Blog

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.

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

Yola

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

May 18 2019

Kris Drever

Plus Katie Spencer

Sunday 12th May 2019

Review and photos by Keith Belcher

Sunday 12th May 2019, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. Yet another full house welcomed the fourth visit of Shetland resident Kris Drever (living on Orkney was just too convenient he remarked). Kris also commented on the number of murders portrayed in the TV series. Opening for Kris was the relatively local Katie Spencer, now a Hornsea resident making a second visit. Last time here in April 2018 Katie opened for Korby Lenker and later toured with Korby.

Katie performed a superb opening set mainly featuring songs and tunes from the recent debut CD WEATHER BEATEN, great guitar playing, good self penned songs and a wonderful emotive voice. The closing song, a cover of the late and very great John Martyn’s Hurt In Your Heart aptly demonstrated why Katie was asked by no less than legendary bass player Danny Thompson to take part in a high profile tribute to John Martyn at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow. Katie’s company on stage that night at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall were John Smith, Blue Rose Code Paul Weller (yes that one), Lucy Rose, Eddi Reader, Rory Butler and Eric Bibb. I was there and Katie seemed very at home in such company. Following the very enthusiastic applause Hilary promised (not emulating Arnies voice) that Katie will be back. Watch for Live Room news.

Kris opened with Beads and Feathers from 2006’s CD BLACK WATER. Obviously in very good, often self deprecating humour, raising much laughter from the appreciative and attentive audience and immediately building a good rapport. Kris was quite whimsical at times and cited the arrival of a new daughter only 8 weeks ago as the cause of old material as he needed to play something he knew well.

Kris’s set dipped into two of his solo CDs, BLACK WATER and IF WISHES WERE HORSES and other collaborative projects. There were constant changes between acoustic and electric guitars throughout the show. Wintermoon, Dark Secret and Ghosts from Lau alums also featured . HILL AND SHORE is a CDEP on sale only at gigs on this tour. Comprising of all traditional songs that Kris has sung over the years but never recorded before. Obviously several songs featured from that. The audience were also treated to unrecorded or as yet unreleased material in I Don’t Want to Die, a new unrecorded song. Scatterseed was sung, based on the dandelion plant, from a forthcoming sponsored collaboration with the likes of Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis and others called THE LOST WORDS- SPELL SONGS, planned for release sometime in June.

Also played was a song commissioned for BBC RADIO BALLADS THE GREAT WAR (for some reason the BBC have never commercially released any of the recent Radio Ballads material!) called Scapa Flow 1919 about the sinking of the entire German naval fleet in 1919, an event witnessed by a school party out for the day! Kris had obviously researched this thoroughly and related many anecdotes about the affair. Some almost too bizarre to believe but……That song is also due for release on the 100th anniversary of the event later this year.

Some superb whistling on the break up song I Didn’t Try Hard Enough which was segued from the instrumental Gypsy Princess. I always admire people who can whistle on demand. All too soon the Sunday night was over and Kris finished with a requested encore of Ghosts from Lau’s THE BELL THAT NEVER RINGS. Hopefully visits 5 and 3 from Kris and Katie respectively in the not too distant future

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May 7 2019

TLR 7th Birthday: The Little Unsaid

Sunday 5th May 2019

Review and photos by Keith Belcher

Sunday 5th May 2019, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. The seventh birthday of The Live Room brought a very well supported and also very welcome return visit from The Little Unsaid led by John Elliott , keyboards, guitars, effects , magnificent vocals and vicious attack on drums , Tim Heymerdinger, drums, effects and vocals, Alison D’Souza, viola and effects and Sonny Johns, bass and effects.

Not the official launch of their new album, ATOMISE due for release on May 24th but the first date of the current tour. If this, the first date of the tour was anything to go by then people are in for a real treat as the tour gets fully into gear. A very dynamic set, never one paced or one level, a heady mixture of alt rock, folk and electronica which went down extremely well with the Saltaire audience.

Also very nice to see a higher proportion of younger audience members at the show. Sweeties and nibbles were provided by Ron and Hilary to celebrate The Live Rooms 7th birthday. In that time the club has just grown from strength to strength and shows no signs of letting up. It really doesn’t seem like 7 years since Jackie Oates opened on May 4th 2012. Here’s to the next 7.

Pre Show Interviews

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