The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

 

 

Tonight the last Friday of April the packed St David’s Hall was treated to a programme of two halves. A musical programme of two movements. The first Prog Rock modern, progressive and pertinent as Steve Hackett unveiled live numbers from his stunning album The Night Siren and dipping onto four of his many solo albums.  The second helping on this musical palette of delights was a revisiting of Genesis, the majority drawn from Wind and Wuthering celebrating forty years since its release.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffFor two hours, reality suspended as St David’s Hall was bathed in the multi-instrumental tones and textures created by Steve Hackett and the musicians that surround him. With an array of wind instruments including flute, penny whistle and soprano sax, keys, and a mixture of electronic wizardry, Rob Townsend; behind him surrounded by keys Roger King; the rhythm section of Gary O’Toole behind a sparkling shield of cymbals and bassist Nick Beggs with fretless and twin-necked instruments; and joining the stage for the second half vocalist Nad Sylvan.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffWith a discography full of depth and interest the night started with a dip into his third solo album Spectral Mornings and Every Day with the soprano sax adding brightness and colour we knew this wasn’t going to be an everyday performance we were in for something special. Gently easing us in with the familiar we were soon hearing the new album, the dramatic instrumental El Niňo so early on a number that was going to be one of the many highlights of the evening.  The music from the instruments was woven in to a sonic technicolour coat of shape and form, prog rock that enthralled, informs and takes you deep within yourself. Three other tracks from the Night Siren were incorporated into the first set, as he stepped back into the past The Steppes fitted seamlessly into the collection with its Eastern feel.

 

The light show throughout added a sense of drama as the swirling patterns fell across the stage then up through the tiers that form the many faceted auditorium of St David’s Hall. As we stepped into The Skeleton Gallery the music live reinforcing the power of Steve Hackett’s latest recording and then to the album’s opening track Behind The Smoke. With a political comment about Brexit, an audience divided Steve reminded us that his lineage included Polish refugees. He sang the lyrics that explore the despair of the displaced and how borders contain. Whilst the music crossed all boundaries finding a common coming together through the power of the musical note tonight in Cardiff.  This emotional masterpiece should be the earworm that dictates our walk through life and how we meet and greet strangers from a different place. Last visit to the album is Serpentine, dedicated to his father and gentler times. Inspired by his father selling paintings in Hyde Park, London.  Closing out the set with Rise Again and Shadow Of The Hierophant; with Nick Beggs sitting on the floor using his bass pedals creating a spellbinding atmosphere. We had been on a voyage as acolytes and the feet of superb musicians who deliver prog rock that is mesmerizing, entertaining and often beautiful music, that cascades and falls away leaving a thoughtful phrase or question.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

 

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffThe Second set, was much anticipated with the Cardiff crowd looking forward to old favourites and hearing Wind & Wuthering tracks live once again.  Opening with Eleventh Earl of Mar we were once again introduced to the vocals of Nad Sylvan. They are a beguiling mix of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins yet never pale imitations Nad brings his own sonic quality and vocal interpretations to every number. The cheer for One For the Vine, when announced was loud and very happy. Cardiff prog rockers were delighted. Then the atmosphere changed as we were treated to an Acoustic Noodle, Steve on stage with acoustic guitar joined by the band at the end a quiet interlude, with classical guitar playing, hints of flamenco and a moment of reflection. The quiet was broken with Blood on the Rooftops, and with Inside Out written by Phil Collins, an early lyric that was left off the final cut of Wind And Wuthering; a Cinderella song quipped Hackett, included tonight as it fits in with the rest. Closing out the set that highlighted the power of Genesis was Musical Box, a wonderful atmospheric number, Nad, using the tambourine to great effect as he added drama to the lyrics. Tonight was a great nostalgic set of Genesis classics.

 

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff​St David’s Hall was resplendent in the glow of Prog Rock from Steve Hackett and his band of musicians, we had been bathed in lights of every hue and taken on a journey through the power of lyrics and the complexities of multi-instruments exploring the notes of the octaves. The sound was superb, the audience attentive and as one rose as The Musical Box faded. The encore the perfect Genesis titled number Los Endos. This must not be the end, Steve Hackett and his Progressive Rock is welcome back in town anytime. For me I enjoyed the reminiscent quality of the Genesis numbers, they are familiar and safe, BUT the new solo numbers have an edge and intimacy they are modernity looking forward not back.

The tour continues check out dates and venues HERE A musical journey to be enjoyed and definitely not missed!

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

 

St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro

St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro

St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights

Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro

 

 

Once again we were the Third Level courtesy of Roots Unearthed; St David’s Hall, Cardiff bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro a duo playing roots music with style. The roots are twisted and twirled as blues meets country and folk tales are re-told in new exciting arrangements.

St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel KimbroThe duo set the scene, opening with a haunting instrumental Sweet & Low with Martin Harley playing his signature Weissenbom, a traditional Hawaiian acoustic lap guitar and the deep melodic chords from Daniel Kimbro’s Double Bass whether by bow or plucked creating an atmosphere where the music dominated.

