Articles featuring photography by Andy Holdcroft

About Andy Holdcroft

Andy Holdcroft has contributed 263 photographs to Hot Music Live.

Andy Holdcroft has taken photographs of the following acts:


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Clemency live at The Muse

Review

Sadly it's been a couple of years since I was last able to post an article on the splendid Clemency (it was their February 2020 gig at Leamington's Town House), so it was great to catch up with them last evening at The Muse (also in Leamington).

It may have been a relatively fallow musical period for Nina & Ben (this was their return to performance) but they have not been idle during that time: the highlight without doubt being the birth of Runa on 17th November 2021 (sadly not quite ready yet to join the family band though I understand she has been working very hard on her vocals). They also have been recording at 14 Records (some of the songs involved appeared in the set) and looking further ahead to the release of the new Ellie Gowers album ‘Dwelling By The Weir' in September, one of Nina's paintings graces the cover.

Sadly The Muse is going into some form of hiatus as a venue (though I understand continuing as a project in other guise) so the event was something of a celebration & farewell for founder Tracie Farren. (Clemency also opened the venue some four years ago).

An intimate performance space (people spilled outside into the warm evening sun in Regent Grove), the sheer & varying numbers in the audience impacted on the sound: set high to have effect when the room was packed, in the moments when the crowd ebbed, the power of Clemency, not necessarily one of the qualities one normally goes for first in describing them, was quite breath taking: Clemency can rock (not for nothing to they do an AC/DC cover).

In fact one of the keys to the appeal of the band is that in addition to the high quality of both voices & instrumental playing (while Ben's guitar work obviously attracts attention, don't underestimate Nina's subtle & often powerful percussion), it's the interplay of the elements which elevate the performances from great to superb. They clearly spend a lot of time working on the details of arrangements & so you get the lot: solo vocals, harmonies, alternating lead vocals, guitar, cajon plus that final and often overlooked element: space, with all or some of the factors dropping in & out. What you don't get is a homogenous mix through the set or even individual songs.

The set itself naturally showcased too their writing: there were the covers from AC/DC, John Martyn & Cameo which Clemency fans will recognise, longer term favourites like "Man At The Station", "Fly" or "Pillar To Post" plus brand new tracks: one, which I believe is called "Key 2 Shape" particularly delighted my ear & is I understand one of those recorded. (Considering recent tragic events at 14 Records, unfortunately any release date is as yet not scheduled).

Given that they have more dates pencilled in for the summer (watch this space, but Songs by The Lake in Culworth on 4th June, Napton Festival on 9th July and Purbeck Valley Folk Festival in Dorset on August 21st are ones for your diaries), Clemency will without doubt be back to what they do so well & did last night: delighting audiences & winning more & more admirers.

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"Hush! A Shakespearean Celebration"

Review

 Last evening saw the follow up to the highly successful "Hush! A Spring Celebration" collaboration between "Hot Music Live Presents" and Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library.

On this occasion, as it was the 458th birthday of Warwickshire playwright and lyricist William Shakespeare (an early member of the still thriving Stratford arts scene), the theme was intensely Bardic & went under the banner "Hush! A Shakespearean Celebration"

 Once again, as all these events will be, the programme consisted of a mixture of artforms harmonising & complementing each other to create a celebration even greater than the sum of the constituent parts: which considering the virtuosity of the artists & their clear love of what they were doing is saying much.

 Therefore Emma Cooper & Taresh Solanki of Tell Tale Presents, whom many of you will have seen putting on their original plays in local venues from the RSC to community halls, staged three of their own interpretations of folk tales from around the world which inspired plays of Shakespeare (I'll not say which ones as hopefully you'll see them yourselves at some point & be invited to work that out for yourself).

 These were interspersed by Wes Finch and John Parker of The Mechanicals Band performing the settings of some of Shakespeare's poems & songs which they originally released (as the Rude Mechanicals) on their album ‘Exit, Pursued By A Bear' in 2017.

 This then is a bare description of the basic parts: that the evening worked so well & was a true testament to the genius of the dedicatee also involves the interaction between them & the environment they performed in plus the details of the performances themselves.

 Firstly, the decision to alternate drama & music instead of having two distinct & separated sets integrated the parts into the whole very effectively, gave differing perspectives onto the work we all know so well & allowed ongoing reflection on this more holistic view of the arts.

 One cannot understate the role this beautifully proportioned & refurbished space offers performers either: all four palpably responded to environment & seemed to revel in it.

