoric Friends, with Casio keyboard and Viola. What a genius combination that is. And the show (at the Old Hairdressers) was for a homelessness charity too.
Any Musical Thoughts to share on the Year 2013
2013 was a year I tried to collaborate more, to let go and say yes to things, to give things a go. So I think the results of that when they come out in 2014 will be my vocals or contributions cropping up in lots of different places. I’m looking forward to that.
What does 2014 Have In Store for You
Ok… I’m going to say it out loud, put it out there, and therefore it has to be true. A NEW ALBUM!!! I really need to pull my socks up and get faster at writing albums. 6 years between albums is not acceptable! (Maybe playing in Vashti Bunyan’s band, something rubbed off on me, I don’t know). So we’ve got three songs at least ready to be recorded. And the ideas are coming. I’m thinking this album is going to be more of a pick-me-up. I need to write songs to cheer me (after listening to Nitrous Gas on repeat, obviously!!), so that’s what I’m aiming for. I also hear that Vashti is in the studio at the moment, so I’m hoping that she might have me back to play some shows with her if she takes that back out on the road in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy the EP (and potentially a remix album/EP too).
Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December with Call To Mind and Behold, the Old Bear. Tickets are available here.
As a fortnightly mixtape, we’ve found ourselves getting rather giddy days before we actually publish this post, and it’s because we’re so eager to share it. Isn’t that the point of a mixtape after all? Over the past few weeks we’ve been once again immersing ourselves in the latest sounds to come our way as we prepare for the weekend of gigging which is actually, already underway. Miaoux Miaoux last night, Pixies tonight and Shellac tomorrow, but for now, here’s our latest mix.
Book Group – Victory Lap
Phil: Gerry Loves Records have been quite a launchpad for artists over the last few years and I’d expect their latest release, a double A side from Edinburgh based Book Group, to lead on to bigger things for the band. The release comprises of two catchy as you like indie pop tunes which truth being told, I struggled to choose between for this mixtape. I’ve plumped with opener, and live favourite, Victory Lap, a rousing slacker-ish rock track which has had me humming the chorus in my head since I set my ears on it. The AA side is released on Nov 25th and they play a couple of launch shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh next week, details here.
Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper 
Phil: I mentioned the gigs which we are headed to this weekend. Last weekend however, there were a plethora of ‘epic rawk n roll’ shows going on in Glasgow, very few of which had tickled our fancy. However, I couldn’t help but have pangs of jealousy as I saw the tweets come in about the Frightened Rabbit gig at the Academy. I would have dearly loved to have been there and seen them open with Holy, before moving on to this one, The Modern Leper, from 2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.
The Nightingales – The Book of Right On [DOWNLOAD]
Kim: Last week something marvellous happened. The Nightingales, who I like to think of as the band who just keep coming back for more, made a song available for free download. The track they decided to gift to all was a cover of Joanna Newsom’s The Book of Right-On. What has been delivered is, I think, a really interesting study into how songs are perceived. I’m a huge fan of Newsom and I’ve had many conversations over whether her music is accessible and with how difficult people find her song-structure. In this rendition, there is so little melodic deviation from the original track and yet it feels like a song that’s too straightforward for The Nightingales. The lower register of the harp is used as a rooting bass line for this playful incarnation and the verses are so charming with the little percussive flares. Grab this one here and give the two a play, side by side.
Woven Tents – Kids In The Park 
Phil: Woven Tents are a band I know very little about but they provide one of the many excellent tracks which make up Dirty Beard Monthly’s first compilation. ‘Kids In The Park’ is a fuzzy psychadelic trip through jazz and rock and is the ideal buffer for the tracks which follow on the compilation, which you can download, for free! This track is taken from the recently released ‘Leave Your Monsters At Home‘ EP.
Water of Life – Liquid City/The Shellycoat 
Phil: Water of Life is a collaboration between musician Rob St.John and artist Tommy Perman (ex-FOUND) and is probably one of the most fascinating projects I’ve seen. The tracks were inspired and made by exploring the natural and unnatural water flows throughout Edinburgh. I can’t quite do the project justice here, but really, go, look, enjoy, wonder and immerse yourself in the website they’ve put together. There’s field recordings, some fantastic photography and words about their expeditions and I’ve already lost a fair few evenings getting lost in it all. Oh, and there’s a sound map. I.am.in.heaven.
