A wise man said to me, don’t underrate simplicity

It’s pouring down. I mean … throwing it down, biblical proportions.

We’re on the coach back from Bristol. I’m thinking of what I have to do tonight and what I have to get done for tomorrow…

The woman sat in the seat next to me is large and seems to want half my seat. She is reading a copy of A Bit on the Side and smells of beans.

Ah, Saturday night…

Lou Rhodes

Newsflash: Thekla is still as cool as it was last week. And although I’ve seen a noisy gig there, I’m now convinced that it is even better suited to quieter acoustic evenings. Again the sound was excellent and having gone up to the balcony this time (in reality only a vantage point of about ten feet) the set up and general vibe (there’s a good muso word for you) was even better.

Didn’t know a whole lot about Lou Rhodes before last night (ex singer with Lamb, apparently, not that I’m much clearer after finding that out, either) but we’d carved out a weekend away and were keen to see some music. Got hold of her first record and, consummate professional that I am, did my homework – turns out Beloved One is an album I can easily endorse with a clear conscience.

She’s a frail looking thing but has a clear and striking voice well suited to an evening of delicate songs accompanied carefully by a classic Nick Drake-style format of cello and double bass. Occasionally the pace of her songs got a bit same-y, but the short attention span of this punter was well catered for by the way the arrangements changed from song to song, with the cellist moving to glockenspiel and the double bass player switching to an acoustic bass.

At one point, she introduced one of her songs by saying that if you were one of those people who were too cool to arrive in time for the support act, you’d have missed a real treat. Well (astonishingly) we were one those too cool people and did miss the support, who turned out to have been John Smith.

I’ve seen and written about John before (here) – he was the best part of our ill-fated Davy Graham evening a couple of years ago – and so I was disappointed to have missed him, but fortunately he was called on to play with Lou Rhodes for one of her songs. He’s an astonishing player.

The evening was over rather too soon, but I did manage to make these recordings of the set. (Don’t know the actual name of the fifth track, I’m afraid…)


There for the Taking


Each Moment New


As well as this, there is currently a free download (available here) which I would recommend you getting hold of too.

A beautiful and engaging singer.

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