 For Tell Tale, a large part of their style is direct audience interaction & this was facilitated by the shape and area allowed them & by the willingness of those present to participate in the drama: breaking down barriers too often erected in theatre. The gift of a sprig of rosemary (for remembrance) to each person present was also a touch of subtlety & taste appreciated by us all.

 Wes & John too seemed inspired by the aesthetics of the room & proximity of the audience & took the decision to abandon microphones and pickups in favour of a wholly acoustic performance: a first for this material & something which seemed to please them so much that afterwards they were talking about developing the experiment.

 It has to be said that the songs they played work especially well in intimate settings (lord knows how the subtleties of the songs fared in the presumably raucous atmosphere at the Globe four hundred years ago) and the delicacies not just of hearing them so naturally in such a good acoustic space but also stripped back in arrangement (most also feature viola, violin & drums on the record).

 As a treat, they also added a few non-Shakespearean numbers from their repertoire (Edna St Vincent Millay's "Recuerdo", W B Yeats' "Meditation of an Old Fisherman" and a brace of Philip Larkin poems: "Horns of the Morning" and "The Trees") all of which I'm sure WS would have understood & approved of.

 So there you have it, a very inclusive, integrated & holistic evening where venue, performers, audience & material combine into something very special in honour of someone equally so. You could feel the magic in the air.

 If you fancy joining in such an evening, the next one will be "Hush! A Summer Celebration" at the Library on Saturday 18th June at 5 pm, featuring the music of Izzie Derry and other treats to be revealed.

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Trevor Babajack Steger & Wes Finch at Stratford Playhouse Folk Club

Review

Last evening's Stratford Playhouse Folk Club meeting was as intriguing a juxtaposition of two talents as its predecessors.

In some respects: for example that of relative quantities of released material, the gap between headliner Trevor Babajack Steger  and  Wes Finch was closer than say the Martin Carthy/Jack Blackman or John Kirkpatrick/Jen Waghorn  pairings where the sense of baton passing was more palpable. Both Trevor & Wes are at the height of their powers & likely to remain prolific for years to come.

For most of Wes' set, I assumed that a contrast in styles between the two of them might be a clear talking point: however this assumption was glib & successfully challenged by two artists with broad repertoires & loves. True, Wes for the most part focused on the more pastoral, folk, end of his canon, keeping it gentle & melodic, but ending with a dive into the blues as a link to what was to follow.

Trevor, though keeping to the rawness of a blues approach for which he is justly feted for much of his set, also unleashed something of a revelation with material shared from his recorded but as yet unreleased new solo album, which was much gentler & closer to Wes' style (I particularly enjoyed one evoking sunrise over the canal on which he lives in a boat).

The latter roamed at will across his own projects and so we had signature solo songs such as "Southern Cross" alongside Silver Wye tracks & several Mechanicals ones. A standout for me was a reworking of the old Dirty Band song "The Pact" on solo guitar which sounded very 1920s in its syncopation & evoked something a lot closer to the honkier tonkier blues of that early period.

Where I think the crucial distinction between the two can be made (though no one could conceivably fail to distinguish between their performance styles either) is in their approach to lyrics.

Wes, as most readers will know, is much taken with setting poems to music & his own writing can perhaps be said to follow this very literary approach. Words are probably no less important to Trevor, but he uses them very differently. Eschewing the precise metered literary angle, he goes for the heart of the message & plays with it, amplifying it & turning it into something hypnotic. Most of his songs end up quite long as he takes core lyrics & in virtually every single song makes them into a mantra: constantly repeating them with varying degrees of intensity & diction until the whole song becomes a somewhat transcendental affair: a wonderful example of the testifying side of the blues. However although the classic blues is a very important starting point for him, a stand out song for me had a much more African style (his Babajack name was given him by the Shona people of Zimbabwe while he was teaching woodworking skills on a VSO programme and references his being the father of Jack) and his approach worked ideally for that too. I'd love to hear more of that side of his repertoire.

Another key influence which accounts for a lot of the rawness & intensity was coming to the blues from punk: both, he feels, "seek truth" and I'd not argue with that.