The evening was replete with tracks from Static in the Wires, released earlier this year and Live At Southern Ground. The slide work created a palate of tones reflecting the lyrics, sad and reflective as the lyrics unfurled with Martins vocals adding emotional layers into the mix. The acoustic guitars changed and the music flowed with Sweet & Low and This Little Bird full of imagery bringing the numbers alive via the double bass under the skilful guidance of Daniel Kimbro. St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel KimbroThere can be no argument tonight we are in the presence of two artists who have deep understanding of the essence and power of roots music. This is why blues is so infectious connecting with the listener with its musical pictures of doom and gloom we all have discovered at various times in our lives. Yes, the musicianship was superb, Daniel’s bass playing is divine he makes the large and cumbersome instrument talk from a whisper to a deep and mournful groan, combined with Martin’s dexterous manipulation of the six strings, making the acoustic sing in harmony with the lyrics. The added magic tonight was the warm interplay between Martin and Daniel, with wry observations of life on the road, and humorous anecdotes. One leading neatly into I Need A Fried introduced by Martin and a quick quip from Daniel.

St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel KimbroThe styles change a hint of country and swell of a dance and the country bluegrass of Dancing on the Rocks.  Then One Horse Town reflecting leaving the city for a small town and wondering why you changed your environment. Interspersed between the Harley/Kimbro originals were two re-arranged classics made new. Goodnight Irene, origins unknown but via Leadbelly was desolately dark.  The other classic with a whole new setting was the closing number Nobody’s Fault But Mine, a truly innovative and compelling listening of a blues classic. Before the last song we had a wide array of numbers including the beautiful Winter Coat with the harmonies between Daniel and Martin having a gentle resonating power. Daniel, then put down his Bass and picked up one of Martin’s acoustics and we had a lesson in the pronunciation of Appalachian as he shared the common experience of having villages submerged in water. Along with guitar Daniel took over the vocals for a number that described the drowning of the village a background to the community that was changed forever as was the landscape.

This was a night where the blues sparkled and the audience was spellbound by theSt David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro performance of two troubadours one from Hertfordshire the other Tennessee who found a unifying force through roots music.

Once again Roots Unearthed in Cardiff provided an evening of entertaining music with St David’s Hall bringing Acoustic Delights Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro.

 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2014

GIG & FESTIVAL REVIEWS 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2014

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2014Fish @ The Globe, Cardiff – December 2014
Brit Floyd @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – December 2014
Banned From Utopia @ The Scene, Swansea – December 2014
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus @ The Flowerpot, Derby – November 2014
Bellowhead @ St David’s Hall Cardiff – November 2014
Stevie Nimmo Trio & Ali Clinton Band @ The Flowerpot, Derby – November 2014
Show Of Hands @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – November 2014
Rich Robinson Band & Federal Charm @ The Globe, Cardiff – November 2014
Joanne Shaw Taylor @ The Globe, Cardiff – November 2014
Mike Zito & The Wheel and Samantha Fish @ The Scene Swansea – November 2014Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2014
Sandi Thom @ Pontardawe Arts Centre – November 2014
Katie Bradley & Kirk Fletcher @The Convent – Stroud ~ October 2014
Laurence Jones @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale – Oct 2014
King King supporting John Mayall @St David’s Hall – October 2014
Larry Miller @ The Globe, Cardiff – October 2014
Guy Tortora & Ben Tyzack @Southhill Park, Bracknell – October 2014
Carl Verheyen @ The Globe, Cardiff – September 2014
ELO Again @ St David’s Hall – September 2014
Grainne Duffy @Beaufort Theatre, Beaufort September 2014
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2014Cut The Funk – Riffs Bar, Swindon – Aug 2014
Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson – The Moon Club, Cardiff – Aug 2014
Layla Zoe & Ali Clinton Band – Robin 2, Bilston – July 2014
Paul Weller @ Cardiff Castle – July 2014
JJ Grey & Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band – Brooklyn Bowl, London – July 2014
Lisa Mills & Ian Jennings @ West End Club, Barry – July 2014
The Heritage Blues Orchestra @ The Moon Club, Cardiff – July 2014
Larry Miller @ The Scene, Swansea – June 2014
Blind Boys Of Alabama @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – June 2014
Royal Southern Brotherhood @ The Globe, Cardiff – June 2014
Ryan McGarvey @ The Met, Abertillery June 2014
Hamilton Loomis with Mark Pontin Band supporting @ The Garage, Swansea June 2014
Robert Cray Band @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff May 2014
Ian Siegal & Quimby @ La Scala, London – May 2014
Ian Anderson @ Colston Hall, Bristol – May 2014
Jeff Beck @ Colston Hall, Bristol – May 2014
Gwyn Ashton Solo @ The Garage, Swansea May 2014
Jo Harman & Company @ Beaufort Theatre, Beaufort – April 2014
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2014The Hoax Supported by Well Hung Heart & Federal Charm @ The Globe Cardiff – April 2014
Ian Siegal Solo @ The Garage, Swansea – April 2014
Paul Carrack @ St David’s Hall. Cardiff – April 2014
Wooden Horse @ West End Club, Barry – March 2014
Simon McBride @ The Garage, Swansea – March 2014
Giles Robson @ The Garage, Swansea – Feb 2014
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick @ St David’s Hall. Cardiff – Feb 2014
Babajack with support from Rita Payne @ The Flowerpot, Derby – Feb 2014

