Friday, April 18, 2008


The past week was spent in Tenby, admiring blue skies and golden sands, and relaxing and chilling. Alas, although there remains plenty to report and mention, insufficient time and opportunities have meant that these pages have remained forlornly neglected. For this, I apologise.

A week and a day ago, your humble host was gallivanting in the capital, purchasing some of those new-fangled compact discs at the wondrous Fopp emporium, dining and imbibing like a lord at BBC TV Centre with D and A (my generous hosts) before trotting to the Hammersmith Apollo to witness the splendid hop-trippers Portishead in concert. The following day, I walked for England and spent many a merry hour in the British Museum encountering treasure after treasure. The London trip was a success; I have chalked up my annual London gig (2005 Yo La Tengo; 2006 Teenage Fanclub) and I salute the exquisite music served up by Beth Gibbons and company. I thought the Apollo was a fine venue; the vast sloping floor meant all hepcats enjoyed a super view of proceedings.

I had barely returned from my trip to the east when the Guildhall o' Gloucester beckoned. The monthly Acoustica evening was in session and a legend topped the bill. Former Icicle Works front man, Ian McNabb produced a cracking set full of wit, wisdom and wisecrackery. His combination of homely and dark subject matter delivered with a rich and earthy voice was a real pleasure. The support act, two members of Bristol’s Slow, proved an engaging and warming talent. Their intelligent, lyrically intense numbers built to really rather exquisite musical denouements. They were an unexpected but worthwhile treat.

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