Sunday, 28 September 2014

Cave Night On Tyneside

To mark the release of the Nick Cave film "20,00 Days On Earth" last Friday the Tyneside Bar and Cafe hosted a night of Nick Cave music featuring the bands The Girl With The Replaceable Head, St James Infirmary and Stagerrin' Jon Lee and The Good Eggs featuring my friends Jon Lee, Sheena Revolta and Bethany Elen Coyle all looking the part and sounding wonderful.

Good Eggs
To a backdrop of Niclk Cave behind his deck The Good Eggs opened with "Where The Wild Roses Grow" with Jon taking Nick's part and Bethany being Kylie to excellent effect. Next guest was Sheena Revolta and the band entertained with another four songs as I drank fruit juice and had a blueberry muffin (my tea) , definitely not your average night out. Afterwards I chatted with Jon and Sheena (who gave me a big hug) and the crowd and performers were all having a great time.

Next up were the entertaining St James Infirmary , apparently from Ashington who were funny and treated us to for more songs after explaining about the contract they had with the Tyneside.

Finally The Girl With The Replaceable Head ghosted on to complete the night, at times sounding almost ethereal , although the bassist sported a beard you could hide a badger in.

All in all a great night, talked and chatted with some great people , and now just need to see the film. Ironically the song "Stagger Lee" has just come on the player so will have to have that as the post song.

The Fantastic Mr Old Fox

Shev's Fayre
Two of my great friends rescued The Old Fox in Felling from bing turned into flats. The location is fall off Felling Metro and then into the front door, it's probably almost more convenient for me than The Doll at The Black Bull, but anyway.....

Coming it it's a fantastic atmosphere, and everyone was really friendly and talkative, I'd gone with my friend Lynn so obviously she knows everyone in the world, but this isn't a pub review, however it's one of a group of three pubs plus Jaz's Fish Bar withing sight of each other. If the original singer with Marillion has a Jazz Club would it be Fish's Jazz Bar? Whatever.

Rigid Digits in Stage
Anyway the the icing on this cake was the excellent Rigid Digits , a Stiff Little Fingers tribute band with a brilliant front man who was extremely affable and friendly despite me mistaking him for the guy out of AKQ Stottin.

The venue is small but the sound was great and the band opened with "Roots ,Radicals,Rockers, Reggae" and their set makes you want to get out your SLF albums when you get home.

The between song banter is great with the odd swear word thrown in in the best possible taste. They are definitely another of my favourite live bands and you should catch them if you can. A brilliant gig , great attitude and great fun.

Part of a fantastic night at The Old Fox in Felling.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

If My Memory Serves Me Well .... Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick At The Tyneside Irish Centre

The Dynamic Duo
A couple of weeks back I came across an advert for Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick playing live in Newcastle. In fact it was at the Tyneside Irish Centre , a venue I've played at many times. The last time I saw these two play it was on major stages , so , as I say , the intimate setting sort of surprised me, but I know Martin Carthy has played La Rosa in Whitby before (He lives in Robin Hood's Bay).

Anyway I was lucky to chat with both of them and they were great to talk with . I said that I'd first encountered the pair on a John Peel session playing "Price Heathen" , which Martin acknowledged was an incredible song. I also said my favourite Dave Swarbrick moment was the live version of Fiddlestix on Fairport Live which I said I wouldn't  think they would play which raised a laugh. The fiddle playing is so fast I can't even think about it in my head , maybe that's just me being low.

Anyway I can still remember most of the songs played , which is unusual for any concert that I go to , you remember highlights , but seldom the order in which they were played. Also almost every song , with chat took ten minutes , amazing regimentation for such a laid back and brilliant concert.

Set 1:

  • Sovay
  • The Death of Queen Jane 
  • (Forgot)
  • Three jigs and reels
  • My Son John (updated for Iraq and Afghanistan)
  • John Barleycorn 

Set 2:

  • The Royal Oak
  • Brave Admiral Cole
  • (Forgot)
  • Three jigs and reels
  • (Forgot)
  • Byker Hill


  • New South Wales
Dave Swarbrick told a great story about his time in New South Wales , and Martin said that Martha hald told him that leaving the stage and coming back for an encore was a waste of time.

But it was a brilliant night and I felt privileged to have been there.