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015

GIG & FESTIVAL REVIEWS 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015

 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015Northsyde @ The Convent, Stroud – December 2015
Stark @ The Convent, Stroud – December 2015
Chantel McGregor @ The Tunnels Bristol – December 2015
Waterboys @ Colston Hall, Bristol – December 2015
Planet Rockstock 
Jamie Smith’s Mabon @ St David’s Hall. Cardiff – November 2015
The Grahams @ The Convent, Stroud via Netgig November 2015
Spikedrivers ~ Pontardawre Arts Centre – Pontardawre November 2015
Joe Satriani with special guest Dan Patlansky ~ Live at St David’s Hall, Cardiff Nov 2015Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015
Steve Hackett ~ Live at Colston Hall Bristol October 2015
Joe Bonamassa Live @ Motorpoint, Cardiff October 2015
Glenn Hughes & Special Guest Jared James Nichols @ Robin 2, Bilston – October 2015
Steve Earle @ Colston Hall Bristol – October 2015
Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons @ St Davids Hall Cardiff October 2015
Simon Campbell & Suzy Starlite @ The Convent, Stroud – September 2015
Crosby Stills & Nash @ The Motorpoint, Cardiff – September 2015
Kirk Fletcher @ The Convent Club, Stroud – September 2015
Aynsley Lister @ The Tunnels, Bristol – August 2015
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015Babajack & Marcus Bonfanti @ The Cube, Malvern – July 2015
Cara Dillon @ The Convent Club, Stroud
James Hunter Six @ The Lantern, Colston Hall, Bristol
Brother Strut @ The Globe Cardiff, July 2015
Coolhand Album Launch @ The Globe, Cardiff July 2015
The Jar Family @ The Convent Club, Stroud, July 2015
Amy Wadge & Pete Riley @ St David’s Hall, July 2015
Elvis Costello @ St David’s Hall, July 2015
Suzanne Vega @ Colston Hall, July 2015
Dave Arcari @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale June 2015Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015
Doug MacLeod @ The Convent Nr, Stroud, Glos June 2015
Blues on The Farm
Ben Poole supported by The Della Grants @ The Flowerpot, Derby May 2015
Larry Miller @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale May 2015
Dana Fuchs Live @ The Tunnels, Bristol May 2015
Gill Landry Guest of Laura Marling @ Colston Hall May 2015
Kara Grainger: Live @ The Convent Club May 2015
Beth Hart: Live @ Colston Hall May 2015
Dan Patlansky with Tristan MacKay Opening @ The Borderline, London April 2015<a
Mike and The Mechanics @ St David’s Hall. Cardiff April 2015
Band Of Friends @ The Globe, Cardiff April 2015
Duke Garwood @ The Louisiana, Bristol April 2015
Kenny Wayne Shepherd @ City Hall, Salisbury, April 2015
Ben Poole @ City Hall, Salisbury, April 2015
Grand Opening @The Convent Club, Stroud, April 2015
Ian Siegal @ The Tunnels, Bristol March 2015
The Handsome Family @ The Globe, Cardiff March 2015Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015
Ian Siegal @ The Flowerpot, Derby – March 2015
Oysterband @ The Garage, Swansea – March 2015
King King with support from Laurence Jones @ The Globe, Cardiff – March 2015
Joan Armatrading @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – March 2015
10cc @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – March 2015
JAKS & Introducing Stage @ Great British Blues Festival ~ Skegness 2015 – January 2015
Thomas Ford @ West End Club Barry
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – February 2015
Marcus Bonfanti @ The Prince Of Wales, Ledbury – February 2015
Chantel McGregor @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale – Jan 2015
Paul Carrack @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Johnny Cash Roadshow @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

GIG & FESTIVAL REVIEWS 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

FESTIVALS

Rock & Blues Weekend – Friday – Butlins Skegness – January 2016
Rock & Blues Weekend – Saturday – Butlins Skegness – January 2016
Rock & Blues Weekend – Sunday – Butlins Skegness – January 2016
HRH Blues – O2 Academy Sheffield – April 2016
Blues On The Farm Pump Bottom Farm – June 16th – 19th June
Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale July 2016
Old Bush Blues, Callow End August 2016
3rd UK Blues Challenge @ Robin 2 November 2016
Planet Rockstock 2016 @Trecco Bay – December 2016

