Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Comforting Deathly Silence Will Accompany You Now

Ridiculously pleased to get a text from Al asking me if I fancied a trip to the Shush Club last Thursday to see Family Machine. I think this is now the fourth time I’ve seen Oxford’s shambling country rockers, but such is the dry spell that we’re having at the moment, I jumped, nay leapt, at the chance.

The Shush Club was a new one on me, but it turns out to be another acoustic evening running sporadically at Monty’s in Cheltenham, organised by a feller called Vince Freeman, who gigs around the area and has recently won some sort of award for his songs.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with Monty’s, not really my sort of bar and the sound was pretty poor, but hey, it was free! Family Machine were pretty good, although forced to cut their set a little short, and were a pretty friendly bunch to chat to beforehand.

Little Lost David

Probably the best part of the evening though was a set by Sheffield duo Little Lost David. Yeah, it took me a while to see past the name (surely the worst, I’ve heard in a long time…), but actually they were pretty damn good. Made up of a guitarist, David J Roch and drummer, Chris Basford, their songs were gothic, compelling affairs with Roch making excellent use of some haunting falsettos. They really grew on me.

I tried to record a couple of numbers, with only limited success, (my Zen Plus, being still not really upto the job), and I was going to post them here because I couldn’t find any other downloads, but somehow stumbled across these on Last.fm. (I didn’t realize they did downloads…). They’re far better than my recordings and well worth a listen.

Waltz for Elliott

Cutie Pie

I think Al was also quite taken by the pair, and who knows maybe we’ll see them in Gloucester?

2 comments:

Jess said...

Hey- though you might enjoy this. Please take a chance to listen and let me know if you would be intrested in reviewing it!
Happy listening,
Jess

ANDY MULLEN: THE TOENAIL JAR

Is He Folk Music’s New Bad Boy?

“Andy Mullen sports the rich baritone of Crash Test Dummies' Brad Roberts and a sense of humor somewhere between Bob Newhart and a classic cast of Saturday Night Live. “
_ Performing Songwriter




Andy Mullen plays music that he describes as, “folk fusion,” but don’t get the wrong idea, there is nothing sedate or staid about it. Rather, his music bursts out of the speakers in a stream of imagery and sound, and Mullen’s command of his craft is so palpable that in listening, one immediately knows they are hearing an artist with his own unique vision of life and music.

His new self-produced album, The Toenail Jar, downloadable for free at his site www.andymullenmusic.com, showcases the NYC based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist coming of age both as a musician and as a person in a multitude of ways.

His clever lyrics will instantly grab your attention, but behind the humor is a man with a fierce intelligence and the soul of a poet. His ability to fashion the insane beauty and unexpected heartache of everyday life into short, well-crafted songs with catchy melodies and sharply etched image is remarkable.” _PlanetOut.com

Featuring his exceptional finger-picking style on guitar, the songs’ arrangements are uncommonly skillful, with light and subtle touches, like the fiddle and djembe on “Sun Goes Up, Sun Goes Down,” and the galloping banjo on “Quit Quittin’,” all which inspire a quiet sense of joy and wonder.

The utterly moving “So Does The Beer” tells the story of the death of his father, who died while he recorded the album. The song is an affectingly wry observation on love and loss; his vocals perfectly convey the balance of sadness and acceptance, while never succumbing to excessive sentimentality.

“Simple and stunning acoustic folk.” _Hybrid

But the album is also a showcase for Mullen’s wry and subtly wicked sense of humor, befitting an artist who calls himself “Folk Music’s New Bad Boy.” “Crooked Deck” inspires a multitude of smiles, in his description of himself as a man in possession of only, “The same rhyme all the time/Smokes and jokes and a dozen lines/They say that all I ever sing about is booze.” It’s ironic without being at all jaded, and in that, it is utterly invigorating.

For more information on Andy Mullen, contact:

Jess Haviland
PAI Media Ink
212.206.1598
jess@paimedia.com

Download The Toenail Jar at: www.andymullenmusic.com

Sweeny said...

This is your second left comment on this blog, and I have to say I entirely approve of this sort of activity!

Basically, go for it! Anythign else I should hear?

I have downloaded Andy's record and on first lsiten it sounds like a lot of fun! It will be on my mp3 player for the holidays, watch this space...