May 27 2023


Sunday 14th May 2023

Review, photos and video by Keith Belcher

Sunday 14th May 2023. The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club. Two debuts to TLR. Amy Clark opened for Wanderland. The first thing to say is that I would say, if averaged out this was possibly one of the youngest audiences for TLR. Both acts featuring young up and coming artists. It’s not a regular occurrence that TLR attracts a band who have been played on Radio 1 and Radio 6 . Radio 2 Folk Shows and R4’s in Tune maybe but Radio 1 is a first I think.

The opening act was Scots vocalist, improvisor and songwriter Amy Clark. Her very powerful voice very ably accompanied on keyboards by Glen Leach. Amy also played guitar on Face to Face, her penultimate song of the night. Amy graduated from Leeds Conservatoire in 2021 and whilst there was very active composing, performing and collaborating with musicians in two jazz/contemporary music bands she co-founded, Flood Company and Ah Um Collective. She has also gigged around Leeds under her own name in a jazz quartet format. Her contemporary takes on jazz and folk standards (a very different Wild Mountain Thyme for the folkies to mull over) are inspired by artists Cécile McLorin Salvant and Theo Bleckmann while her original songs draw influence from Snowpoet, Laura Marling and Liane Carroll, combining thoughtful lyricism and intricate melodies.

In 2022, she joined Leeds chamber jazz/folk jazz band Awen Ensemble and was featured on their single “Bendith”, released that same year. It had strong radio support on Jazz FM, Worldwide FM, Basic Soul Radio, Totally Wired Radio, Radio D59B (Belgrade Serbia), Soul Power Radio, Universal Rhythms, Reform Radio, Radio Alhara (Palestine) and Radio Con (Vos Argentina). Many presenters have commented on the lovely sung and spoken word vocals from Amy. In the past couple of years, Amy has also been a first call backing singer for future soul/global beats bands like KOG, Heritage and Kindelan.

London and Yorkshire based Wanderland were the brainchild of duo Matt Robinson (Snowpoet) and Natalie Wildgoose. Recording their debut EP ‘Songs, I’ in a remote old mill next to a waterfall in the north of the Yorkshire Dales over 6 months. An apt location for their style of music. The introspective and isolated setting became an incredibly generative time. They dubbed the project Wanderland intentionally as it was came about from their exploration of the wilderness.

The two records ‘Songs,I’ and ‘Songs,II’ were both written and recorded in North Yorkshire. Some songs were written only hours before recording, capturing something deep and open-hearted, you can hear the rainy days and the star speckled nights. Collaborators and friends also show up across the EP including guitarist Tara Cunningham (Tenderhost), drummer Dave Hamblett (The Magic Lantern) and bassist’s Max Luthert (Zara McFarlane and Moses Boyd) and Tom McCredie (Seafarers).

Several Wanderland songs have been played on BBC Radio 1 The Chillest Show and Annie Mac’s Power Down playlist as well as BBC Introducing, BBC 6 and a live session for BBC York, who nominated their release as Record of the Week.

Tonight the band was Natalie, Matt, Dave Hamblett and Max Luthert.


Town and Soon

May 9 2023

Chris Smither 2023

Plus support from Zak Trojano

Photos and videos by Keith Belcher (Zak Trojano video by Peter Graves)

The return of the great Chris Smither to TLR and we were gald to see that he is as brilliant as ever. Simply one of the great American songwriters and a wonderful guitar picker. His songs deserve their own category, they’re that good.

We were also treated to a great opening set from fellow American, Zak Trojano, another terrific guitarist and highly original songwriter with a beautiful baritone voice. We’ll be keeping an eye on him!


Zak Trojano: Poor Boy (John Fahey arrangement)

Chris Smither: What They Say; Train Home; No Love Today

Apr 25 2023

The John Martyn Project

Friday 21st April 2023

Review, photos and video by Keith Belcher

Friday 21st April 2023. The John Martyn Project (Blythe Pepino, Kit Hawes, Pete Josef, Sam Brookes, John Blakeley and Jon Short)

This is a special project where six artists come together to celebrate the music of John Martyn. Each brings their own story and connection to John’s music which adds to the fabric of the overall experience of the project. Words below are lifted (with permission) from Mike Latham’s post yesterday.

