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Southport Jazz Festival 2018

Royal Clifton Hotel, Southport Thursday 1st - Sunday 4th February 2018 The fourteenth annual Southport Jazz Festival, otherwise known as Jazz on a Winter's Weekend, was kicked-off in style by Dan Whieldon's Positive Changes quartet on Thursday evening. Indeed, there are few finer ways to launch one...

Zoe Boekbinder and Dustin Hamman - Among Horses II (Kudos Records)

The story apparently goes that the New Orleans-based singer songwriter Zoe Boekbinder and Portland's Dustin Hamman, also a singer songwriter, were dropped off at a farm 'in the middle of nowhere', actually a solar powered farm house in Northern Spain, surrounded by endless pine tree covered hills,...

Crayon Angels - Postcards EP (Submarine Broadcasting Company)

Named after the old Judee Sill song, Crayon Angels are a trio consisting of Natalina Castiglioni on Vocals, Del Halpin on Guitar and Ian Montague also on Guitar, whose latest EP POSTCARDS is chock full of melodies in just four songs. Unlike Judee's claim, this trio's songs are hardly out of tune...

Dirt Music - Bu Bir Ruya (Glitterbeat)

Tim Winton's poetic seminal book 'Dirt Music' deals with struggles against a hostile environment, loneliness and the power of nature. Music and the lure of music is central to the story. Dirt Music we are told, is "Anything you could play on a verandah. You know, without electricity" Dirt Music the...

Sona Jobarteh

Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Thursday 1 February 2018 The planets appeared to be somewhat aligned tonight as I took my front row seat at the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds. All the elements that usually go with a successful gig were very much in place; arrived early, found a handy parking space,...

BKO - Mali Foli Coura (Buda Musique)

BKO are a quintet of musicians from Mali. At their core is French percussionist Aymeric Krol, who in Bamako to study percussion under the master musician Ibrahima Sarr assembled the core group of musicians that form the band. Originally the BKO Quintet, releasing an EP in 2012 and an album in 2013...

Matthews Southern Comfort - Like a Radio (MIG)

If you were to hear a conversation between Iain Matthews and Martin Simpson you would struggle to identify which one was speaking, so similar are their voices and accents. This probably has something to do with the fact that they are both from Scunthorpe, born seven years apart in the North...

Laura Mulcahy - Funeral, Home, Lizard (Self Release)

Uncompromising, intense and unique. Laura Mulcahy blends ordinary and extra ordinary. Laura's voice can be layered gossamer beauty or it can be a raw punk folk eldritch. Against Mulcahy's acoustic guitar on tracks like Real Estate or Murmuration there is a raw folk quality, untampered or untamed...

Peter Knight's Gigspanner Big Band - Live (Self Release)

I have to confess right from the start that Peter Knight's violin work whilst in his former band Steeleye Span somehow passed me by. Perhaps I was just distracted by the band's stripy tank tops and flowery shirts or Maddy Prior's exhausting cavorting, or perhaps - and more than likely I hasten to...

Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente - The Morning Tempest (Oakridge Records)

This rather splendid and tasteful debut by the award winning Scots/Spanish duo Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente, sees a musical partnership that finds little difficulty traversing the wealth of Gaelic and Scots traditions with nine immediately accessible songs. Whilst their handsomely printed press...

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