Jul 27 2019

Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory

Friday 26th July 2019

Photos by Keith Belcher

Friday saw the long awaited first visit to TLR of the Grammy Award-winning bluesman and we weren’t disappointed! As well as his famed guitar skills, he’s blessed with a rich, deep big baritone voice that matches his 6 foot 5 inch frame.

California born, but Louisiana resident, he doesn’t believe in being pigeonholed into any arbitrary genre trap, and as well as some fine blues, we got power rock, punk, ska and even straight up honky tonk country. Alvin goes wherever his musical sense takes him and the audience were more than pleased to go with him! The only thing lacking on the night was any merchandise, denying the audience a chance to buy a CD, which we’re sure they would have done, judging by their reaction to the show

It was a powerhouse performance by any standard, from a man at the top of his game. He was ably supported by Italians, Fabio Drusin on bass and Silvano Bassi on drums.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob & Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

Jul 22 2019

Mama’s Broke

Sunday 21st July 2019

Photos by Keith Belcher

We had booked Mama’s Broke – Amy Lou, vocals, banjo and guitar and Lisa Marie, vocals, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, step dance – after watching a few YouTube videos and being incredibly impressed by their songs, harmonies and playing. We were not disappointed when they took the TLR stage for the first time last night.

The songs were even more powerful live, their dark lyrics given real potency by the beauty of their voices in harmony. Drawing their influences from traditional songs, their self written material deals with such topics as public hanging (Black Rock Beach), mental illness (Count The Wicked) and the life and mind of the travelling singer songwriter (the bleak and beautiful Dirty Mattresses).

Already winners of a Canadian Folk Music Award, these two incredibly talented young musicians are now deservedly making a name for themselves on this side of the Atlantic.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob & Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

Jul 17 2019

Lisa Mills & The True Believers

Sunday 14th July 2019

Photos by Keith Belcher

A very welcome return for the Mississipi native, now resident in Mobile, Alabama and this time with her British band, who provided sterling support to this fantastic singer. Lisa received a standing ovation from the crowd, who clearly loved her open hearted approach to performance.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob & Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

Jul 11 2019

Eve Selis

Sunday 7th July 2019

Words and photos by Keith Belcher

Sunday 7th July2019, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. The first visit of the Eve Selis Band with Eve on lead vocals and guitar, Marc ‘Twang’ Intravaia guitar and vocals, Larry Grano, drums and vocals and Josh Jewsbury, bass and vocals. What a fantastic night, just sensational!!

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob & Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

Jul 9 2019

The Brother Brothers

Friday 5th July 2019

Photos and words by Keith Belcher

Friday 5th July 2019. The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire, West Yorkshire. The debut visit of The Brother Brothers, identical twins David and Adam Moss who delighted the crowd with some magnificent sibling harmonies and great musicianship on guitars, fiddle and cello.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob & Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

Jun 30 2019

Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar

Friday 28th June 2019

Photos and review by Keith Belcher

This show had been a long time coming as promoters Ron & Hilary had been trying to arrange a date for about 3 years. The sheer number of projects that both Greg & Ciaran are involved in and availability of The Live Room presented a considerable logistical problem. When it finally happened, Hilary was holidaying in Florence leaving Ron to take the stage to introduce Greg & Ciaran. They did mention Hilary’s absence towards the end of their set but weren’t taking it personally.

They set off at great pace with the lively set of tunes that comprise The Warwick Road set, both showing their musicianship with Greg on guitar and Ciaran on very animated fiddle. At the end of the night Ciaran could have been found guilty of cruelty to bow strings. With no pause from the tunes Greg’s magnificent voice came to the fore on The Silent Majority with Ciaran weaving in and out on fiddle. Greg and Ciaran have a great rapport with their audiences engaging in humourous banter throughout the night.

The exchanges between Greg and Ciaran were quite funny too. Tonight, they had 2 fans who had travelled from Singapore for several of their gigs as well as what might have been their own travelling heckling team (in the nicest possible way). The audience were asked to participate quite early on with All Fall Down, this set the theme for the rest of the show. Great banter, good laughs and excellent music and singing.

At some point in the proceedings there entered a Spice Girls and Glastonbury element to the humour. Mercifully, (I speak for myself as a musical snob), we were spared actual girl power song covers, but Ciaran kept returning to the ladies in many funny (!) mentions. As well as the laughs there was a little politics with Line 2, The Silent Majority and We Are Leaving in set 2 which featured Ciaran on lead vocals. Set 1 finished with Crooked Jack, a song learned from Dick Gaughan.

