There are never enough days.
There are always too many toys to play with, gigs to go to, songs to write and guitars to fiddle about with. There are sadly far too many Poorly Parents to visit, and non-poorly parents to take to visit the ones that are. However, there is just enough time left to fill with a bit of fun, a bit of joy and a lot of friends. To find out more, you know what to do…
Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on.
A relatively quiet week for us, just a quick visit to The Brit in Darlington (the door stayed on) and then the weekend’s festivities to report on.
Stormcrow are our friends. I must start with that, as it would be churlish to do otherwise. They are also many other things too. Unique is one of them, fun another. Understated, quiet and low profile unhappily, do not qualify here.
A new CD from the Stormies then?
What can this mean?
Has there been a seismic shift in musical direction?
Is the News of the World a loss to ethical journalism?
The Stormies are a musical concept and one built around the idea of reporting from a mediaeval world that lives inside Mark’s bonce much as an imaginary 17th Century world jostles for position in mine. The visual appearance of the Stormies really gives away the game; as soon as the unexpecting audience claps eyes on Mark, Amanda and Sam in full battledress, they know they are in for a good time.
And such this CD is. Tales of the Crow is a great work.
Expect huge Stormcrow anthems, expect hooks, and expect thumping riffs and Amanda throttling back not a jot in the pursuance of the mighty Stormcrow sonic punch that has proved such an emetic to the nervous.
Words do not, can not, do justice to the good time vibe and sheer joie de vie of the Stormies as they pace and race through every song, every reference and every chorus with unabashed joy.
And so it was with great pleasure that we for Loftus on Friday for the Stormies CD launch party. The great and the good of Teeside Acoustic Community were in attendance, Ian Swinburne, Barbara Helen, Glenn Coggin, The Stormies of course and Blackwater, all the way from sunny Wakefield to contribute to the night. The Station Hotel in Loftus is a venue loved by many in the acoustic (and electric) music community. It has a special atmos all of its own and it has Mr I Swinburne sat at the desk, pursuing the perfect sound. Ian himself kicked off the night in fine style (loved the version of Substitute) followed by the above in good order. Everyone performed a great set, ramping up the pressure on Blackwater and FG. Barbara and Glen were a special pleasure as we hadn’t seen them for ages; songs and playing as good as ever. Ian complemented the Stormies set with a great Dave Gilmour impersonation, played only five times faster than the recording. Mark and Amanda played the Stormcrow set without Sam who was sadly indisposed, get well soon kidda. However the remaining two made up for it by hitting the loud pedal good and hard – great stuff. The madcap rendition of ‘Justice’ closed their set, with the Loftus stage groaning under the collective weight of musicians and my ego.
Blackwater were up next, following Catherine Swinburnes’ extra special catering. New to us, a semi acoustic duo, they performed a wide range of covers to a high standard, even venturing into familiar territory with Glen’s ‘Flying High Tonight’.
FG followed to close the night and we rammed a few of the well known FG choons down the throats of the (happily receptive) audience, culminating with an obscure song about some wild west town that no one seemed to have heard of…
Next week we aim to support Fred Brierly in his new night at The Green Tree in Tudhoe on Wednesday evening, then next weekend it’s Seafest in Scarborough, that should be fun (actually, it should be a riot).
I’m leaning towards brevity at the ‘mo, so; as the Sunset of Musical Decency descends over the Yardarm of The Mountains of Maughan, and the Grim Reaper of Taste has a brief word with the banjo player in the corner, I notice it’s the end of this blog.
Until next time, musical chums,