‘Water of Life’ is released on December 9th as a Ltd Ed 7″ folio, including a 7″, essays and prints as well as a digital download of the tracks.
Miaoux Miaoux – Stop The Clocks 
Kim: This month the ListLive event in Stereo, which Elba are this very day recovering from, provided their platform to Chemikal Underground dance darling Miaoux Miaoux. Julian Corrie’s dreamy indie-electro music arrived last year on debut album Light of the North, which very deservedly made its way onto the Scottish Album of the Year longlist. Stop The Clocks is a song that pulls back from his playful electro-pop into something more emotional. As set closer it really cemented itself as a pivotal number. It opens on ringing fingerpicked electric guitar and a muted beat. Julian’s voice is soft and pure here but his little percussive breaths break in and let you know that this song is not what you thought it was going to be. When the synth appears it causes a great swell of breath to the lungs. This track is not overcomplicated in scoring. It does what it needs to. When the instrumental breaks it is time to dance, all the way to the crescendo and then through it, into the light.
Jo Mango – When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree 
Kim: Female artists telling grand stories are a great weakness of mine. Jo Mango’s upcoming EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is a delicate weave of tales; threading myth, the mystical and the grim(m). After an early morning listen, I marked it as this year’s whimsical winter music. There will be nothing better than navigating icy paths to these sparkling tracks. The scoring on this title track is sparse to begin with and her voice is so fragile that you are left feeling vulnerable. The chorus is a pain-stricken mourning of the loss of a home and hideaway. By the time the sound fleshes out, you may very well be reduced to tears. When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is being released by the lovely people over at Olive Grove Records on the 2nd December and Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December. She will also be appearing on the delectable Olive Grove label showcase in the Oran Mor on the 26th January as part of Celtic Connections.
Casual Sex – Soft School
Kim: Up and coming Casual Sex are back on home soil after a long and hard spell on the road supporting Franz Ferdinand. The Bastard Beat EP launch is tonight in Nice N Sleazy with support from noise monsters Halfrican and dirty synth duo Ubre Blanca. I’m a little bit obsessed with the Ubre track Taxed. It would be the perfect score to Snake Plissken’s Escape From Glasgow. I don’t think Kurt Russell would make it out alive. Picking a track of the headliner for this mix was a fucking good job to do. Casual Sex have amassed a tight little package of heavy surf-rock. There’s no wistfulness here, just jaggy 80s rock fitting for the titular act. Soft School was the b-side on the Stroh 80 single released earlier this year. Did I miss any innuendo?
Shellac – Canada
Kim: This weekend, Phil and myself have both opted for all out nostalgia with our gig choices. Where Phil will be listening to the sounds of Black Francis and his merry men (literally as, alas, there will be no Kim Deal – a deal breaker, personally), I will be off to SWG3 to be ear bashed by Shellac [of North America]. Shellac seem to illicit mad cackles from me. Their minimalist rock is unrelenting and it instills a craziness in my mood. Canada fits into what has become the place on the song list for my indulgent track. This is the track that will make no sense anywhere else on the mix so it gets jammed on at the end BECAUSE I LOVE IT and it just MUST be on the mix! I can think of only one other artist who might surpass the closing artists on these last three mixtapes for all out gushing. I wonder if I will find some tenuous reason to work them into a future mixtape. Watch this space.
I’m sure we’ve all seen the awful pictures and devastation that the earthquake and subsequent tsunami has caused over the last few weeks in Japan. We just wanted to highlight a couple of the many worthwhile fundraising efforts that are being made to help send a bit more aid to the region.