As it happens the gig was on his birthday and he sported both a new guitar stand & shirt he'd received, (his between songs anecdotes & explanations were another highlight of the evening) but I was perhaps even more impressed by the guitars he played: a couple of resonator ones including a vintage National dobro & one his woodworking skills had created, a lap instrument which featured 5,000 year old bog oak wood… now one doesn't see that too often. Most tracks were accompanied by use of stomp box & harmonica (the latter instrument being one he has been nominated for awards for his talent playing), but what was also noticeable was the number of songs where at the peak of intensity, he'd abandon all instruments and finish a cappella, his hands thrown wide & face contorted in a moment of ecstasy that his performance had generated.

Described as "Howlin' Wolf meets Screaming Jay Hawkins", I think one might easily throw in the odd comparison to Dr John & interestingly, his single cover was a Sleepy John Estes original, delivered in a raucous & powerful  style a galaxy away from that of its originator.

So here you have it: two outwardly different musicians looking at fairly similar subjects (for example both are interested in the Devil, his doings & how to thwart them) but in differing ways: not diametrically opposed, but in fact complementary. But no one can doubt the commitment nor passion of either. Personally I enjoyed both no end.

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Levi Washington & The Old Flames live on Leamington Bandstand

Review

I can't quite believe that here I am, writing my third live review in four days… an idea which has been unthinkable for so long.

So many thanks to Leamington's Open Arts Festival who have launched Sunday Bandstand Sessions in the Pump Room Gardens, bringing another family friendly safe space into play.

In the sunshine which greeted us, I met numerous people whom I'd not seen in the flesh for so long & as the audience grew I could spot many other similar reunions.

First up was Levi Washington, who although I've been featuring his releases weekly in the magazine, I'd not seen live since last summer. It gives me an excellent opportunity to publicly congratulate him on winning "Freelancer of the Year" at the Leamington Business Awards: as anyone who loves local music will know, Levi has been burning the candle in past months (and suffering the physical consequences I'm afraid) setting up so many live opportunities for local talent: just what audiences & musicians need so badly. I'm delighted that the awards organisers have spotted the importance of his work (and he was also on the shortlist for the Creative Business of the Year award) despite the relatively short period of time his business has been running.

Typically suiting his set to the vibe of the day (let's face it Levi has so much material in so many modes that he could play virtually anywhere at any occasion & still come up with songs to please even the most tightly defined of audiences), we had feel good music (and I'm delighted that he felt it right to play such a high proportion of his own material), frequently magnified & amplified by generous looper usage & songs which seemed to be looking forwards to summer time & many more outdoor gigs.

He was joined towards the end of his set by his special guest Vince Ishia whose presence took the vibe into different laces, but the sunshine was present all the time, both on our faces & in our ears.

I admit that four or five days earlier, I had no idea that the band The Old Flames even existed, so tight a lid had they kept n it during rehearsals.

I'm sure you'll know Jane "Titine Lavoix" Ward both from her recent solo years but also from The Scatsville Busters: her own song with them "Where's The Boom Boom?" appears on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume One'. Equally Holly Hewitt has featured often in the magazine and as part of Holly and the Hounds her song "Room For One More" is on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Six'.

However in all the years I've been following them & reporting on them, I'd yet to see them perform together: so the new band, which also features Wes Stanton & Alfie Amadeus of The Folly Brothers was something of a revelation.

Setting themselves primarily as a bluegrass band, as those who know the members might anticipate, although they nailed several traditional bluegrass numbers squarely on the head, they were unafraid to break through the boundary walls & cover material normally considered belonging to other genres, by artists as diverse as The Black Keys, Neil Young, Bananarama, Dead or Alive and The Rolling Stones.

It's a special moment to witness the live debut of a band (I remember well doing so for the aforementioned Folly Brothers) and I think this band will please a great many people over time: certainly there was plenty of evidence from this afternoon.

You might expect from bands fronted by Jane or Holly let alone both of them that a feel good factor would be top of the agenda & both connect so easily with crowds. Nevertheless, despite the immediacy of the impact of what they were playing, there was a great deal of interest (and more revelations) to the music fan in the details: how for example both female singers, each known for her ability to produce powerful & compelling lead vocals, worked so well together & harmonised (the traditional bluegrass tunes were sublime in this respect). But that supposes that they were the only vocalists: which is not true. Wes, who occasionally sings lead with the Folly Brothers got no fewer than three numbers & made his stage debut on banjo. As did Holly on double bass. And I haven't yet mentioned Alfie's impeccable lead guitar in several styles but most impressively his emulation of James Burton on the traditional numbers. Jane's violin playing was less of a revelation to me as I'd loved it back in her Scatsville Buster days but I'm not sure how many people present had heard it & I for one was delighted that she'd revived it.

