The best all round roots music club in West Yorkshire
Jul 25 2023
Sunday 23rd July 2023
Review and photos by Ron Pengelly
Saltaire visit on Sunday evening from Texan electric bluesman Hamilton Loomis and his band at the conclusion of their UK tour.
All kinds of blues plus a healthy dollop of funk and rock blew the roof off and made for a rather special show full of energy. The audience loved every minute, and huge appreciation from him both for the audience and the venue.
Hurry back Hamilton!
Jun 10 2023
Thursday 1st June 2023
Review, photos and video by Keith Belcher
Thursday 1st June 2023. The return appearance of the multi talented bluesman, Guy Davis. Guy is someone I have wanted to see for a long time but never quite managed it. He’s not just an extremely talented guitarist, banjo player, harmonica player, songwriter, storyteller and singer. He has theatre and film acting credits to his name and has written many plays also.
An excerpt from his press biography tells it all better than I could:
“His performances feature a mix of his original songs and cover songs by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Mance Lipscombe, Blind Willie McTell, Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and many others. His admiration for antiquities parallels his love of music, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.” Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty-five years of songwriting and performing. like savoring the ghosts of old sounds while still enjoying modern music.
Guy is a songwriter greatly influenced by his love of theater and storytelling, who derives joy from touring and seeing people from all walks of life. His hope is to bring people together, with the commonality that we are all people regardless of class, race, or personal experience, a lesson he learned from his long time friendship with Pete Seeger. Guy feels that Pete’s greatest strength was his ability to bring total strangers together, and have them all singing harmony by the time they left at the end of the night. “
It had been almost 10 years since his last show at TLR during the snows of 2013. Ron and Hilary had presented him twice before that at their venue in Wales. We got a superbly classy performance from a very classy artist. A beautifully paced show, along with the superb playing and singing the show layered with stories, anecdotes and a lot of humour and rapport with the audience. He has a huge back catalogue to his name, 20 albums over a more than 35 year career (and still counting) starting with 1978’s Dreams about Life to 2021’s, written during the pandemic, Be Ready When I Call You. Quite a few songs featured were from the latest award nominated album including the splendid ‘Palestine, Oh Palestine’.
After the very funny It Was You (a song about Orange 45) Guy asked if it was OK for him to play a few more, needless to say there were no objections . Full marks go to the Live Room Choir who provided lovely accompaniment to Guy’s songs when requested. A really enjoyable night made me wish I’d got around to seeing him a long time ago.
Low Down Women
Jun 10 2023
Friday 26th May 2023
Photos by audience members!
After nine years it was a welcome return visit from Minneapolis singer songwriter, Chastity Brown who with Tahrah Cohen on drums, delivered a powerful and passionate set, mainly comprising of songs from her wonderful latest album, Sing To The Walls. We hope we don’t have to wait another nine years to see her again!
May 27 2023
Sunday 21st May 2023
Review, photos, videos by Keith Belcher
Let the music keep our spirits high
Let the buildings keep our children dry
Let creation reveal it’s secrets by and by, by and by
When the light that’s lost within us reaches the sky
Jackson Browne Before The Deluge
Sunday 21st May 2023. The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. A typical weekend at Saltaire. Gig 2 of the high energy weekend. On Friday a 6 piece band Suntou Susso, tonight a 7 piece band . The return of Texan Sugaray Rayford and his American Band. Sugaray on main vocals and Drake “Munkihaid” Shining, musical director on keyboards Danny Avila Guitar , drums Ramon Michel, bass Alan Markell, tenor sax Derrick “DJ” Martin Jr, trumpet Julian “JuJu” Davis and what band they were. Very tight is an understatement.
January 2019 was the date of the first appearance at TLR and let’s say that they certainly made a favourable impression, the crowd was larger and gig sold out this time around. They also obviously wowed in the Switzerland gigs prior to this gig as they arrived with hardly any merch. The Swiss had bought it all!. It was snowing last time he was in Yorkshire but today was one of those sunny Yorkshire days that shows why Yorkshire folk think of it as God’s own county. As last time, the floor was mainly cleared for dancing to Sugaray’s unique blend of soul, blues, rock and jazz. His aim , he says, is to bring soul back to the blues. Sugaray leaving no room for ambiguity about his demands. Pleeeease shake your booties from the beginning was the request to the audience, I don’t do concerts I PARTY!!.
This gig might not have happened when in a 60 day period Sugaray was nominated for a Grammy (Somebody Save Me 2020) 2020 , an album which also earned Rayford two major Blues Music Awards for B.B. King Entertainer and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year (2 straight years) ,his wife was diagnosed with cancer and Covid arrived, highs and lows! He thought about quitting but his wife told him “You’re in too deep to quit”, He took her advice, she concentrated on recovering and he got in deeper . His wife is in remission. His next album took the title “In Too Deep”.
