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