The good people over at Audio Antihero have released a compilation with a staggering 34 (THIRTY FOUR) tracks featuring the likes of Meursault, Nosferatu D2, Darren Hayman and Le Reno Amps. The donation for this album is as follows, straight from the horses mouth;
“It’s priced at £3.99
to those of you who can’t afford much and the ‘pay what you want’ option invites those of you with a little extra to dig a little deeper. Thank you”
The proceeds will be split between the following, Japan Society, Shelterbox, Red Cross, Save The Children and The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. You can buy the album, titled ‘Bob Hope Would…’ here
Meanwhile, on the live front here in Glasgow, there will be a fundraising gig for the Red Cross taking place at Stereo next Wednesday 30th March. The line up includes a Sparrow and The Workshop/Strike The Colours mash up with a Jill O’Sullivan and Jenny Reeve collaborative effort, Haight Ashbury and Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit. Tickets are a fiver in and are likely to shift fast. You can buy in advance here.
Whilst i’m off in Paris munching on amazing pastries and lazing about here, there are some pretty good gigs going on in Glasgow.
First up, on Tuesday night is the A-T Society Fundraiser at Stereo. On the bill is former Elba Sessions guest, My Cousin I Bid You Farewell along with Ross Clark and Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit. It’s all for a great cause and you can read a bit more about the A-T Society here.
On Thursday (15th July), Elba favourites Cuddly Shark play the Captain’s Rest. Word on the street is that those sharklings have been holed up on the Moray-shire coast writing some new material so expect a mix of old an possibly new songs. Also on the bill are The Lava Experiments and The Red Show.
Thursday night also sees the start of ‘Summer Nights at King Tuts’ featuring a stellar line up over the next couple of weeks of local unsigned indie darlings and cool kids! There is quite a few cracking looking line-ups over the fortnight and it all kicks of with a headline set from Silver Columns including support from MOPP, Midnight Lion and Nevada Base. You can check the full line up here and suffice to say a few of the gigs look pretty appealing to us at Elba. Astral Planes w/ Cancel The Astronauts and Galleries, French Wives, and Kitty The Lion with Julia and The Doogans on the same bill (oh lordy!).
On Saturday night our June guests, in both the pod and at The Liquid Ship, Blue Sky Archives, play Nice n Sleazy along with We See Lights. However, if it’s a blogging mecca that you are after, get yourself down to the 13th Note for the second Peenko vs Aye Tunes gig. The line up includes we’re only afraid of NYC, Randolph’s Leap (who incidentally have supplied one of my favourite lyrics for a long time and have an EP titled ‘Eeerie Indie Adam’) and Little Yellow Ukuleles. It costs a fiver to get in and if the last gig was anything to go by, you’d be advised to get your tickets in advance. You can buy from Peenko here or the much more generous Aye Tunes here! I say more generous cos you get a couple of downloads of the bands that are playing. Great idea!
It is hump day again. We take it upon ourselves to be as moody as we wish until the end of the working day when we officially reach the latter part of the week. Then and only then shall we be in a place where we might communicate without a slight snarl. It is in this spirit that Phil and I address some of the goings on in music land this week. Please enjoy and feel free to join in.
6 Music Phil: I have mixed feelings on this, well not mixed really, it seems sad for them to get rid of it. Not a George Lamb fan and although I don’t generally listen to the radio, it would probably be the first place I would turn the dial to. They certainly seem to be a high profile supporter of less well-known music. Kim: I am also quite adamant that George Lamb is the devil. That aside, there is a whole host of programming and content here, not to mention the support for emerging and left-field talent that it would really be sad to lose.
Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks P: I’ll give it a go soon I’m sure but I’ve never got round to their first album. Controversial? K: Well yes and I’m taking your delay on this one quite personally. Frightened Rabbit are the working band that got far thanks to some clever US TV drama syncs. I really got attached to The Midnight Organ Fight. I’m really liking the sound of the new album. Swim Until You Can’t See Land is sorta like a folkier version of Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open the Door. P: I’ll take your word on this. Come back to me in a couple of weeks.