I believe the band were aiming for a May debut, but things went so well that we heard them today instead. I loved them & when you hear them you'll love them too. They burned exceedingly brightly.

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"Hush! A Spring Celebration" at Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library

Review

It's gives me a extra frisson of pleasure to be able not only to publish my second live review in the space of three days but one about an event hosted by "Hot Music Live Presents" in collaboration with Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library, which if you haven't visited lately is now a wholly independent charity having been closed by Coventry City Council and which is now restored to its original splendour by Alan Denyer & his team. All profits from the shows in this series will support the Library.

The first of a programme of regular early evening (family friendly)  community based mixed arts events (the planned inaugural one, scheduled for December was to have featured Ellie Gowers but her illness has postponed it) featuring on this occasion poetry, film & music (there will always be music!).

Last night showcased well known local poets  Olga Dermott-Bond and  John Watson reading from their own work, short films by Adele Mary Reed and Alan Van Wijgerden (neither of whom unfortunately could attend in person) plus headline artist, the acclaimed local folk musician Lauren South (who appears on "Hot Music Live Presents Volume Four" with "History" as part of Greengrass).

I'm delighted to say that it was one of those glorious, serendipitous evenings when not only was each element offering something of high emotional value in itself, but they interwove to create something even greater than the sum of parts.

Included in this I'd certainly include elements in addition to the talents of the performers: the Spring weather, the beauty & appropriateness of the space the Library has to offer & the audience whose interaction with the performers & responses created precisely the sense of community which had been hoped for.

Rather too often perhaps, I draw attention to the vibrant, diverse & creative health of Coventry & Warwickshire music currently (though I utterly stand by my assessment). Last night's poetry however makes me think that much could be said for that artform too. Both Olga & John were on stunning form & there was a palpable buzz amongst the audience at the break about their work: complete strangers offered me testimony to how much they were moved. Personally I did the announcements during the evening & had to compose myself a little after their sets.

Quite rightly, as with great musicians etc, their styles were totally distinct & utterly personal (that's what moved people) yet they complemented each other brilliantly.

As it happens, both of them went out of their way to emphasise how they wanted to avoid morbid themes given the Spring title, yet other (not necessarily darker) aspects of the Circle of Life crept in (it's worth noting that John works in a cemetery).

Both repeatedly drew on family memories & themes which not only kept the overall feeling of total emotional honesty incredibly high, but touched the equivalent experiences of all present deeply (which is what poets & musicians aspire to). So many people in particular were talking about Olga's poem about her Dad & a pair of secateurs….

The films also contributed to what I'd identify as a strong connective thread of poignancy which ran through the whole concert (and I'd repeat that this was despite the deliberate sunniness of many poems & songs). I'd like to credit Wes Finch (who crafted immaculate sound all evening), Lisa Franklin and the Library's Lucy Winter for getting all the systems talking coherently to each other so they could be shown at all. Ten minutes before showtime I was prepared for the worst.

It was a shame that the audience could not feed back directly to Alan & Adele as their work again was highly original & themes of childhood & family chimed perfectly with the poems & songs, but hopefully there will be other opportunities in this series for that to occur.

Last on was Lauren, & like Olga & John, she seemed totally to own the space & looked wholly comfortable with where she was & to whom she was performing. She is on a bit of a confidence curve as her experience playing has hitherto been within group contexts, so developing a solo act & repertoire is an ongoing project: not that anyone present would possibly have guessed it, such was her demeanour. She even unveiled a hitherto unperformed song, which is usually evidence of how relaxed a performer is.

Known as a violinist, that instrument made appearances within her set of course, but so did more recently acquired and developed ones: notably a shruti box and a tenor guitar, which were better suited to accompany her singing. Nevertheless, though using each independently, with the addition of a newly purchased foot pedal, she enhanced both her violin instrumentals & guitar-led songs with the shruti box in tandem, producing impressive combinations & harmonies adding most unusual textures to her sound.

As her great love is traditional music, it was unsurprising to hear songs (but certainly not overplayed stale ones) from that canon but she breathed new & different life into these: a good example being Ewan MacColl's "Fishgutter's Song" which she transformed into something much lighter & more optimistic.

Another one catalysed another of the emotional moments of the night when it stirred memories in one audience member who was singing along: she knew it from her school days but had not heard it in sixty years…. This is what makes gigs like this.