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016GIGS

Alter Bridge with support from Like A Storm – Gojira – Volbeat @ Motorpoint Cardiff – Nov 2016
Planet Rock Roadstars – Aaron Keylock, Federal Charm, SIMO @ The Tunnels, Bristol – November 2016
Black Stone Cherry @ St Davids Hall, Cardiff, November 2016
Planet Rock Roadstars – Aaron Keylock, Federal Charm, SIMO @ The Globe, Cardiff – November 2016
Beth Hart @ Colston Hall, Bristol June 2016
Ian Siegal – Twenty Five Years Touring @ The Convent, Stroud November 2016
Saxon, Fastway GirlsSchool @O2Bristol November 2016
UFO @Tramshed Cardiff November 2016
Walter Trout, Jared James Nichols @Tramshed Cardiff October 2016
The Tubes @The Globe Cardiff October 2016
Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia & Will Wilde @ The Scene, Swansea September 2016
Sari Schorr & The Engine Room@ The Tunnels, Bristol – September 2016
Mitch Malloy @ The Globe, Cardiff – September 2016
The Dead Daisies @DCU Centre Worcester, Massachusetts – September 2016
Devon Allman @ The Scene Swansea – August 2016
LaVendore Rogue @The Convent, Stroud – August 2016
Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Convent – July 2016
Lisa Mann – The Convent via netgig, July 2016
Joe Bonamassa – British Blues Explosion @ Colston Hall, Bristol – July 2016Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016
Kaz Hawkins Band @ The Convent, June 2016
Vintage Trouble – The Tramshed Cardiff June 2016
Joe Louis Walker -The Convent June 2016
Michael Messer’s Mitra – The Convent – June 2016
Tristan McKay opening for Dan Patlansky – The Globe, Cardiff June 2016
Bonnie Rait – Colston Hall, Bristol June 2016
JJ Grey & Mofro – The Tunnels, Bristol May 2016
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – The Tunnels, Bristol May 2016
Stevie Nimmo Trio & Ben Poole Band – the Flowerpot, Derby May 2016
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016King King supported by Dan Patlansky – Civic Centre, Salisbury May 2016
King King, Dan Patlansky & Cake – Salisbury May 2016
Simon McBride – The Tunnels, Bristol May 2016
Gov’t Mule – O2 Academy, Bristol May 2016
Magnum – Tramshed, Cardiff May 2016
Ryan McGarvey – The Scene Swansea May 2016
Yes – Colston Hall, Bristol May 2016
Fish – Robin 2, Bilston May 2016
Chris Cornell – Colston Hall, Bristol April 2016
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016Dr. John Cooper Clarke – Tramshed, Cardiff April 2016
Hawkwind – Tramshed, Cardiff April 2016
JW Jones – The Garage, Swansea April 2016
The Sheepdogs with support from The People The Poet – The Globe, Cardiff
Karnataka – The Globe, Cardiff – April 2016
Tracer, Federal Charm & Everyday Circus – @ The Globe, Cardiff – March 2016
Reef & Tax The Heat – Tramshed, Cardiff March 2016
Ian Siegal – ‘The Lantern Colston Hall – Bristol Jazz Festival March 2016
King King with support Laurence Jones – @ The Globe, Cardiff – March 2016
Mary Coughlan – @ Roots Unearthed – St David’s Hall, Cardiff, March 2016
Jack Savoretti – supported by Earl – @ Tramshed, Cardiff – March 2016
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016Devon Allman – supported by Kev Andrews @ The Flowerpot Derby – February 2016
Inglorious – supported by Ali Clinton @ The Flowerpot, Derby – February 2016
Runrig @ Colston Hall – February 2016
King King, Terrorvision & Thunder @ Colston Hall – February 2016
Whiskey Myers opening For Cadillac Three @ Tramshed, Cardiff – February 2016
Inglorious Opening For The Winery Dogs @ O2 Academy, Bristol – February 2016
RavenEye @ Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – January 2016
Oyster 3 @ St Davids Hall, Cardiff – January 2016

Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To Cardiff


Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To CardiffBlack Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To Cardiff

St David’s Hall was infused with the essence of Rock Music with Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To Cardiff tonight opening their anticipated tour An Evening With Black Stone Cherry. This is a new venture for BSC as they opened for themselves as Chris Robertson announced and he admittedly they were nervous acoustic with people sitting down was a first! The second half would be typical electric heavy rock mayhem was promised after the break.
Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To CardiffFor everyone in the audience who had experienced Black Stone Cherry in stadia, it all felt rather strange, stepping on a road not travelled with BSC, up close, stripped down and personal. The stage represented a front porch with bright lights like fireflies caught in a jar decorating the stage to make it look pretty for us. The songs were magnificent demonstrating that underneath the amps and electric are numbers that have the power, intensity working so well as acoustic numbers. Demonstrating the deep roots of rock in folk, bluegrass mountain music and country this is music that evokes Kentucky every bit as much as bluegrass, horses and Kentucky Whiskey. The opening set of forty-five minutes held the rock audience’s attention as they opened with In Our Dreams from their latest album Kentucky and later in the set Rambler and perfect for the acoustic setting; we may be a million miles from Kentucky but tonight Cardiff was an extension of the bluegrass state.  The poignant singing of Things My Father Said, completed what was never finished earlier in the year when in Cardiff when the emotion of the number was too much for Chris. With help from the Cardiff audience  who never ever need any encouragement to participate and they were happy to join in, the atmosphere was electric throughout the acoustic set as they sung “Big city lights don’t shine for me no more” we knew the lights of the city were shining on BSC tonight. Closing with All I’m Dreaming Of we sat back and thought what  a great way to open let’s bring on the main course BSC loud, bright and electric.

Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To CardiffWith the stage reset and the lights changed Chris Robertson, vocalist strutted on stage complete with a blue PRS guitar, which Chris was delighted with.   Chris joined by power drummer John Fred Young, Dancing, leaping guitarist Ben Wells and bassist as solid as the rock they play Jon Lawhon. The four who are Black Stone Cherry needed no introduction as the lights lit up the stage the roar of delight went up and everyone stood to enjoy the Kentucky rock they have come to hear.

Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To CardiffThe audience throughout were ready to party have fun and a great time listening to music that blasted away any cobwebs lurking in the far high corners of St David’s Hall. Up first in the  electric set to cheers and the audience standing Devil Queen blasted away the chill of the acoustic the auditorium was hot. Rock that puts fire in your belly and good vibrations in your ears and a feel good factor this is what Saturday nights are made for.  The set list toured their albums with Kentucky’s  Soul Machine raising the heat we were now cooking on ten surely we would get to eleven before the night was over. With a live airing for the first time since 2009 from Folklore and Superstitions Please Come In, we didn’t need to be asked twice. We were being absorbed deep into BSC deep, dark lyric driven rock. The band were full of energy with Ben striding from one side of the stage to the other in a few steps his leaping acrobatics added to the fire as the rhythm guitar pulled the sound together. How many drumsticks were broken battered or bruised as Fred Young powered through the numbers? I lost count, some lucky people caught them as they were hurled into the audience. The bass line of Killing Floor adds to the tension as we hit the dark groove of Killing Floor snarling with menace. Two favourites had the  audience high and ecstatic as  White Trash Millionaire and Me and Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To CardiffMary Jane creeping round the backdoor like a groundhog  were aired across St David’s Hall. as the light show flashed and danced reflecting off the walls as strobing to the driving beat of BSC rock.  A true if lonely statement Cheaper To Drink Alone full of Southern heat and verve as Chris’s vocals curled around the lyrics, spitting them out, live there were George Thoroughgood riffs and licks in the intro this is what makes live music so special you have to be at the gig to get the full drama, quips and that up close and personal feel. The drum solo with Fred taking control of the stage gave the rest of the Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To Cardiffband a breather before  the last three songs. The Guitar changed now in Chris hands was a red electric lent to him by Luke Phillips of Newbridge band Everyday Heroes; 2016 Steelhouse band winners who opened the Steelhouse Festival.  Fantastic to hear the latest single, from Kentucky album Shake My Cage, played live the riffs are just huge as the reverberated around the auditorium. With  Blame It On The Boom Boom giving Cardiff another chance to raise their voice, finishing off the second half of the chorus despite the band stopping, Chris apologised live “…we get it wrong sometimes! Let’s do a chorus again if you will join in”.  All too soon, it was the last or twenty-fourth Black Stone Cherry number of the night Lonely Train. But there was more, the scale of eleven was now definitely reached with a  tribute to Lemmy at the end with a BSC version of Ace of Spades! No one went home lonely filled with the party vibe of An Evening With Black Stone Cherry.

black-stone-cherry-wm-2558Chris Robertson thanked the Cardiff audience for enjoying the music and how delighted they were to be starting a U.K. tour once again in the Welsh Capital. As they left the stage to Queen’s We Are The Champions encouraging Cardiff to raise their voice once more and shaking hands with as many of the audience as possible.  We knew that Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To Cardiff was a reality, great fun and superb Rock n’ Roll.

 

 

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SET LIST
ACOUSTIC

In Our Dreams (Kentucky)
High & Hell Water (Black Stone Cherry)
Like I Roll (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
Rambler (Kentucky)
Things My Father Said (Folklore & Superstition)
Stay (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
Big City Lights (Black Stone Cherry)
All I’m Dreaming Of (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)

ELECTRIC

Devil’s Queen (Folklore & Superstition)
Soul Machine (Kentucky)
Soul Creek (Folklore & Superstition)
Please Come In (Folklore & Superstition)
Darkest Secret (Kentucky)
Killing Floor (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
White Trash Millionaire (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
Cheaper To Drink Alone (Kentucky)
Me and Mary Jane (Magic Mountain)
In My Blood  (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
Blind Man (Folklore & Superstition)
Change (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
Shakin’ My Cage (Kentucky)
Blame It On The Boom Boom (Between the  Devil & the Deep Blue Sea)
Lonely Train (Black Stone Cherry)

Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To Cardiff

 

Mary Coughlan Songstress holds St David’s Hall Enthralled

Mary Coughlan WM-7167

Mary Coughlan Songstress holds St David’s Hall Enthralled

 

 

 

The stage was set, Grand Piano and a microphone. Tonight was entertainment from the first to the last dying note. The music interspersed with waspish anecdotes about ex-husbands, alcohol, drugs, and life in all its darkest glories.

