Aug 2 2021

Blue Rose Code

Friday 30 July 2021

Photos by Keith Belcher

What a return to larger capacity shows we were treated to on Friday! Ross, deprived of part of his band owing to a family illness, but with his phenomenal guitar player and long time sidekick, Lyle Watt, nevertheless gave the gig-hungry audience a blistering show. The energy generated by these two fabulous musicians really set the crowd afire and at times the performance was right out on the ragged edge, just as live music should be. For the first time in well over a year, it felt like The Live Room of pre-pandemic days. More of this please!

Jul 20 2021

Joe Martin Band

Sunday 4th July 2021

Photos by Keith Belcher

It was Joe’s third visit to TLR, but the first as a headliner and also with his full band. It’s great when you see an artist develop and you’re part of that journey. It was a fabulous night with a great young artist and a brilliant band. We’ve already booked a return visit for them in 2022, so watch out for that!

Jul 6 2021

Sean Taylor & Katie Spencer

Friday 2nd July 2021

Photos by Keith Belcher

Many thanks to Sean & Katie for a wonderful 250th show here at TLR, it was a fabulous double bill, as we knew it would be when we booked them!

Jun 16 2021

Jon Boden

Sunday 13th June 2021

Photos, set list and review by Keith Belcher

Jon Boden, The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire 13th June 2021

Late Show (21: 00) of a socially distanced, two-house gig

Set List

Intro -Hilary

Rigs Of The Time (Trad)

We Do What We Can

Old Straight Track

Walking Song

Rose In June (trad)

Cinnamon Water

All Hang Down

Dancing In The Ruins

Come Out Wherever You Are

One Night As I Lay On My Bed (trad)

Roll Alabama

Jordan

Last Mile Home

New York Girls

This was meant to be the last of the socially distanced gigs at TLR but it was obvious to all even without the systematic leaking that it was likely to be late July before venues might be fully open (fingers crossed on that). Hilary sadly confirmed that before the show.

What can you say about Jon Boden? The dates for the original shows sold out very, very quickly. One of the very best voices and front men in roots music. Anyone who has seen the phenomenal Bellowhead will attest to that. Combine him and Eliza Carthy on either side of the stage and you would have Vinegar Joe/Jefferson Airplane – yes, that really dates my musical tastes!

Jon opened the second of the two shows with the very appropriate “Rigs Of Our Times”, a nineteenth century song about maintenance of good and honest trading mechanisms. Rigs meaning “a trick or way of swindling someone”. He quipped that no way was the song appropriate to current times….Perhaps it was a planned theme but that song was followed by one of Jon’s own compositions, “We Do What We Can”, again very appropriate. Songs featured during the evening were a mixture of traditionals that may have been more familiar as Bellowhead recordings and songs from Jon’s recent trilogy of post-apocalyptic, climate change themed albums. The latest of those albums mainly composed and recorded during lockdown and only recently released. Not surprisingly many songs from the latest album Last Mile Home were featured in possibly one of Jon’s first “real” shows since the album release. I for one am very happy at anyone returning to albums that follow a theme rather than numerous, non-related, singles.

Jon came equipped with 3 guitars, violin, concertina and an array of foot pedals and stomp box. All of which were played superbly. “One Night As I Lay In My Bed” ignored most of that and was performed with accompanying clapping and stomp box. Who noticed Bellowhead weren’t on stage? I find a solo performance of songs like “Rigs of Time” and “Jordan” really bring the very meaningful lyrics to the fore when not distracted by the heavy instrumentation of a large band, personal opinion as I find it difficult to concentrate on too many things at once!

Post-apocalyptic Morris dancing was predicted during the show, many of the songs having enough drive and beat to tempt the dancers in the crowd if there weren’t Covid restraints in force. Finishing the show with the powerhouse song “Jordan” and a double encore of “Last Mile Home”, the title track and last song on the new album and then the magnificent upbeat “New York Girls” just made you want more. I am sure that I wasn’t the only one pretending not to sing along. A great gig, thoroughly enjoyed by all present, audience, promoter and artist.

TLR’s summer shows will be socially distanced until policies and opinions change. Check the website/blog for all dates, join the mailing list for updates.

Jan 22 2019

Sugaray Rayford Band, Friday 18th January 2019

Friday 18th January 2019. The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire hosted the Sugaray Rayford Band on their first UK tour.

Sugaray had a stunning 6-piece band with him comprising Lavell Jones, drums, Alastair Greene, guitar, Drake Shining, keys, Allen Markel, bass, Giles Straw, trumpet and Aaron Liddard on sax. It was snowing lightly outside but inside, as requested by Sugaray, the floor was mainly cleared for dancing and much dancing there was. The audience coming from far and wide (even Lancashire!) to see the man on his first UK tour and I think, judging from the crowd reactions, that most thought it long overdue but well worth the wait.

What they had waited for was a night of very infectious soul, rhythm and blues, blues, rock, jazz, a touch of reggae and even a small sprinkling of country from a very tight band led by a 6 foot 5inch front man with a huge voice and even bigger personality who made serious use of the space available for his own pretty slick moves. He took some time at the start to chat to and acquaint himself with his audience before launching into “Big Legs, Short Skirt”. The show included many of his own songs and some inspired covers such as Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign”.

The band were extremely tight, often improvising with extended solos, always accentuating and punctuating Sugaray’s powerful vocals. At one point, Aaron left the stage and circulated through the dance floor playing an unamplified sax solo. Spontaneous almost scat type jazz singing from the audience and a light backing from those on stage amply illustrated just what makes live music so great. You don’t get this vibe from your CDs or radio or whatever means you use to listen to recorded music. Throughout the show and especially the end of set 1, all the musicians showed just what they could do on their solo instruments, pretty impressive but not a surprise when you consider their musical pedigrees.

Sugaray stated a simple ethos of we only get one shot at life, make the absolute most of it, saying ” Music was never meant to be serious”, “It’s not a concert, it’s a party”. It certainly was and one that tonight’s party goers would have liked to go on all night long. Set 2 opened with a sing along of the Louis Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World”. After a night of great mainly R&B they left the stage with “If I Live To Love Again”.

There was a superb, if somewhat unexpected encore of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” with Drake on lead vocals I have to say that took me by surprise. Yet another act that it’s safe to say will be very welcome back next time they tour. Even at this early part of the year this will definitely be a contender for gig of the year.

Review and photos by Keith Belcher