“Out at The Live Room in Saltaire to see The John Martyn Project, not knowing what to expect. The venue was full and we were absolutely enthralled, gifted musicianship, wonderful voices and amazing interpretations of Martyn’s songs. Another great evening, local small venues really do provide an amazing service for those seeking the balm that music can provide.”

My Words on the performance. I have seen John Martyn many times between the late 1960’s to the early 2000’s. My favourite period being the period up to the mid 1970’s. A lot of the songs tonight related to John’s early career including Blythe’s beautiful rendition of Fairy Tale Lullaby from 1967’s debut album London Conversation and Sam’s Bless The Weather.

Many of the songs performed had not only the subtlety of acoustic works but also the power of the later John Martyn electric bands but without the slurred lyrics of John’s latter years. I also saw the 2 star studded tributes Danny Thompson put together in 2010 and 2019 at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival (Yes I am a long time John Martyn fan!!). The difference with this band was that all the songs were obviously copiously rehearsed and arranged to add to and give something different from the originals. The musicianship was obviously first rate but what made them stand out were the harmonies and arrangements.

Most of John’s catalogue didn’t feature multi-artist harmonies, it really works though. Some might find it sacrilegious but many of the songs performed were not just homage and tribute but actual upgrades. As with Joni Mitchell covers (most of which I find utterly sacrilegious) why just perform note for note like the original, always best to add something unique or leave alone. That was certainly the case with this show, a really enjoyable evening, hugely appreciated by an almost capacity crowd. These are my personal views. Yours may differ, please feel free to add any comments on your views .


Intro/Go Easy; Bless The Weather; Go Down Easy; I Don't Want To Know

Mar 28 2023

Chris Wood

Sunday 26th March 2023

Review & photos by Keith Belcher

Sunday 26th March 2023. The 5th visit of Chris Wood who, in my opinion, should be regaled as the Poet Laureate of Folk singer/Songwriters. An acute, astute observer and chronicler of what’s actually happening in the world at an intimate level to real families and folk, their intimate feelings, responses and behaviours. The last visit was 2020 just before you know what happened. Tonight, as well as old favourites, we heard many new and as yet unrecorded songs. Songs that are probably still untitled and may be still evolving before they reach the level that Chris is happy enough to let them free in the world. 

Feb 24 2023

Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira with Miguel Girão

Friday 17th February 2023

Photos & video by Keith Belcher, words by Keith Belcher & Mike Latham

Friday 17th February 2023, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira accompanied by Miguel Girão. I knew we were in for a treat after the sound check which was utterly delightful and a pleasure to my tired old ears. The actual show was even better.. I’m going to unashamedly steal the text (see below) to a post by [Mike Latham] about Friday’s act.
“Another great debut at The Live Room in Saltaire. Two consummate musicians, Jocelyn Pettit from BC in Canada and Ellen Gira from near DC in the US held the audience spellbound on their first appearance at the venue.”

Video by Keith Belcher

The Fleur Rells and Across The Western Ocean

Feb 4 2023

Madison Violet

Sunday 29th January 2023

Photos by Keith Belcher

An evening of stunning songs, harmonies and musicianship from Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern plus their friend Jake Dawson. We’d seen them at Folk Alliance in Montreal a few years back but we were still taken aback by just how brilliant a live performance they give. Technically brilliant, but like all great artists, moving, challenging, engaging and entertaining. For our capacity crowd, this was an evening not to forget.

Video by Keith Belcher


Jan 10 2023

Iona Lane

Plus support from Henry Parker

Friday 6th January 2023

Review, photos and video by Keith Belcher

Friday 6th January 2023: The first gig of four at TLR, Saltaire this month. Local Keighley resident Henry Parker opened the gig with a short but very sweet set comprising a selection of his 4 CDs to date. The latest being a live limited issue release entitled Life After Lammas.

