Jul 10 2024

Mark Radcliffe & Dave Boardman/Weeping Willows Double Bill

Sunday 30th June 2024

Photos, video and review by Keith Belcher

Sunday 30th June 2024. The Live Room, Saltaire. A double header of two debutantes to TLR. From Australia, The Weeping Willows (not to be confused with Weeping Willows- a Swedish band ) and Boltons own Mark Radcliffe with Knutsford resident David Boardman.

The Weeping Willows are Australians Andrew Wrigglesworth (guitar, lead vocals) and Laura Coates (lead vocals, accordion and tambourine). Currently resident in Melbourne. Ron and Hilary “discovered” The Weeping Willows on one of their Nashville visits, meeting up with them again in Kansas (the pandemic came between the visits I think). The usual good taste in bringing these two musicians to TLR. It took a while but happened eventually.

There was the little matter of a football match on Sunday night but the gig was sold out regardless. On Monday I saw a gig cancellation at Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton ( Jon Palmer Acoustic Band) for this Saturday (July 6th). The reason for the cancellation “EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO UNFORESEEN FOOTBALL”. On Sunday there were a few who crept in at 8pm after the travesty had reached its conclusion. They would have missed the best part of The Weeping Willows but probably caught up with their sleep during the football.

The Weeping Willows opened a really tremendous night of high quality entertainment. I was not familiar with Andrew and Laura’s music before the night. I was very impressed. Their opening song “River Of Gold” reminded me greatly of The Civil Wars (remember them, a meteoric rise and similar crash but absolutely phenomenal on stage – I saw them twice), Andrew’s very accomplished guitar and Laura’s tremendous voice create a very large sound for 2 people. They had that same power and presence on stage. Andrew took lead on several songs and they combined their voices beautifully. On another song, “Singin’ The Blues”, I was reminded of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (who I adore) with homage to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

They covered a vast range of musical genres, Americana , Southern Gothic, obviously but a touch of bluegrass, some blues , some rock, uptempo and ballads. In just under an hour they crammed a lot of music in as well as getting the audience to check the footie scores . They left the stage to serious applause . They returned during Mark’s set to help with “Out On The Shore”. After the show they posted that they couldn’t stop smiling . They were not alone. It was one of those evening where everyone went home smiling, even the football supporters. Let’s have them back for a full show please.

Continuing with the action on 30th June 2024. Mark Radcliffe and David Boardman took the stage following The Weeping Willows. At times you may have thought you had come to a comedy night. There were lots of very funny stories mixed in with the largely self penned songs mainly about the North of England.

videos by keith belcher

Bells Are Ringing In The Churchyard

Singin' The Blues

First Light

Steal The Sea

Jul 10 2024

Dean Owens & The Sinners

Sunday 23rd June 2024

Photos by Ron Pengelly

We had been really looking forward to welcoming Dean and his band to TLR since seeing them give a wonderful showcase performance at The Folk Alliance in Kansas in February and we weren’t disappointed. It was a brilliant show, full of the flavours of the South Western United States, great songs, harmonies and musicianship from Scotland’s finest. They were rewarded with a standing ovation.

Jul 10 2024

Slambovian Circus of Dreams

Sunday 16th June 2024

Photos, video and review by Keith Belcher

Sunday 16th June 2024, The Live Room, Saltaire. The debut appearance at TLR of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. The band are singer-songwriter Joziah Longo (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica), Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin, backing vocals), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, keys, flute,backing vocals ). RJ McCarty (bass, backing vocals) and Matthew Abourezk (drums). Some shots of a very memorable night at The Live Room.

This has to be up there as one of THE great nights at TLR. As well as some brilliant songs and stellar playing, it was just the craziest atmosphere, with what seemed like a room full of pirates and jellyfish – see the video of TransSlambovian Bipolar Express below! An amazing show by an amazing band.

videos by keith belcher

Holy Rollers (Roll The Dice)

TransSlambovian Bipolar Express

Jun 11 2024

Charm of Finches (AUS)

Plus support Mia Kelly

Friday 7th June 2024

Photos, video and review by Keith Belcher

Friday 7th June 2024, The Live Room, Saltaire. Mia Kelly opening for Charm of Finches. Another performer ‘discovered’ by Ron and Hilary at Folk Expos in the States. This was Mia’s first UK tour. She had only arrived 2 days earlier. Mia is a singer /songwriter from Gatineau, Quebec and performs in French and English.

Mia was recently awarded Young Performer of The Year and Emerging Artist of The Year at the 2024 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Canada has given us, amongst others, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell so they do produce the goods. Mia has one of those powerful and expressive voices that could probably fill a hall without amplification. There sounds like there is power and emotion in reserve.

