I’ve been a bit sniffy about tribute bands in the past, and deep in my bones I suspect I always might be; it’s the “it’s not really them” factor I suppose.  But having seen three of the best in the business: The Australian Pink Floyd, The Musical Box and Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac, I’ve learned to appreciate how seriously these bands take the work they do and how much their fans love it as well. More »

Texan singer Chrysta Bell first came to my notice when she played Agent Tammy Preston in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks:The Return.  CB, as she is known to her band mates, first met Lynch in 1999 and they have worked together on a number of musical projects including her debut solo album This Train and a 5 track EP Somewhere In The Nowhere, both of which were co-written and produced by Lynch. More »

Following their critically well-received slot as the opening act on Tubular Bells For Two’s UK tour last autumn, Gypsyfingers now embark on their first ever UK tour, with a brand new single, Half World, released to coincide with the dates. More »

It has been just over two years since the last time I saw Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac perform.  The hook for this current tour is a 40th anniversary celebration of the Rumours album, although we are actually now closer to the 41st anniversary.  The band has recently undergone a radical restructuring with original members Allan Cosgrove on drums and Dave Goldberg on keyboards, guitar and vocals being joined by two new female vocalists, and a new bassist and guitarist. More »

Support: IDestroy, Trillains, Newcastle13th March 2018. 

Arh man I hate days like this, sitting in front of the computer trying to compose a witty, yet informative review of a band that you know simply won’t do them justice. I mean they are certainly cornering a niche market here, punk/metal Victorian comedy anyone? And I know several if not all of those words will put some people off, but oh they are glorious to behold, especially live. More »

John Scott pops along to The Caves in Edinburgh to see Paul Draper.  More »

Having been suitably warmed up by support act Bright Light Bright Light, whose synth pop torch songs from his album Choreography are enthusiastically received by tonight’s sell out audience, there is a tangible thrill of anticipation as the lights dim and Erasure take to the stage. More »

London Astrobeat Orchestra are bringing their spectacular live show to venues across the UK over the next few months.  Band leader and bassist Edd Bateman has brought together West Africa’s finest session musicians to form a group that fuses rhythmic influences from Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Cameroon and Congo with the music of legendary new wave pioneers Talking Heads.

The band put their dizzying spin on Talking Heads classics from albums such as Remain In Light, Speaking In Tongues and Fear Of Music to produce a simply unforgettable live experience.

As Hifi Pig’s John Scott said in his review of last year’s Edinburgh show , if London  Astrobeat Orchestra are playing within a hundred miles of you, just go.

 

Dates announced so far:

 

1 March – The Prince Of Wales, Brixton, London

 

2 March – Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport

 

15 and 16 March – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

 

14 April – Colston Hall, Bristol

 

11 May – Colchester Arts Centre

 

22 June – Oran Mor, Glasgow

Tonight’s support act is a guy called Thabo.  I assumed from his accent that he was American but when I checked out his website after the show I discovered that he was born in Zimbabwe and lives in…Huddersfield.  Thabo’s songs are intelligent, tuneful and incredibly engaging.  By the end of the first song he has the audience in the palm of his hand, much to his evident surprise and delight.  He explains that when he opens shows he is usually only singing to the sound man and the security, as everyone else is still in the bar.  Right now the hall is three quarters full and everyone here is giving him their full attention.  On the evidence of tonight’s show, Thabo is a man to watch out for and I hope the next time I see him he will be headlining in his own right. More »

In January 1977 John Scott paid £2.80 to see Genesis.  Tonight, nearly forty one years later, he’s paid £35 to see some Canadians pretend to be Genesis.   More »

Despite having penned the title song of Ireland’s biggest-selling album, A Woman’s Heart, and releasing more than a dozen albums over the last couple of decades, Eleanor McEvoy is still something of a well-kept secret. Over the last few years she has become increasingly appreciated in audiophile circles for the recording quality of her albums, with one hifi magazine awarding its Album Of The Year accolade to three of her releases. More »

St Cuthbert’s Parish Church has seen a few things in its time: infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare were regular visitors to its churchyard, the watchtower built to protect against them and other “resurrectionists” still stands; Sir Thomas De Quincy, author of Diary Of An Opium Eater, and John Napier, inventor of the logarithm, are just two of the notables interred in the churchyard; St Cuthbert’s was also where Agatha Christie married her second husband.  I’m willing to bet though, that in all of its considerable history, tonight is the first time it has witnessed a thirty three piece brass band and a young lady with an assemblage of synthesisers. More »

