Sunday, January 28, 2024

Harley Kimbro Lewis at Celtic Connections

Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow. Sunday 29-January-2024.

This was a birthday present to Mary from her sister and brother-in-law. We drove up to Glasgow on Sunday afternoon for a cup of tea, and then George drove us into central Glasgow. I am still amazed that you can drive into the middle of a big city and get on-street parking close to where you want to go. I would not even contemplate doing such a thing in central London. It would be public transport both ways, no question.

We went for a curry beforehand at Mowgli. It was an Indian version of tapas where you order a number of small plates to make up a meal of the size you want. The flavours were very fresh and certainly not your classic mystery meat in a gloopy sauce. Definitely a recommendation.

The interior of the theatre was beautifully ornate, much like some of the London theatres of similar early Victorian era. It does not surprise me that is is a Category A listed building.

We had a very short walk to the theatre for a pre concert drink and get settled into our seats. Martin Harley, Daniel Kimbro and Sam Lewis played an hour of Americana. A couple of tracks I knew but several new ones. Kimbro clearly shares the same laconic sense of humour as Martin. However, there was little banter as they cracked on with the music playing tune after tune. At the end of the first hour, they said that the end of our set. What! We had not realised that it was a double bill and there was a different act on after the interval. That explained the lack of banter.

It was interesting to hear Martin play a different range of songs than his solo shows which are all his own compositions. 

Quoting from the festival website, “From Knoxville to Nashville via Hertfordshire, Martin Harley, Daniel Kimbro & Sam Lewis collaborate for the first time on a slow cooked, laid back album reminiscent of an early American songbook. Produced at Wow & Flutter studios the old fashioned way; writing songs in the morning and rolling the tape in the afternoon, the album highlights Daniel’s Appalachia roots, Sam’s Nashville tones and Martin’s travelling riverside blues. Individually they have worked with some of the biggest names in the business. This is acoustic Americana at is finest.”  

At the break I dashed to the loo then went to the bar only to join the back of a very long queue. They closed off the queue just as I joined it in the nick of time. Even with efficient bar staff I only just made it back to my seat in time for Butler, Blake & Grant. I’d never heard of them, but clearly well-known to the adoring audience who gave them a standing ovation at the end of their set. 

Apparently Britpop background but sounded a bit folk oriented and a clearly a talented trio. I might as well quote from the festival website again:

“Norman Blake, Bernard Butler and James Grant are three of the most renowned and respected musicians in Britain. Norman; a centrifugal force in Teenage Fanclub, Bernard; songwriter-producer and founder member of Suede and James; songsmith supremo of Love and Money. Returning to the festival that spawned their collaboration, they play a selection of each others songs and will preview new material.”

We have been burning the candle at both ends in the last few days, what with Burns Night, a birthday lunch for Mary at 1863, a team meal out on Saturday night at Dog and Gun and now this so it was straight back to George and Sandra's for an early night. 

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