Mary Coughlan sings with a husky voice that pulls every ounce of emotion from the lyrics from songs that are an ethereal mix of blues, folk and jazz. This is ethereal of real Fearie not those with gossamer wings but of dark tales. Ancient folklore often portrayed as powerful beings who could wreak havoc on the lives of humans. These and other ancient mysteries Mary seamlessly connects with and turns into modern day living nightmares. Here conversation flows through the night giving context to the sadness and heartbreak of the songs chosen tonight. We hear about her five children ex-husbands alcohol abuse as she sips water and says her last drink was in 1993. The combination of blues fuelled jazz is delivered with a mix of ironic amusement and at times a feeling that everything that happened was just ordinary. The result was an evening of a devastatingly engaging musical journey as she sung about betrayal, love lost and taboo subjects including child abuse, sex trafficking the dark underbelly of life that breathes emotion and gritty realism into the blues.

The selection of songs were shrouded in misery with some happier numbers as she explored her back catalogue and latest studio album Scars on the Calendar a collaboration between Mary Coughlan & Erik Visser. The music covered Billie Holliday and Joy Division and so much in between. Her version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is a re-working of the music stripped down raw and, like everything her tonsils curl around, is rasped with raw emotion. Every song was special and life-affirming Ancient Rain fell across an audience absorbed in the deep silence of appreciative listeners.

Mary is back with new projects including a musical of her album The House of Ill Repute, singing the title track and a couple of numbers from the album that explores life in a brothel there is no glitz, glamour or plush red velvet. This is hard, gritty and the reality of what women’s lives in a house of ill repute is like. The highlight was the emotional a cappella delivery of Antarctic, this is vocal purity as she sings of a “rotten, stinking cheat” her ex-husband.

The encore was her slap at the world as she sings Ain’t Nobody’s Business What I Do. Having conquered many demons through her life, her delivery and choice of songs are of a woman with powerfully views on the role of women throughout society. Roots Unearthed once again delivered an evening of musical delights as Mary Coughlan Songstress holds St David’s Hall Enthralled.

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Oyster 3 – perfect miniature of The Oysterband

Oyster 3 – perfect miniature of The Oysterband

Tuesday night, for Roots Unearthed at St David’s Hall we were all treated to a musical delight. The Oyster 3 are the heart of The Oysterband. The depth of tone achieved coupled with the power of the lyrics make the stripped back Oyster 3 perfect.

Oyster 3 -4574Oyster 3 opening with an instrumental English folk tune which provided the perfect start to get your musical pulses running. The intoxicating mix of fiddle, acoustic guitar and accordion created a real Ceilidh number the deep root of the Oyster music.  Then a traditional song given the Oyster re-arrangement, Molly Bond a delight from 1986 is given new tonal shape with the Oyster 3 ‘Unplugged’ sound. This re-acquaintance with songs we love from the band continued throughout the evening with tales of experiences of touring musicians.  The three founder members of The Oysterband, John Jones, Alan Prosser and Ian Telfer created an evening that was up close, personal and stories the revealed the darker side of East German business after the wall came tumbling down, others made us laugh and sigh. Ian in the main acted in between fiddle and vocal duties as the raconteur, whist John and Alan added their own pithy comments.

 

Oyster 3 -4591Great audience participation, for The Oxford Girl (1982); this encapsulated the evening’s folk music modern and approachable. The years moved on it was now 1983 with Coal Not Dole, written by Kay Sutcliffe, all about the Kent Coal fields. The emotions were still raw as John sung the lyrics of the poem written by Kay, a wife of a Kentish miner. She wrote the poem during the mid-eighties dispute between  Maggie Thatcher’s Conservative government and the NUM.  Another Oysterband classic hardly felt stripped down with a rousing delivery of Another Quiet Night in England. A little known fact was shared. The Oysterband banked the earnings of tours of East Germany prior to reunification!  You have to go and see this engaging trio to learn the full twists and turns of a tale with not a happy ending and the band buying the get-away car for their ex-manager George!

 

Oyster 3 -4580The exact meaning of Cornish Hal-an-Tow, is unclear and is a processional tune ushering in summer. In fact the meaning may be from the words jolly rumbalo, it is always a fun tune to get your feet a-tapping. Alan’s solo The Mississippi Summer was another one of the beautiful interpretations that were the hallmark of this evening’s show of folk in the round.  Meet You There, provided a stirring finales to a great evening crammed with stories and songs rooted in the folk tradition with the freedom to fly brightening a winter evening.

