Bit late to the party, I know…

But this whole record is lovely.



Tickets for the St Bonaventura show are apparently “in the bag”…

Claudine opened windows in July and then she played the ship’s piano…

So, anyway, the Wiyos were OK, a tad disappointing.

Next ticket on the board was for a much anticipated War on Drugs set at Thekla., which I enjoyed at the time but to be honest has been lost at sea in my memory. Again, it was … ok, but not quite the majesty I had been expecting.

(This may also have something to do with the fact that I failed miserably to record the evening. I do like to listen back…)

The third evening, perhaps the least promising of them all, was though, a different affair. A real beaut…

Darren Hayman

I’ve kind of tagged along with this guy’s career in half-arsed fashion for a while, buying Dead Media in the nineties and then Pram Town nearly a decade later, but couldn’t by any stretch of the imagination style myself as a proper fan, (although both records are pretty fine. I couldn’t really tell you anything else about Darren Hayman and don’t really have much of a feel for how successful a songwriter he is. Just one of the sea of faces in my music collection…

Someone, however, had the inspired idea to book the man for a one-off show (he’s not touring, He said he only had one other date booked this year.) in the intimate (for “intimate”, you can read “flippin’ tiny”) surroundings of Cheltenham Everyman’s studio theatre.

Having spoken to a couple of friends at the War on Drugs evening about this, and knowing a few others going, I had very real fears that my group would be making up an uncomfortably large proportion of the audience, but as it turned out, a good forty or so souls had turned out making the studio pretty much full and very relaxed.

After a brief, impromptu (and somewhat restrained) opening set by our old friend Men Diamler (although I don’t think he calls himself that any more), Hayman, having been sat in the audience, came to the front and introduced his set with the words “I want you not to worry, It’s my responsibility alone to make it work, and… I’m feeling confident about this…”

He went on to play a charming set of his quirky, reedy songs, accompanied only by himself on piano (and occasional ukulele), chatting disarmingly between songs. He really seemed to enjoy himself and was warmly appreciated by what I think we can call the Cheltenham-Hayman cognoscenti. It was a very fine evening altogether.

I recorded the whole set, and will no doubt put it all together on a CD for the car at some point. I don’t trust myself to do this anytime soon, though, so I’ll just post the one song, for now, the beautiful title track of his new record “The Ship’s Piano”

The Ship’s Piano

Move over, little dog, ’cause the big dog’s moving in!

Where to start with all this? (I’m really terribly behind…)

Well, since I last posted I’ve been to three gigs, all of them very different to each other, and a couple of them not quite as great as I’d hoped, to be honest.

The Wiyos

Last time I posted, I think I was going off to see the Wiyos in Bristolamid high hopes and fond memories of a fantastic evening at Slack. The  evening was ok but not quite as amazing as I think we’d all hoped. Seems as if the Wiyos have all growed up, and along the way shed two of the three original members. Gone are the original bass and rhythm players, although the manic stylings of Michael Farkas still remain.

They have a record out, called Twist, based loosely on the Wizard of Oz storyline, which they performed throughout the evening. it was a pretty good listen but the whole evening lacked some of the crazy charm of the previous line up. I was very disappointed to see that the washboard seems to have been retired somewhere along the way.

Here’s a little video I shot, once they started to cut lose a little at the end, of Hank Williams’ Move It On Over.

Ah, well… you gotta let them grow up I guess…