However for me the key moments of her set were her many original songs. Audiences will, understandably, be attracted to her instrumental skills, her beautiful, ethereal yet warm voice & her engaging stage manner, yet she is clearly accumulating an excellent body of unique material, complementing her traditional repertoire, yet addressing contemporary issues, often metaphorically. As she plays them more & more in solo performance, I'm sure they will gain familiarity for audiences & she was telling me of her plans to record them. I think they provide yet another wholly individual voice to local songwriting & manage generally to pull off a doubtlessly really difficult bridge between the forms of the old & the narratives of the new.

As a special treat, Lauren brought on Keith Donnelly, with whom she has been playing recently & he added filigree guitar parts to some of her songs (and one of his own), plus vocal harmonies which added extra layers to a set which set the transcendental icing to the night. It's been a few years since I deployed "magical" in one of these reviews, but it fits perfectly for this one.

Look out for the next event in this series on Saturday the 23rd of April: "Hush: A Shakespearean Celebration" with music from Wes Finch in his more Mechanical Mode.

On Saturday June 18th the headliner will be Izzie Derry.

Hopefully we'll see many "Hot Music Live" readers at these events.

 

I'd also like to remind readers of the fundraiser for Ukraine at the Albany Theatre on Sunday 27th March, at which Wes, Lauren & Keith will be among the many musicians giving their time and sharing their talent.

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From the back catalogue

John Kirkpatrick & Jen Waghorn at Stratford Playhouse Folk Club

Review

Having reported on last month's inaugural Stratford Playhouse Folk Club gig, I was delighted to make its follow up as well.
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Martin Carthy & Jack Blackman at Stratford Playhouse Folk Club

Review

My tendency as you know is to focus in particularly on local Coventry & Warwickshire artists for my reviews: in the last couple of years certainly ...
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Catch up with John Rivers

Feature

I am delighted to report that this week a plaque was erected on the original site of Woodbine Street Recording Studio by Leamington Town Council, ...
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King of the Alps live

Review

Last night was another little milestone for me: my first pub-based gig for two years.
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The Catenary Wires, Pete Astor, The Pristines and The Sunbathers

Review

The other day, while reviewing the new Chessi O'Dowd single, "The Pines", I commented that the first gig I had scheduled which was cancelled by ...
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The Mintakaa Collective live at the Daimler Powerhouse

Review

If you enjoyed "Auriga" by Mintakaa on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Six' then it's a fair assumption that you'd be interested in ...
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Wes Finch on Stratford Bandstand

Review

I'm sorry to say that I'd never previously attended one of the summer Sunday afternoon concerts on the Bandstand in Stratford before but ...
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"Art in the Park" 2021

Photo gallery

To be honest, as delighted as I was that live music in some quantity was back at an expanded "Art in the Park" (two stages rather than the usual ...
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"2 Tone and Rock Against Racism" event

Review

In my recent review of the "Women Pioneers" event at Coventry Cathedral, I drew your attention to its companion event centring on the 2 Tone ...
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"Female Pioneers"

Review

Saturday night was another real landmark for me: my first Saturday evening out since the pandemic struck.
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Record Store Day 2021

Review

It is unfortunate that catching every artist on a multi musician event isn't always possible, but the short time I was able to be at the Record ...
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Ellie Gowers at Kenilworth Arts Festival

Review

Strange and wonderful times: I find myself today writing my second live report inside a week.
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Stone Bear at Leamington Canal Festival

Review

It seems almost unreal and a bit transgressive to find myself writing a live review after so many months of reviewing the recorded activities of ...
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"Happy Christmas, All Will Be Fine" by King of the Alps

Review

It was only yesterday when Facebook reminded me that it was exactly twelve months since I had last see King of the Alps play live.
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Wes Finch Trio at Kenilworth Arts Festival

Review

Somewhat to my surprise, yesterday afternoon I found myself enjoying live music in the actual physical presence of the musicians creating it for the ...
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Wes Finch's Leap Year Gig: Live Album

Review

Some six months ago, I wrote what to date is my penultimate live review for the magazine: concerning Wes Finch's Leap Year gig.
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Woodbine Street Recording Studio

Feature

In my latest feature on how local music related businesses are coping with, adapting to & evolving through the current circumstances, I am looking at ...
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Dr.Um

Feature

Back in March, I shared some of my reflections, fears & thoughts about the impact of lockdown on the local music scene & more or less left it on a ...
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Naomi Beth