In 1980, the weekly music paper Melody Maker declared Talking Heads’ Remain In Light album to be its Album Of The Year, citing its innovative African rhythmic influences as a key part of the album’s appeal.  Two years later in the summer of 1982, rival paper NME was featuring four-page articles about African bands such as King Sunny Adé And His African Beats and Orchestra Makassy who were, quite rightly, causing a bit of a stir with their respective albums Juju Music and Agwaya.  Now, some 37 years after the release of Remain In Light, London Astrobeat Orchestra have taken  Talking Heads’ back catalogue and mixed it up with the musical styles of West Africa to produce something really extraordinary. More »

It’s not easy being a support act.  You have thirty minutes to make an impression.  On a good night, ninety five percent of the people in the room won’t know who you are, will have never heard any of your songs and have probably only turned up early to secure a decent seat for the main act.  Tonight, making an impression was something that Fraser Anderson only needed to worry about for around three minutes.  From that point in, spines were tingled and hearts were touched. More »

Bathed in blue stage lights, with the ageing pipes of an old church organ looming impressively over them, Cúla Búla towered over the crowd upstairs at The Quays on a stage built at least seven feet off the ground. More »

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the idea of rock stars in their seventies seemed ridiculous; rock and roll was a young man’s (and occasional woman’s) game.  The boring old farts that punk had come to blow away in 1976 were barely in their thirties, and the punks themselves are now pensioners.  Over the last few years I’ve seen some tremendous gigs from septuagenarian rockers: Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth in Gong, Bryan Ferry, Roy Harper, Al Stewart – all turning in performances that belie their years.     More »

Martha Wainwright is a songwriter.  Her father, Loudon Wainwright is a songwriter.  Her mother, Kate McGarrigle was a songwriter.  Her brother, Rufus Wainwright  and half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche are songwriters.  Her aunts, Anna McGarrigle and Sloane Wainwright are songwriters. Her cousin Lily Lankin is a songwriter.  There is a picture developing here; although not so much a picture as a family album.  The Wainwright family have, in fact, recorded several family albums; writing songs with, and about, each other – often with a devastating honesty, sometimes using words as weapons to wound.  Her parents’ marriage and divorce is well-documented in song. When Martha spent a year living with her father, at a time when she was a self-confessed difficult teenager, he wrote a song called I’d Rather Be Lonely.  Martha responded with a song of her own entitled Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole. And yet, it has been said that the the only offence that can be caused in the Wainwright family is to write a poor-quality song.  Songwriting is in Martha’s bones and she is clearly her father’s daughter; she shares his smile and she does that weird kicky leg thing when she sings, just like he does.  Fortunately, she hasn’t inherited that other weird thing he does with his tongue; Rufus got that particular gene. More »

The brilliant Scott Wainwright at this years North West Audio Show at Cranage Hall in Cheshire. Feel free to subscribe to our Hifi Pig Television You Tube channel. Full report on the show to follow shortly. 

 

The first time I saw Robert Cray was on The Old Grey Whistle Test in the early 1980s. Actually, that’s not true.  The first time I saw Robert Cray was when he played bass in the soul review band Otis Knight And The Days who featured in the National Lampoon’s Animal House film that was a cult hit  several years earlier.  It would be many years before I would discover that it was Cray who played that part in the film so I don’t suppose that really counts.  Back to The Old Grey Whistle Test then.  Cray was being touted, with some justification, as the next big thing in blues guitar music.  Presenter David Hepworth joked that he was only 19 but in truth Cray was closer to 30.   Cray will be 64 in August this year but even now he could easily pass for someone 10 years younger. More »

“Sometimes it seems unimaginable that you were ever any other way” sings Al Stewart on his song Carol.  Sometimes it seems unimaginable that Stewart could have been anything other than a singer/songwriter.  Moving from Glasgow to Dorset  as a child, he went on to  buy his first guitar from future Police man Andy Summers, took guitar lessons from a teenage Robert Fripp and on moving to London, shared a flat with a little-known songwriter by the name of Paul Simon. More »

‘Cause he’s got a voice that’d make Tom Waits go “damn man what did you do to yourself?!”, you can’t understand a word James Leg sings. More »

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