The second set started as the first finished with a lot of humour, this time acronyms for tunings for guitar and fiddle were the subject. Ciaran deep in thought before coming up with Gerry Didn’t Appreciate Emma for GDAE. Thankfully Greg launched into John Henry sparing us more acronyms. Next was the poignant and thoughtful Lock Keeper which just happens to have a reference to Singapore, it also evoked another Spice Girls joke from Ciaran. I really appreciated Greg & Ciaran performing Icarus, a beautiful song I requested in the interval, hopefully the rest of the audience enjoyed it as much as I did. Banter and songs continued with set 2 finishing with a set of lively tunes which I think are titled Swipe Right before the very excellent encore of what seems to be their traditional closing song, a very rousing version of Pete Coe’s Rolling Down The Ryburn which lends itself to audience participation.

A fantastic night by a duo who fully engaged with the audience throughout, this wasn’t a finely refined and scripted performance, rather it refreshingly showed an enormous talent to give an audience a unique experience by their willingness and ability to ad-lib on the night which made it all the more personal. I think they would be welcome back preferably without another 3-year wait.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob and Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

Jun 2 2019

The Willows

Friday 31st may 2019

Words and photos by Keith Belcher

May 23 2019


Plus support Lady Nade

Sunday 19th May 2019

Review and photos by Keith Belcher

Sunday 12th May 2019, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. Yola and band came to Saltaire accompanied by opening act Lady Nade. A sold out show for many months with a long waiting list for returns brought people from far and wide to watch Yola in what may be her last tour in such intimate venues. Her career seems to be taking off like a rocket. This was , unusually for The Live Room a predominantly standing gig and had been advertised as such for many months.

By the time opener Lady Nade took to the stage there was a discernible buzz of excitement. Lady Nade, real name Nadine Gingell handled this with ease. Lady Nade describes herself as a rootsy-songstress fusing modern soul, roots, blues and pop folk. Seemingly very self-assured she engaged instantly with a very receptive audience often talking between songs about one of her other loves, cooking.

Lady Nade , unusually creates recipes to accompany all her songs, amongst tonight’s were red velvet cake, salad and red hot lentil dhal, recipes that is, not songs. It can’t be easy being the opener for someone like Yola but Lady Nade handled it brilliantly switching acoustic and electric guitars on a very cramped stage and pun intended, whetting the crowds appetite for Yola. (apologies, couldn’t resist!!).

Yola had a very tight 5-piece band to accompany her. Yola obviously took lead vocals and also played acoustic guitar, long time guitarist Kit Hawes on electric , acoustic and vocals, John Blakely on drums and vocals, Mark Lewis, bass and vocals, Daniel Inzani on keyboards and UK Americana Instrumentalist of the year Chris Hillman on pedal steel, lap steel acoustic and vocals.

Labelled by many as country soul she and band rocked and equally caressed and soothed the audience from start to finish. Precision playing throughout by a very tight band who seemed to have been playing together forever.

Yola opened with a gentle musical introduction to the very mellow Lonely The Night from the CD WALK THROUGH FIRE, her voice soaring to give hints of the available depth and range, at times gentle at the start of the phrase then fierce midway through. Thanking the audience and creating immediate rapport she followed with the sweet Ride Out In The Country with some beautiful pedal steel accentuating the song. A more up-tempo longing song Still Gone followed, guitar, drums and bass and catchy chorus bouncing the song along.

Yola occasionally played acoustic , other times concentrated on the singing. Her band, it must be said contributed some great vocals and harmonies as well as exquisite playing, no one really soloing for more than a few seconds but very, very sound. Her voice at times was a growl, sometimes a whisper. Teasing the audience with a wicked laugh and hint of an encore , a drum intro to the last song of the set , the lovely Far Away Look, a song requested by many in the audience, it allowed her voice to express its full range.

Three covers comprised the encore, the first was a very creditable cover of Spanish Harlem in tribute to her hero , the greatest female soul singer ever Aretha Franklin. Next was a song by , in my opinion, the most influential female songwriter ever, Joni Mitchell. A medley of Big Yellow Taxi segued into the driving beat of The Letter as immortalised by Joe Cocker and Leon Russell on the legendary Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour.

Yola had obviously put a lot of thought into the medley. I think most people left in a very uplifted mood in a way that only really live good music leaves you feeling. A great Sunday night in Saltaire. I suspect next time I see her will be in a far larger venue.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob and Molly of BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup

May 20 2019

Pharis & Jason Romero

plus support Billy Kemp

Friday 17th May 2019

Review and photos by Keith Belcher

Friday 17th May 2019, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. The return visits of both Pharis and Jason and Romero and Billy Kemp . A superb evening of accomplished playing, song writing, singing and extremely good humour. Sublime harmonies and playing from Pharis and Jason after Billy set the bar very high with a great opening set.

Pre Show Interviews

Interview with Rob and Molly from BCB Radio's Into The Buttercup