Feature

After the success of my recent features on Ian Todd & Chloë Boehm, here is another one I think you'll find interesting & I think topical.
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Launch gig for the 'Take It From Me' EP by Izzie Derry

Review

If you are anything like me, among the myriad challenges to our communities currently being presented, the probable curtailment of live music for ...
 [4 images] More


Wes Finch's Leap Year gig

Review

February 29th is an unusual date.
 [9 images] More


Clemency live at the Town House

Review

I expect we all agree that music can actually do things to us & for us: improve our mood & morale, lift our spirits, transform our psyches.
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"Greatest of Partners" by Kirsty Clarke

Review

Welcome to another of my series of reviews of Coventry & Warwickshire musicians whom I hold in very high regard yet have hitherto failed to review in ...
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Titine La Voix Live

Review

It has been far too long since I had last caught a full Titine La Voix live set.
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The Old Number 7 Band at the Railway Inn

Review

What a great way to start off 2020.
 [5 images] More


Brass Hip Flask live

Review

It is always a challenge finding the right words for any review: trying to describe one medium in another is itself tricky & then if you review ...
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Tigermask live at The Town House

Review

I have to admit from the start that I found writing a review which captures the essence of Tigermask adequately, having seen him play at the Town ...
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TwoManTing

Review

Watching TwoManTing last night at the Town House in Leamington, one of my immediate thoughts was "it's been too long" since I last saw them live.
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The Will Ball Trio at the Town House

Review

This review in some ways is able to address an omission among my pieces for "Hot Music Live": although I have alluded to Will Ball in respect of his ...
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The Hatstand Band

Review

Although I have seen them play before, and greatly enjoyed their performances, I have not actually ever given them a full review for some reason (I ...
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The Mechanicals Band with special guest Ellie Gowers

Review

Well here I am again, this time reviewing not one but two artists on whom I fear I may have already used up my supply of appropriate superlatives in ...
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Sam McNulty with Angelo Cardone & Bill Cameron

Review

Few "Hot Music Live" readers will need introducing to the name nor talents of Sam McNulty.
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Burning Salt

Review

One of the issues which is a perennial worry for me in writing for "Hot Music Live" is how to cover even the most excellent of artists, the ones we ...
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Merrymaker with Rosie Samaras

Review

The gig at the Magic Lantern last night was described by venue creator & owner Adrian Gains as "one of the best nights we have had so far.
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Ross Darby live at the Magic Lantern

Review

I am a big fan of the performing & writing of Ross Darby so it was a big pleasure to get another chance to review him for this magazine on the ...
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Shanghai Hostage with their special guests Brass Hip Flask

Review

I should really like first of all to voice my appreciation to the members of both Shanghai Hostage & Brass Hip Flask.
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Godiva Festival 2019: a personal reflection

Review

I could, I suppose, run through every act I saw & enjoyed at the 2019 Godiva Festival in detail which would give them the credit they thoroughly ...
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Taylor-Louise & Abz Winter

Review

Another cracking evening which saw the grand musical talent of Warwickshire displayed on several levels.
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Holly & the Hounds

Review

I have reviewed the consummate musicianship of Holly Hewitt & David Page for "Hot Music Live" on several occasions, though it isn't, I admit, ...
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Man Made Moon supported by Noah Dobbie

Review

Here I go again: another evening spent in the company of really talented musicians who not only perform in a way that touches my soul but objectively ...
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Shanade with guests Nicky Ager & Aaron Dudfield

Review

By now I'm sure you'll be aware of the many bees in my bonnet as I tend to repeat  much the same obsessions in most reviews, so when I ...
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Evergreen at the Magic Lantern

Review

I flatter myself that some of you may remember my reviewing the Hansel Brothers in the past for "Hot Music Live" (most recently on February 10th).
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Jake Rizzo supported by Henery

Review

Another wonderful night of song writing craft & passionate performances at the Magic Lantern last evening & two more great local musicians who ...
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Helen McCookerybook with the Sunbathers & Peter Hall

Review

What a beautiful evening's entertainment & soul sustenance of original music at the Tin.
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Burning Salt at the Magic Lantern

Review

What an interesting & subtle band Burning Salt are.
 [5 images] More


Kristy Gallacher with Rob Halligan

Review

 In 1996 Elvis Costello held an event he called "A Case For Song" which was filmed for the BBC: collaborating with a range of other musicians but ...
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Stone Bear supported by Ollie Lawrence

