Boys and Their Toys

Tonight three for free; three blokes, three instruments and three different styles.  James Sant will be tinkling his piano, exercising his characterful voice. Egypsy runs his guitar through loops and effects pedals singing his way through life, and our Mr Edward Szakal has played a myriad of styles but will be here with just him and his guitar.

It’s gonna be a chilled out Wednesday evening, to help remove the January blues. All for free of course. And if you want to hear them before coming down, here are the links.


A Delayed Christmas Review

Illness, Christmas, illness illness. Swine flu, bird flu and baby flu (from my nephew) Yes three lots of flu (all deadly) have stopped me from blogging as I should. Sorry to those who have been curious as to what is going on in the Revival cave, and thank you for continuing to look.

So I owe you a review of the Christmas party, for those that missed it. A belter. A full house from the start, and no surprise with such a strong line up. The Acutes, often headliners, started things off in fine pop style. Plenty of  imagination is required to keep things interesting when just guitar vocal and drums, and any musicians that try to challenge themselves score highly in my book. An English pop sound, or should that be manc, seems a fair definition.

Then came Jack and Gills Daughter, with a lot of hype to live up to, both for being one of the nicest bands around and brilliant music. And they were both. Gills amazing voice is the first thing you notice, and then the quality of Jacks guitar playing, finger picking goodness (sorry if there not your real names but you must be used to that by now). More talent in these two than in several other bands put together. Folk, soul and a Michael Jackson cover.

Then the walking calamity that is the Happy Red Tractors. Pick up problems on the violin, the guitar not wanting to work through anything, and the band not turning up for sound check. Shambolic is the usual, but the attitude and enthusiasm gets through just about everything and the crowd react to it. Clusterfuck Folk. Who’d have thought acoustic instruments could create so much energy. Banjo mandolin guitar double bass fiddle percussion.

The next blog is coming up right away, to tell you about tonight’s gig. Then I’m all up to date again…

Christmas Jumpers

Of course its alright to put my band on, its christmas. Give all of em a listen, a bit of acoustic energy, soulful power and pop. And they play tomorrow at Revival, for free. (its Happy Red Tractors that’s my band, for those that didn’t know)

Loads of people have said they are coming, I’ll be bringing the mince pies, and you guys the laughter. Should be a good one, and if you can’t make it Happy Christmas!

Help a local band get in the Charts

Last Nights TV gave one of the best performances we have had at Revival, so I am only too glad to help promote their new single. Buy it this week as they aim for no 75 in the charts, it’s only 79p. Go on, do it now and feel slightly superior to everyone you meet today.

And its a christmas tune (well in their own way!). Proceeds go to the Samaritans, so tell your friends and they will be helping a two good causes for the price of one.

Counting down to the next Revival where Happy Red Tractors, Jack and Jills Daughter and the Acutes will all be starting your christmas weekend with top songs, free mince pies and a bit of a daft boogie. 22 Dec Free entry at Milo.

They Screamed and Cheered…

Any twits who were scared of the cold missed something to warm the dirtiest of cockles. First strummy picky, then coolly arty, finishing with paddy wacky.

Maybe the weather or lots of students going off protesting resulted in a slow start to the evening,  but that didn’t faze the cool of William Gray. Formally of the Smokestacks, and now playing his own songs with just  his guitar, his experience dripped from every song. All excellently crafted bundles of his personality which slowly drew silence from the room and ever-growing applause.

Then came Forty Million Mexicans (in such a small space as well). Well slap a duck and call it Boris, that girl can sing. Her operatic voice swooped and dived, those stood next to me audible gasped. But her vocal prowess was used sparingly, adding to the impact when she did let rip. No bass, just guitar, piano and drums still created a full sound. Original  and engaging, they were lots better than I was expecting. Kinda indie folk, but such a simple description doesn’t really do them credit. Heres the link so you can decide, but so much better live you are obliged to hunt them down.

It would be wrong not to mention the sound problems at the end, or the strange ending. Something stopped the clarinet, and the vocal just disappeared. Then they decided not to play their last song.  Gig are supposed to start badly and get better, not the other way around.

From the Raggel Taggel Gypsy, with a bit of the Wonderstuff, some Levellers, Pogues and a shamrocks worth of trad Irish Fiddle tunes, Jacks Rake (not Jakes as some numpty put on the poster) had the place screaming for more by the time they had finished.  They couldn’t suppress the smiles on their faces, and played the deserved encore. One of Sheffield’s favorites, with good reason. Loads of energy and crazy fiddles.

Next Month FREE MINCE PIES, and the full on Pop Folk dance antics of those Happy Red Tractors, those lovely people of Jack and Gills Daughter, and The Acutes. A stella line up for Christmas, still free and you can hear them all before coming down, links below.


Brilliant music, empty room, oh well…

Two bands cancelled in the morning, and the one that was left were playing a free gig the next day. This on the day those that had been coming regularly gave it a miss. Oh well, my own private gig.

A slight exaggeration, the other bands hung around to watch, and three other (insightful and intelligent!) people came in to watch. But for all three acts to play for those few assembled, relaxing and just enjoying playing is the attitude all bands should aspire to. No pre-madonnas here.

First up Geriant john jones who agreed to play at 4 in the afternoon. A busker just getting experience on stage, so he said. Well he was great. Despite the mic stand slipping on him and the chair falling he made cover versions his own with a relaxed, distinctive voice. I wish the buskers I saw were of this quality, he will be offered more gigs.

The high hollers, god bless em, stepped in again, playing songs new to them, laughing and joking with those of us who were there. Blues, pure and simple. Every harmonica possible with finger pickin delights.  and then…

Sunniva Brynnel. The artist I had been most anticipating. Gentle introducing each song with its story or inspiration, playing either a beautiful accordion or electric piano. Her band are clearly all Jazz students, and each song still had a life of its own. Improvisations prevailed, all being conducted by Sunni’s smile. With Swedish Polska’s and wedding marchs mixed with straight jazz, this was high quality music, a genuine treat that lived up to high expectations. You should have been there, you really should!

Next week is the start of the Revival going once a month, 4th Wednesday of every month. And it will be FREEEEEEEE……

Once More upstairs…

Next Revival will be great. Sunniva Brynnel will take the top spot, give her a listen NOW. Swedish accordians with folk and jazz influences from around the globe. finding an artisit like this is exactley the reason I started doing these nights. They even use a Fluggal Horn.

With Clair Cammeron doing stripped down set, just her and a piano, and  a couple of friends with a guitar and congas. . And the ambient noise of Model Warships, A line up to be proud of. A fantastic nights music. Lets hope for no illness, accidents or rampaging crazines that will stop it happening.

But then it all changes. Revival will become once a month, and will be free entry. Fourth Wednesday of every month, still at Milo. And already the  likes of Jakes Rake, The Acutes, Forty Million Mexicans, Happy Red Tractors and rising stars Jake and Gills Daughter are confirmed. Revival continues to grow.

A big thank you to those who have enjoyed the music so far, and read this blog regularly, it surpsied me so many have looked at this blog. But you can be safe in the knowledge you areclearly superiour people for having done so.

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