Mia was solo tonight, thumb and finger strumming an acoustic guitar. I couldn’t help but think what that voice would be like in front of a full rock band. Maybe one day!

All the songs tonight were very well written, intelligent, insightful and meaningful lyrics about a number of topics. There was one co-write : ‘Meaning Well’, a co-write via Zoom with our own Blair Dunlop who has also appeared at TLR , albeit a few years back. Blair is the son of Fairport Convention/Albion Band founder Ashley Hutchings (also appeared at TLR) and Judy Dunlop. Also, a long suffering Spurs supporter.

The set started with Garden Through The War, a quite intense song about, among other things, relationships. Mia emanated “joie de vivre” throughout her set, nice to see so much enthusiasm and lovely smiles on display. A good rapport with the audience quickly established. No more French from me but we did have a song in French, ‘Dépaysée’. There were also songs about ancient men who sailed in boats of wood and the men were made of steel, (Bonefish Boys). A song about the River Ottawa but giving it it’s native speaker name of ‘Kitchissippi’. The final song of the brief set was ‘Vagabond’, an uptempo song to end the set inspired by a homeless stranger on a long bus journey asking her, out of the blue, to go ‘cliff jumping’. Mia left the stage to a very good response from the discerning TLR audience. I have no doubt she will be back.

TLR regular Eric wrote ; “Mia Kelly was wonderful, Hilary and Ron, please book her again…Top Notch songwriting”

Ron wrote of both acts; “Three incredibly talented young women, all still under 25. There’s a whole generation of great young musicians and songwriters out there.”

Charm of Finches. Two Australian sisters Ivy and Mabel Windred-Wornes. No strangers to The Live Room. They first appeared to TLR audiences during the Covid Lockdown period in 2020 via virtual electrickery and a huge transcontinental time difference. Our show that night was (I think) 7pm but they were ready to play at 3AM in Australia. Well done Ron and Hilary for keeping the music going during that dark period.

They first appeared in Yorkshire in the flesh in July, 2022 with Chris Brain opening. They were such a hit they were eagerly welcomed back to reappear in 2024. A description of their music I like is chamber folk’. It also has (to me) a kind of Victorian, oldy, gothic feel.

Part of the visual for that and their videos is their shopping in ‘Opp (Opportunity) Shops’ as the duo call our Charity Shops, buying old wedding dresses and dieing/adorning them. Ivy’s almost Bharatanatyamish hand movements, a form of classic Indian Hand dance mudras add to the ethereal quality of their songs.

The quality of their sibling harmonies is outstanding. The duo restricted themselves to keyboards and guitar for this show, a violin was used in previous shows. There was a request for ‘Treading Water’ which features the violin, as the encore. The planned encore was ‘Wonderful Oblivion’. After a few seconds thought, they obliged the audience with an unrehearsed wonderful version of ‘Treading Water’, showing great versatility. Another great reception from the TLR crowd.

TLR regular Mike Latham commented “This was our third time of witnessing Ivy and Mabel…The sounds they created with simple musical accompaniment and their distinctive voices was, for me, a very mature performance. They seem to have determined their own unique approach, particularly in the way they use their voices and can now develop their sound further.

Their sound has a very ethereal feel to me, enhanced by the style they present in their attire and videos. I am reminded of the films of Crawford and Davis and that was reflected in the title song from their new album ‘Marlinchen In The Snow’. Another stirring performance from them and new fans won as I know there were some in the audience who had not witnessed them before.

Another great event; thanks Ron and Hilary, once again. “

videos by keith belcher

Meaning Well

Clean Cut


On My Own

Jun 9 2024


Sunday 2nd June 2024

Photos, review and video by Keith Belcher

6th June 2024. The Live Room, Saltaire. The last date of their UK tour but the debut appearance of Genticorum. Their first visit to the UK in over 10 years.

Genticorum are a traditional Québécois trio based in Montreal , Canada. Their members are Pascal Gemme (fiddle, Octave mandolin and vocals), Yann Falquet (guitar, jaw harp, and vocals), and Nicholas Williams (wooden flute, accordion). Pascal Gemme also does a lot of clogging during the show.

A truly superb display of harmonies and musicianship. They even had the audience singing in French without having to conjugate any verbs beforehand….and we know how multi-lingual us Brits are!

For those who missed them they are back in the UK for a few gigs and festivals including Cambridge in the Summer (thats apparently when the big yellow thing appears in the sky with a blue background).

They seemed to really enjoy playing at TLR and the 100 plus audience on a very warm night certainly enjoyed their playing. As soon as the show had finished Pascal made a beeline to Ron to thank him for the sound. From memory ” We knew after the first 8 bars that we could really enjoy playing here tonight!”. They certainly could and certainly did. Lets hope they return soon.

video by keith belcher


May 28 2024

The Paperboys

Friday 24th May 2024

Photos by Nigel Plant, review by Mike Latham


I think that sums up last night’s performance neatly. Here was a band who had just endured a long trek north and yet they were able to conjure up such a magnificent show.