Review

It is always really great to have new talent introduced to you & it is a clear & highly  admirable feature of much of the music scene locally that ...
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Toby Marks & Andrew Heath present "Motion"

Review

Who likes being out of their comfort zone? As reading my reviews in "Hot Music Live" will show, I can mostly find some words (if any words can ever ...
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Calton Kelly & Callum Mckissock

Review

The keynote description being used at the Calton Kelly gig last night at the Magic Lantern  was "lush" and who am I to argue with that? I could use ...
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Jack O'Bones & Taylor-Louise at the Copper Pot

Review

What a difference a day makes: after the intimate & cool jazz I experienced on Friday night with the Jazz Apples at the Magic Lantern, twenty-fours ...
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Izzie Derry & Hannah Woof return to the Magic Lantern

Review

 Under normal circumstances, reviewing, or attempting to review, precisely the same musicians I had less than four months ago (see my review on 18th ...
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Retroville at the Magic Lantern

Review

It was nearly a year ago (January 28th 2018) that I reported in the pages of "Hot Music Live" that Holly Hewitt & David Page of Retroville were ...
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Wrongmas 2018

Review

Every Yuletide, Johnny Satsangi of APE Promotions gifts to us is a multi artist gig at the Zephyr Lounge under the "Wrongmas" banner, always promoted ...
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Clemency at the Magic Lantern

Review

I find myself drifting into describing gigs at the Magic Lantern as "magical": unfortunately the label is accurate.
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Izzie Derry & Hannah Woof at the Magic Lantern

Review

You can keep your headphones & your immersive sound systems.
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The Mechanicals Band at the Magic Lantern

Review

There are few finer feelings than being immersed in the finest music in an intimate setting so it not merely impacts on your hearing but defines your ...
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HEAD Relaunch event

Review

If people think that the closure last autumn of Leamington's HEAD Records was a blow to the music lovers of Leamington: they were wrong.
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"Alternative Sounds" celebration event

Review

The purposes of this event were several: having released a four track EP and two 21 track albums of "the cream of Coventry & Warwickshire music, ...
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Honky Tonk Rose at the Oak House

Review

I have seen locally based Country supergroup Honky Tonk Rose several times since their formation.
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Oliver Darling at the Town House

Review

It was several years ago that I first saw the excellent trash/garage/rock & roll band the Dirty Robbers & frankly loved them.
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Reverend Robert at the Town House, Leamington

Review

This was something of a coup for Jonny Roden's "Tunehouse at the Townhouse" night: a really interesting specialist musician from Charleston, ...
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The Matadors: our area's Joe Meek band

Feature

Most readers of this piece will know of Joe Meek & his revolutionary production techniques, but fewer will be aware of his work with one of the top ...
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Honorary Doctorates for Delia Derbyshire & Pete Chambers

News

The practice of universities awarding honorary qualifications often seems to result in the famous, rich, powerful & previously honoured getting ...
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Dave Pepper "Sounding Off" at Coventry Music Museum

Feature

It is not easy to think of a musician who has graced so many bands of such quality & influence & featuring such diverse styles over 40 odd years as ...
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Stone Bear at the Townhouse

Review

 Some of you may have noticed a gig on at The Squirrel in Coventry on Saturday 21st October entitled "Anthony Harty featuring Sam McNulty and ...
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"Alternative Sounds" EP launch

News

On Thursday 21st September 2017, Coventry Music Museum officially launched its own eponymous record label, the first release being a limited edition ...
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The Shapes at the Zephyr Lounge

Review

Readers will recollect how in 2016, Leamington's favourite punk band The Shapes reconvened from around the world to celebrate their 39th ...
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Morocco Dave at Coventry Music Museum

Feature

 On Saturday 6th August 2017, the latest Artist of the Month was unveiled at Coventry Music Museum.
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Godiva Festival 2017: a personal perspective

Review

I have spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out how on earth to capture my Godiva Festival 2017 experience in one concise article (I was there ...
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Dill's "Sounding Off" session

It was a real privilege to be present today at the Big Lottery funded "Sounding Off" session at Coventry Music Museum by local legend Stephen Davies, ...
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Whizzy "Sounding Off"

This month's Artist of the Month at Coventry Music Museum is rapper Whizzy (Damon-Lee Smallridge) and as is customary, he came into the Museum ...
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