If I’m talking to you, Mister, then you best be writing down what I say

Seems like everywhere I look at the moment, I see posters and tweets asking me to vote for our very own Guildhall as small venue of the year. I can’t be arsed to vote in things like this of course, but if I could I wouldn’t be voting for the Guildhall, love it though I do. My favourite small venue is, without doubt, Thekla.

Monday night was still only my third visit to Thekla, but it’s definitely one of the coolest places I’ve been to for music. I like the fact it’s a boat, I like the tiny little balcony that’s barely six feet above the main floor. I like the sound and the clumsily decorated industrial walls and pipes. It’s all very functional, but someone, somewhere is booking all the right bands there. If it was on my doorstep, I’d be there every night…


This night it was Alabama’s finest troupe of rednecks, Mathew Houck and the latest incarnation of Phosphorescent. I bought Pride a while ago and recently bought the new record but found it hard to link the two, very different pieces; so I was intrigued to see how the two sounds worked.

I needn’t have worried. Strolling loose-limbed onto the stage looking like a 21st century Flying Burritos they ran through 12 slices of bluesy country that had me grinning inanely for an hour and a half from start to finish. They played most of this year’s Here’s to Taking it Easy, played a few from Pride and few earlier songs I hadn’t heard. One of the encores was aNickCave song I didn’t know, called “Right Now I’m a-Roaming”. It was fine stuff, with Houck’s soul-filled vocals and languorous guitar style accompanied by a nice line in finger pointing and languid gesticulating. His Taking It Easy Band were great too; from the showy keyboard work of Scott Stapleton to the accomplished beardy guitar of Jesse Anderson Ainslie, they played an effortless seventies-inspired backdrop to Hauk’s lyrics. They clearly listen to a lot of Little Feat, the Allmans, Gram Parsons…

You may have detected a certain impatience over the last few posts with my old iRiver bootlegging set up. Well the old feller’s now Taking It Easy in a home for senile gadgets and has been replaced by a spanking new Zoom H1, which made its debut on Monday, and I’m glad to say had a good start. I recorded the whole set and it’s come out pretty well, doing some justice to a stonking set.

It’s Hard to be Humble (when you’re from Alabama)

Mermaid Parade

I am not a Heel / Wolves

Right Now I’m a-Roaming

Phosphorescent, Thekla, May ’11, p1

Phosphorescent Thekla, May ’11, p2,

A great evening, one of the best this year…

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. adamashby
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 18:34:10

    Don’t know why, but I get no luck listening to your stuff on my Mac on Chrome (at least) – and I *really* want to listen to Mermaid Parade; can’t get enough of that toooon…


  2. Trackback: Going through the attic… « Partly Porpoise
  3. Trackback: Seven Great Gigs of 2011 « Partly Porpoise

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