From the opening song they had the audience captured and the connection between those two groups within the room encouraged them to give a stellar performance. In the information sent out about the band previously, it was highlighted that the opening number was the only one agreed upon. The room was then read to determine the direction of travel and what a journey we were taken on. Stirring tunes, songs of light and shade and a true session of roots music through folk, Latin, a touch of reggae and the syncopated sounds of New Orleans. What more could an audience ask for?

We didn’t see them on their original appearance but we know they, like many performers we have been introduced to at The Live Room, are ones that we will look forward to seeing once again.

Many thanks to Hilary and Ron for another splendid evening.

May 28 2024

Katherine Priddy

plus support George Boomsma

Thursday 16th May 2024

Photos Richard Leach, videos by Cloddyclips, review Mike Latham


The support slot from George Boomsma set the scene for another great show. Both sets, the one from George and the main event from Katherine treated us to amazing voices and wonderful musicianship. 

George used voice and guitar, not to forget the whistling, to show us another outstanding young musician. It all sounded so simple but his words and playing showed a maturity that was a pleasure to watch.

I only know Katherine from her first album but her performance also confirmed the maturity of a lot of young musicians who are travelling round sharing their art with ever increasing audiences.

Though there were only three musicians on stage (Harry Fausing Smith on violin, mandolin and vocals, joining Katherine and George) the sound they created was subtle, entrancing and a joy to listen to. Again, we witnessed a wonderful combination of voices which meshed together to create a gentle sound which drew the listener in to wonderful observations on life and relationships.

Long may we continue to witness these wonderful events that promoters like Ron and Hilary create for our delectation in the small venues that exist throughout this land.

Videos by Cloddyclips

George Boomsma: Lily of the Nile

Katherine Priddy: Letters From A Travelling Man

Katherine Priddy: First House On The Left

May 28 2024

The Hackles

Sunday 12th May 2024

Photos, video & review by Keith Belcher

Sunday 12th May 2024. The Live Room, Saltaire. The first visit of The Hackles. The Hackles are Kati Claborn (vocals, guitar, banjo, clarinet), Luke Ydstie (vocals, guitar, and Halli Anderson (vocals, violin, guitar).

All the way from Oregon they graced the Live Room Stage with a stunning display of three part harmonies and magical arrangements that interweaved effortlessly and blissfully.

Their acapella version of Michael Hurley’s ‘Werewolf’ was without a doubt one of the most beautiful songs I have heard at The Live Room (or anywhere else). I suspect that many in the audience, like me, were holding their breath spellbound. An acceptable crowd for their debut at TLR but next time around I suspect they will be sold out well in advance. Catch them if you can.

videos by keith belcher

Werewolf (Michael Hurley)

Don't Let Me Go By

May 28 2024

Jake Vaadeland & The Sturgeon River Boys

Sunday 5th May 2024

Photos & video by Keith Belcher, review by Keith Belcher with contribution from Mike Latham

What a great way to celebrate 12 years of TLR! This was a show in the truest sense of the word. We were transported back to the 50s with the self-confessed ‘retro man’ and his brilliant band.

Sunday 5th May 2024, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. Debut appearance of Jake Vaadeland & The Sturgeon River Boys. Jake Vaadeland, a self-taught singer/songwriter originally from Saskatchewan, accompanied by his bandmates: guitarist Joel Rohs, banjo player Jaxon Lalonde and bass player Stephen Williams.

A very lively affair to say the least. I have reported the bassist to the Bass Police for being far too animated . We’re really not used to bass players dancing around the stage (with or without their double bass!). A very slick show from Jake and the boys, slick in just about every way , dialogue, music , songs, humour and not to mention hair!

Mike Latham said “Recent concert by Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys from Canada was another debut at the Live Room at Saltaire. A storming performance that went down well with the full room that greeted them on Sunday. A magnificent performance (in more ways than one), these young men proved to be masters of their craft.” He was pretty much spot on.


Until The Day I See You Dear

Get Rhythm; That's Alright Mama

May 2 2024

Sons of Town Hall

Friday 26th April 2024

Photos by Ron Pengelly

We were treated to a fantistic evening with this amazing duo on Friday 26th April. Both George Ulysses Brown (Ben Parker from England) and Josiah Chester Jones (David Berkeley from the USA) possess beautiful voices and together, their harmonies are exquisite. Add in brilliant songwriting, playing and a huge dollop of humour, and you have one of the great live acts on the folk and roots circuit. The sold out crowd were treated to wonderful show and we know that they’ll be sailing back this way on their home made raft before too long.