Musicbox P:http://elbasessions.co.uk/2010/02/musicbox-march-2010/ – Antimatter and our big brother Elba Studios showcase a unique night of music and photography at Universal this Thursday (4th March). K: Any multi-art based event always intrigues me. I’m sad I’m not free to head along to this on Thursday. P: Favourite multi arts event? Ballads of The Book at The Tramway in (07??) was pretty good! I miss Triptych. 🙁 K: It was 2007. I missed quite a bit of this due to all the effort and exhaustion of putting the festival together. It was a perfect pulling together of all of the elements from the album. Plus Jenny Soep was there doing some art in action. Me likey.
King James – Elba Podcast P: King James podcast continues to sound beautiful. Listen/Download ‘here’. K:Simple Folk Radio are also (and quite rightly) keen on this. P: Indeed, Johny in retrospect finds the interview slightly Spinal Tap. Personally a walking tour of Devon and Cornwall sounds spectacular!
Macca at Hampden P: I really feel like I should go and see him? I mean he’s a little questionable, if you believe what you read but he was a Beatle and it’s only a 20 minute walk. I’d imagine it won’t be cheap though. In fact, this could turn into a summer of geriatric shows, I’m planning Crosby, Stills and Nash too but tempted to pay the extra £40 on tickets for that one to see them when I’m in Paris rather than at the cow shed (sorry, SECC). K: Ugh the price tag alone would put me off both of these. The problem is, once great performers still draw huge crowds and a lot of the time it just isn’t worth it. I’m definitely one who is against this revival spirit floating around right now. I get that the ‘I SAW THEM IN THE FLESH’ brag/closure is something that people strive for. However, the ‘I saw the wrinklier, 30 years after their heyday, not really all that talented anymore version’ is the less impressive reality. P: Yeah, that’s the other half of my brain speaking. Although only with Macca. Crosby, Stills and Nash are fantastic. Stephen Stills probably never was always there anyway!
Other interesting gigs P:Burnt Island (who I am quite digging at the moment) host their single launch on Sunday at Mono along with The Second Hand Marching Band, Benni Hemm Hemm and everyones favourite miserable storyteller Aidan Moffat. K: Burnt Island are the sort of band that make me breath a little slower and steadier. Their music is that teetering on the edge of heartbreaking. Sorrowful and beautiful. This is a nice little line up for Mono. My heart as ever belongs to Arab Strap and all the bearded glory of Mr Moffat.
Now, I usually like to get the gig reviews/post match up pretty sharpish on the Elba Sessions site so please excuse me for being a bit lax this month! A mixture of putting on two gigs in two nights, organising Elba Annual posts, starting a new project, work and a few beers at the shows, have pushed back what will be (mostly) a photographic memory of the evening! This is what happens when you man the door! (Apologies, for the size of the photos, I just couldn’t get them to fit right this evening but there’s a link at the end to a gallery!)
Up first, for his first of three Elba engagements, was Conor Mason. Just off the boat from Derry, Conor started with a set of songs from his debut LP ‘When It’s Over’.
Next up, one of my new favourite bands, Rags and Feathers. It was the first time I’d seen them and already I can’t wait to go and see them again. They are well worth checking out and a lovely bunch. Julian and Andrea even had an impromptu DJ set on the Opry Wheels of Steel. All I can say is that they are just a huge slice of folky goodness!
The third band of the evening were The Moth and The Mirror. Fresh from a couple of dates with Frightened Rabbit (they also support them at their Dec 22nd ABC show) they were on top form and went down well with everyone. They were the perfect build up to the last band of the night, Le Reno Amps.
This was to be Lindsey’s last show with the Amps and the rest of the band ‘suited’ up for the occasion. After a country heavy opening set, the Amps fired on all cylinders with tracks from all three of their albums, with a couple of extras added in. There was even time for an onstage plea for a new bass player which I am to believe has still not proved successful. Finishing with a rendition of Johnny Cash’s ‘Daddy Sang Bass’, it was a fitting send off for Wolfie.
If anyone knows a bass player…???? (There is a strict criteria!)
Thanks to Steph Mulligan for the pictures, some can be viewed at a better size here…(more to come). Also, a huuuuuuuuuuuge thanks to Mags and her staff at the venue, you are unlikely to find more welcoming venue staff anywhere!