It had been a 3 year wait for the long anticipated and awaited debut of Leeds based songsmith Iona Lane with Malin Lewis. Singer Songwriter Iona Lane on main vocals and guitar and Malin Lewis award-winning piper, fiddler, composer and instrument-maker from Ardnamurchan and Skye playing fiddle, pipes and whistle. Iona studied for a BA (Hons) Music (Folk) with a scholarship at Leeds College of Music.

Since 2015, Iona has released three EPs: ‘Dry Stone Walls’ (2015), ‘Solace’ (2017) and ‘Pockets’ (2017) studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Recently releasing a first debut CD Hallival. Last year Malin makes Music released their first book of original music and was a winner of the “In tune with Nature” composing competition run by Scottish Natural Heritage and Feis Rois.

Videos by Keith Belcher

Henry Parker: Lammas Fair

Iona Lane: Sylvan

Iona Lane: Mary Anning

Dec 13 2022

TLR 300 with The Often Herd!

Sunday 11th December 2022

Review, photos and video by Keith Belcher

Sunday 11th December 2022, The Live Room at Saltaire, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. Very cold outside but a warm welcome with complimentary drinks and food in abundance for TLR’s last gig of the year and the 300th gig since opening in May 2012. A great spread generously provided by Ron and Hilary to mark the event. A debut appearance for one of the UK’s premier Bluegrass Band The Often Herd.

A cracking good set from the band to celebrate the event. Great harmonies, songs and musicianship as well as great banter. Some shots below. I’m sure I speak for the regulars and many occasional visitors to TLR in thanking Ron and Hilary for all the shows and introducing us to many artists of all musical genres. Here’s to the next 300. Starting next year with the visit of Iona Lane and Henry Parker on January 6th.

Video by Keith Belcher

The opening two songs from the set

Nov 15 2022

Thea Gilmore

plus support The Silver Reserve

Thursday 10th November 2022

Photos by Ron Pengelly

We were thrilled to see a sold out TLR for Thea’s first visit here and also really pleased that she asked our friend Matthew Sturgess aka The Silver Reserve to support her. The pairing of the two was inspired and their music complemented one another perfectly and made for superb evening.

While her material, specifically from the most recent album, Afterlight, was challenging, dealing with her experience of domestic abuse, Thea was anything but gloomy on stage. She was very funny, chatty and self deprecating, especially when talking about her choice of equipment and its shortcomings.

Using a mixture of live looping and a little backing track to enhance her songs, she gave us a stunning show. She really has one of the most beautiful and intimate voices you’ll ever hear. It’s no surprise that she has built a huge and dedicated following over the years.

We were also treated to a brilliant support set from The Silver Reserve, who won a bunch of new fans. We can’t wait to see him back here in March next year when he’ll be co-headlining with Bella Gaffney.

Nov 15 2022


Sunday 13th November 2022

Photos and review by Keith Belcher

Sunday 13th November 2022, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire. The penultimate gig of 2022. A debut appearance from Irish/Scots trio Cua : John Davidson (fiddle, percussion, vocals) Shane Booth (guitar, vocals) and Ros O’Meara (bouzouki, guitar, percussion, vocals).

Their 5th UK tour, another band I was unaware of, thanks again Ron & Hilary. All live in Co Laois, John started life in Edinburgh but now lives in Co Laois also. A truly eclectic blend of musical styles and influences that delighted the very attentive and appreciative Live Room audience.

The range encompassed predictably the music of Ireland and Scotland but also ranged from the middle east to South America and all points in between (a Venezualan two step from Shane and John while Ros changed a bouzouki string!). By anyone’s standards this was a seriously musically diverse show whilst retaining a very personal stamp throughout.

Musicianship was superb as were the vocals. Several songs performed acappella that were just a treat for the ears. It wasn’t just the music though, the banter and bonhomie were also wonderful. All paces of music, soft and delicate at times very fast and driving at others. Indeed at some points in the show if some part of your anatomy wasn’t attempting to keep time with the music then you may need to check your level of medication or consult an audiologist. Hopefully they will be back in the near future.

Video by Keith Belcher

If I Should Find Myself; The Other Man