They started as they meant to continue with the Bill Withers song Who Is He (And What Is He To You?). From Danny’s opening guitar licks it just kept building and building. It was meant to be the 2 45minute sets format but they just carried on for over 90 minutes without stopping. The audience only getting a breather with a long delightful pure blues interlude starting with a delicate and tasteful sax solo leading into the other musicians joining in and having their own solo slots, all of which were excellent .
The instrumental progressed into a very different version of BB Kings Don’t Answer The Door, possibly ad libbing in true talking blues style. At this point Sugaray got the band to demonstrate they could play anything by playing country music followed by reggae. This prompted Sugaray to yield main vocals to Drake who performed a superb version of that old spiritual from the Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb, That was the rest period for the audience over and then back to high energy again with I’d Kill For You Honey.
Mona Lisa Was A Man was meant to finish the set, a song with some very strange lyrics , “If I don’t love you baby…,Grits ain’t groceries, Eggs ain’t poultry, And Mona Lisa was a man” Sugaray announced a 10 minute comfort break to be followed by 2 more songs . The band left the stage and Sugaray performed What A Wonderful World solo .
Short break over set 2 started with a reminder who the band were and as promised 2 songs to finish off the night. This was the 11th show in 5 days and what a show it was. It tires me out just thinking about it. It’s no wonder that Ron and Hilary had been looking forward to this one. Some photos and there will be videos later down the line. Apologies to Julian “JuJu” Davis on trumpet for his photos , he was almost completly in shadow from Derrick. An interesting but tricky photographic assignment. Let’s hope it’s not another 4 years for the next tour. That was a serious weekend of high energy music, great humour and warmth from both Sugaray tonight and Suntou Susso on Friday.
Who Is He (And What Is He To You?)
Is It Just Me?
Take Me Back
Sep 28 2022
Annie Keating Band
Sunday 25th September 2022
Photos by Keith Belcher
The first visit of New Yorker, Annie Keating and her band to The Live Room was an absolute triumph. Her band – Joe Coombs, guitar; Scott Warman, basses; and Jamie Dawson, drums – supported Annie superbly, with a performance of skill, maturity and power that had the audience cheering wildly from the first number. Read a full review of the show by John Barlass of At The Barrier here.
Live Video by Keith Belcher
Kindred Spirit & Road By 10
Jul 28 2022
Sunday 24th July 2022
Photos by Ron Pengelly
What a fantastic night we had with Errol and his band. Wonderful musicians, all at the top of their game, we were given an evening of classy, Chess era style blues with a good dose of old school reggae. Led by Errol with his smoky, soulful voice and superb harmonica playing, the band were in top form, featuring Lance Rose, bass; Petar Zivkovic, keys; Ritchey Green, guitar; and Garry Williams, drums. They even managed to get the audience on their feet and dancing at the end and received a deserved standing ovation as they left the stage. It won’t be too long before we see them return!
Mar 28 2022
Little George Sueref & The Blue Stars
Sunday 27th March 2022
It has been an ambition of ours for around twenty years to bring the Cardiff-born bluesman to our stage and at last we managed it!
We don’t present a whole lot of blues here at TLR and when we do we look for something outside the mainstream ‘blues rock’ version, preferring to avoid the classic electric guitar ‘shredders’, as good as many are.
Little George eschews the flashier stylings of modern bluesmen, favouring the more nuanced, textured feel of the original giants, such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter; a hark back to the music from the iconic Chess label.
That’s not to say there isn’t skill aplenty in the band. As well as George’s wonderfully soulful voice that goes from a growl to a two-octave leaping howl in an instant and his deceptively simple guitar lines, he is an amazing harmonica player. Last night, as well as classic blues harp, we were also treated to a beautiful minor key ska instrumental with George taking up the chromatic version of the instrument and showing a real mastery of that too.
Accompanying George were two brilliant London-based Italians. Davide Manzzantini from Empoli just outside Florence, treated us to some fantastic and very tasteful guitar, never over the top and always full of melody. On drums Loris Peverani from Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic coast, played some of the most tasteful drums, always serving the song and driving the rhythm with a delicate but powerful pulse.
We were treated to over two hours of soulful, old style blues that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Chicago bar room in the 1950s and suited the Caroline Street Club surroundings perfectly! Another great night of music here at TLR.
On a slightly sadder note, the evening also coincided with the club steward, Mark’s last shift at the club, as he takes his leave of the industry for a new job. We’re all very sad to see him go after all the work he has put in over the past five years to build the club into the success it has become. We wish him and his partner Gemma and their children the very best for the future.
Jul 20 2021
Sunday 18th July 2021
The second visit to TLR by Martin and a hastily rearranged show to avoid clashing with the final of the Euros the previous week. Martin was sensational, as ever, his guitar playing really is transcendent, and his voice soulful. Looking to bring him back soon with his full band. Been playing his latest record here at TLR Towers and it’s a thing of beauty.