With an encore, the 1992 Oysterband number  We Could Leave Right Now, as the song progressed they left the stage and walked off singing as they went their voices fading as the night drew to an end. A fabulous evening, all good things as they say have to come to an end unfortunately.

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Jamie Smith’s Mabon Album Launch

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Jamie Smith’s Mabon Album Launch
St David’s Hall, Cardiff 17th November 2015

 

Jamie Smith’s Mabon album launch is tonight’s Roots Unearthed event starting with a difference before the first note with a complimentary drink as the crowds arrived. Jamie Smith’s Mabon, is Celtic infused contemporary sound that celebrates the links in tone and texture between the Celtic nations from Galicia in northwest Spain through Brittany in to the Cornwall, Wales, Ireland Isle of Man and Scotland. The music has a collective identity and form revolving around dance rhythms with its reels and jigs, but Mabon is more celebrating the Celtic languages and traditions which have been obscured within the mists of time.

The name Mabon in Welsh folklore is linked to Arthurian legend with a man Mabon ap (son of) Modron; but as with many things Celtic there is more than one interpretation. Mabon is also female Saint Mabyn in Cornwall whose day is celebrated 18th November halfway through Autumn and Winter equinox. In modern times Mabon has also been taken for the celebration of Autumn Equinox. The root of the name may be hazy, BUT there is nothing hazy about the quality of the music heard tonight, where we heard the whole of the album The Space Between and a selection of much loved tunes from this Celtic Welsh band’s back catalogue.

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0016lThe five piece step on to the stage and the applause and cheers were full of the Capital city’s warmth delighted to be part of a special evening and the return of a favourite to level 3 at St David’s Hall. Jamie Smith’s Mabon bring originality to all their songs and melodies giving the band a distinctive worldly sound that has a bow in the past, a squeeze of the accordion in the present and a drum beat exploring the future. Mabon is Celtic inspired music that is not fixed in time or space. How do they achieve this firstly, the quality of the musicianship. Secondly, the interplay and timing creating tones and textures that keeps the ear in tune with the music and the feet tapping or dancing to the rhythmic shapes created. Lastly, Mabon is music that connects to your head and your body. Individually they are all five are masters of their instruments Upfront are Jamie Smith lead singer and accordion player of extraordinary dexterity; to stage left is fiddler Oliver Wilson-Dickson and Adam Rhodes on Electric Bouzouki. To keep these tunesmiths in order, tempo and shape is the rhythm section, Matthew Downer, bass upright and electric and percussionist Iolo Whelan.

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0070lOpening unsurprisingly with the title track of their fifth album, The Space Between the interplay between the fiddle and accordion opened the show with a Celtic infused sound. The story unfolds with lyrics that flow around the beat and adds another dimension to music. This is music that transcends ‘traditional’ Celtic music from wide-ranging cultures and fixes itself into its own space a blending and re-creating with love skill and understanding.

Mabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0002lMuch of the music is instrumental and the instrumentation lets your imagination go on a journey of celebration, sadness and wonderment as with Croeso Ioan a soft melody celebrating the birth of a baby. We move away from the album and the music has a Russian feel, and a tale that goes with it from when Jamie immersed himself in Romany music in Russia. The Tale of Nikolai, The Dancing Bear, is full of pathos mixed in with the dance inspired melody as it takes you to a land far away with its Eastern European musical cadences.

We had jigs and reels and traditional Welsh music people could not resist the opportunity to pick up the beat with their feet across the two sets, and plenty of opportunities to buy the album and chat to the friendly band during the break. At the start of the second set Jamie picks up an acoustic guitar for Returning from Where I’ve Never Been as the lyrics and melody explore the move from disappointment to a positive outlook and a mandolin added to the mix by Oliver, creating a sound that is acoustic pop proving that Mabon refuse to be pigeon-holed in the framework of traditional folk. We have the taste of Galicia with 48 in Ortegueira inspired by playing in a festival at 3 am in the morning. Inspiration form a trip to Brittany created a fabulous rhythmic instrument Go Kemper!, infectious with some jazz infused improvisations.

If I had to describe Jamie Smith’s Mabon to someone, they are like Bellowhead stripped down then restructured with a Celtic knot of tonal patterns. What you definitely will hear is strong instrumentals, songs where the words matter shaping a narrative that has a uniquely infectious qualityMabon - St David's Hall - Nov 2015_0027l.

The Space Between Album tracks heard tonight live.

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The Space Between
Franks’ Reel
Croeso Ioan
Returning From Where I’ve Never Been
The Accordianists Despair
48 in Ortgueira
Go Kemper!
Drum ‘N’ Breizh
Yr Ennyd

The Space Between TOUR continues

check out dates and venues near you HERE

Fireworks with Joe Satriani and Dan Patlansky

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Joe Satriani with Special Guest Dan Patlansky
Live at St David’s Hall, Cardiff 5th November 2015

 

All of the musical fireworks were let off in St David’s Hall tonight with the crackling combination of blues spangled rocket man Dan Patlansky opening the proceeding Special guest of the complete guitar firework display that is Joe Satriani. This was going to be two explosive sets and the hall was packed for the event from the front row and high up in the rafters.

