Here’s a Christmas treat for you – Me and Mary from Talk In Colour playing a rather lovely version of Wham’s Last Christmas, recorded live at the wonderful Waterline in Dalston.
This was part of our Acoustic Christmas Wonderland, featuring the frankly amazing Sam Sallon and the equally awesome Al Lewis. It was just perfect – mulled wine, mince pies and gorgeous music. we’re starting a bimonthly acoustic residency at the Waterline from 27th February – be there.
Last Saturday I was back at the Union Chapel for the second time in little over a month (after the recent Sunday Driver gig) for Daylight Music. This time I was playing with Talk In Colour, taking our electronic soundscapes and dirty basslines out to play in the Chapel’s glorious acoustics.
Things didn’t start off well, with a couple of unexpected hitches meaning that our soundcheck ran late, holding everyone up and making the whole gig run behind schedule. We can only apologise profusely to everyone and promise not to do it again.
Anyway, proceedings kicked off with Rome Pays Off – a trio with the rather unusual lineup of two bassists and one guitar. Probably best described as “drone-core”, their lush soundscapes echoed round the church and sent a shiver up my spine.
Next up were the fantastic Wilderthorn, whose set of not-folky-at-all-despite-what-you-might-expect acoustic songs was a great treat. I even forked out a fiver for their new EP, which is always the sign of a good gig.
And then in was Talk In Colour’s turn. There’s loads of amazing photos from Diana Jarvis over on the Daylight Music Facebook page – here are a couple of my faves (yeah, they’re of me. It’s my damn blog…):
This is my counting face!
We were also very brave and played two new tracks – Intra, a short introduction from our upcoming album, and our first ever cover, Petit Pays by Cesaria Evora. Ricky took a video of us playing it, and I reckon we did it justice…
Finally, three cheers from my fabulous new frock from Lady Vintage – how awesome is this? And only 50 quid!
On Thursday Talk In Colour played an absolute blinder of a gig, which I’m still buzzing from, in the hallowed hall of Ronnie’s Bar upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s historic jazz club.
When we found out about the gig, thanks to Bence and Andrew at Bolygo Music, I thought our drummer Dave was going to have some kind of jazzgasm.
Mary despairs at the soundcheck:
While Dave’s just happy to be there:
Support came first from the incredible Corina Piatti – a fantastic Argentinian singer/guitarist:
Next was multi-talented percussionist Renu and her band of impressive instrumentalists and singers. She’s a wonderful musician who I’ve previously collaborated with, and I can’t wait to here her new album, which I played on. Huge thanks are due to her guitarist Jo for the loan of her amp, which got us out of a big logistical hole:
We finally got on stage, and played our socks off – mainly thanks to the awesome sound engineer who managed to contrive things so we could actually all hear each other on stage for once. I had such a good time, and the crowd was brilliant. Massive thanks to everyone who came down and everyone involved – such a great night 🙂
Our next gig is at the Union Chapel in Islington for Daylight Music at 12pm on Saturday 31st March. Can’t wait!
I can’t believe how fast this month is running away with me. It doesn’t seem a minute since Talk In Colour played at the Jazz Cafe for WahWah45s amazing Simon Says night – raising money in memory of label founder Simon Goss for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation – but it was back at the beginning of March. If anyone knows where the past 3 months went, please let me know.
It was such a great night packed with loads of fantastic bands and lovely people. Here’s the running order – it was absolutely rammed!
We had what was probably the most stressful soundcheck I’ve ever had. Thanks to Camden Council’s lovely roadworks I couldn’t unload outside the venue, then I couldn’t find anywhere remotely close to park and had to push the harp for what felt like miles, Chris was running late and got a flat tyre as he was parking, and Mary and Nick couldn’t make it due to work commitments.
Still, we played well (despite understandably dubious sound at first) and people seemed to like it:
The lovely Gideon Conn, one of the other acts, drew a sweet little picture of us playing which he auctioned in aid of the cause:
All in all, a great night that raised thousands of pounds for a fantastic cause. Well done to Dom and all the WahWah team, and thanks for having us down 🙂
Sunday Driver rounded off our half-term mini-tour with a couple of great but rather downbeat gigs. On Friday night we supported solo guitarist Clive Carroll at Cambridge Folk Club, which now takes place in a small room above the Golden Hind pub in Cambridge.
Even replacing Scott’s drumkit with djembe and cajon, we were pretty loud but the audience seemed to like it. Unfortunately I only managed to catch a few minutes of Clive’s set as I had to dash back to London to tend to a puking husband.
Then on Saturday we were up and at it again, playing a lunchtime gig for the Arctic Circle’s Daylight Music series at the Union Chapel in Islington. It’s such a fantastic venue to play, and it didn’t disappoint.
We were preceded by the fantastic Anja McCloskey and her band (and her 50lb accordion):
And melodic piano/cello duo My Glass World:
No pics of our gig as I forgot to give anyone the camera, but we had a great time. In retrospect, we probably should have played more upbeat songs – we were a bit worried about coming across as too boisterous in the relatively sedate atmosphere but I wish we’d rocked out a bit more!
Anyway, it was a great way to round off a successful week of gigs. There’ll be some very exciting Sunday Driver news coming up this week so watch this space!
Next stop for the Sunday Driver juggernaut was the High Barn in Great Bardfield, a venue in a tiny Essex village that has somehow managed to carve out a name as a great place for acoustic music (and also Four Poofs and a Piano, who were on the week before). We were treated to a beautiful sunset and an amazing starry night:
We were supported by a couple of lovely singer-songwriters, who not only played great sets but were super-friendly backstage – firstly Ellie Jamison:
And then Jon Hart:
Scott and Amit go through their strenuous pre-gig warmup routine:
We played. It was fun:
And then I went off to stay in the luxurious-sounding “Stansted Skyline Hotel”, which turned out to be little more than a few rooms off a restaurant on the road out of Great Dunmow, reeking of cigarette smoke and suffering from very poorly-fitted curtains. The harp was not impressed. I reminded her sternly that if she wants to stay in better hotels, we need to get some better-paying gigs…
The bathroom facilities also left much to be desired. Here’s the shower – can you spot what’s missing?
Ah, the glamorous life of a musician… Next stop, Cambridge Folk Club.
After our photoshoot, Sunday Driver headed off for another gig at Norwich Arts Centre, following our successful show there last year supporting Raghu Dixit. This time we were on a bill with the Ruth Gordon Trio and the Mary Hampton Cotillion.
First up were Ruth Gordon and the rest of her Trio, composed of banjo, cello and guitar. They played a lovely gentle set, and I liked her use of bells and shells on her ankles as percussion.
We were on next. No photos of that, as I forgot to ask anyone to take them. We were a bit loud compared to the other acts, but went down well I think.
Finally Mary Hampton and her Cotillion (apparently a type of dance figure) took to the stage. Their set was amazing – probably the best gig I’ve seen for ages. Elegant, creepy, dissonant, beautiful and utterly enchanting. I bought both her albums after the gig, and I hardly *ever* do that (cos I’m really stingy). Go and see them if you get the chance, they are fantastic.
Sorry for the blurry picture, – I was right at the back – but I was really taken by this song, Honey in the Rock, where the percussion was provided by two of the musicians playing pat-a-cake. It may sound a bit twee but it really wasn’t.
A wonderful night, topped off by staying over in Norwich with my fab friends Ruth and Russ. You know who your real friends are – they’re the ones who leave a hot water bottle in your bed on a chilly night…