Dan Patlansky - St Davids Hall - Nov 2015_0115lOpening with a formidable instrumental that set the level of guitar playing through control and the dexterity of nimble fingers across the strings and working the fret board. Drone was certainly not a droning noise it was not about stealth in the blues-influenced guitar-driven opener. We had glimpses of his back catalogue from the 20 stones album, Bring World To It’s Knees and a trio of delights form Dear Silence of Thieves the amazing album that introduced many in the UK to the glories of Dan Patlansky’s prowess and magic on his battered and worn Strat affectional known as Old Red. He thanked everyone for the support and opportunities and played the singles that have received massive air play on Planet Rock, Backbite tonight had a raw energy that was mesmerising. The music is developing as shown on the two new tracks introduced live tonight roll on 2016 a new Dan Patlansky album and full UK tour? As he closed his forty minute set with My Chana an instrumental that had the audience watching every move he made on the guitar as he played one-handed with just the fingerboard then used as a percussive instrument every piece of the guitar squealed, he discarded the strap and stretched the Strat to its very limit like a Catherine Wheel sending off musical cascades of sparkling excitement. The appetiser was delicious and we could have listened all night and he definitely had more rock/blues up his sleeve. Now for the Main event of the night.

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Joe Satriani - St Davids Hall - Nov 2015_0183lThe stage lit up, the crowds cheered Joe Satriani was on the stage. Opening with a great video from Crystal Planet that was re-visited later in the set. Then the sound exploded as the title track of his latest studio album Shockwave Supernova, reverberated around the auditorium. The lights blazed and the backdrop through the night of videos, still photographs or a light show added another layer to the music. For over two hours the instrumentals developed on themes slower, faster, harder some emotional. Joe Satriani explored the albums of the past and interweaved with numbers form Shockwave Supernova so we all had the thrill of hearing the album come alive. The visual displays act as a pathway into the thoughts of Joe Satriani the composer in the thinking behind the music giving them a visual context, replacing the need for lyrics. This is contemporary classical music composed for guitars, bass, drums and keys and has movements and structures that take you on a wonderful journey. The musical adventure has Joe Satriani at its heart, the band though is superb giving a platform allowing Joe to Surf with the Aliens and Fly with his Blue Dreams. The musicianship was outstanding the interaction between everyone gave animation to the stage with a powerhouse of a rhythm section Marco Minnemum on drums, whose drum solo was awesome, bassist Bryan Beller and Mike Keneally keyboards and guitar sometimes played at the same time; and guitar duels with Joe not surprising to have virtuoso playing from Mike having played with Frank Zappa the possibilities are always going to be endless.
With eight tracks from his current album there was still room for Crazy Joe an autobiographical number with video shots of Joe from the early days until now a visual biography. The guitar did the talking the talent of Joe Satriani is immense and his concerts create an atmosphere that is spellbinding. My favourite of all the music on offer tonight from Joe is hard but there is something very, very special about Butterfly and Zebra a lovely tune that is different with its different movements and tones, it is a sonic symphony that intrigues and blazes long after the last note dies away. Another highlight was Crystal Planet in which the guitar was controlled and the video was visually intriguing from early in the set, and Satch Boogie and then the encore; two numbers that enchant, including the only track with vocals and harp from Joe, Big Bad Moon and then the stellar Surfing With The Alien performed with classic old inter-galactic proportions. If you have not heard Joe Satriani live put it on your bucket list you will not be disappointed. This is guitar playing that crosses boundaries and is full of complexity and you need to listen and enjoy the musical shapes being formed and let reality be suspended while Joe plays for you. This was a night of orchestral music that is of super-sonic proportions that defy verbal description.

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Bluesdoodles says we used to have this well know chant
Remember remember!
The fifth of November
The Gunpowder treason and plot
I know no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

Now it should be Ode to Patlansky & Satriani’s special firework display in Cardiff tonight…

Remember remember Cardiff!!
The fifth of November
St David’s Hall, guitars had a time slot
Patlansky and Satriani Strat & Ibanez
The battle of the shooting stars
I know no reason
Why the this sparkling guitar season
Should ever be forgot

Dan Patlansky Set List

Drone
Bring World To Its Knees
Run
Hold On
Stop The Messing
Fetch Your Spade
Backbite
My Chana

Joe Satriani’s Set List

Shockwave Supernova
Flying In A Blue Dream
Ice 9
Crystal Planet
Not Of This Earth
On Peregrine Wings
Friends
Time
If I Could Fly
Butterfly and Zebra
If There Is No Heaven
Cataclysmic
Crazy Joey
All Of My Life
Luminous Flesh Giants
Always With Me Always With You
God Is Crying
Goodbye Supernova)
Satch Boogie
Encore
Big Bad Moon
Surfing With The Alien