So he turned the corners of his mouth up to the sky…

This month’s Acoustica was a bit of a mixed bag.

Some good (Bethany Porter playing some beautiful folk songs and playing cello), some bad (Sorry, Nuala and the Alchemy Quartet) and some well, ugly, is perhaps a bit strong. You’d have to say, though, that Stanton Delaplane is a little strange and this being the Blog that this is, you can guess where we’re going here…

Stanton Delaplane

I know, loop pedals are pretty much de rigeur these days, but they certainly make for a great way for a single artist to vary and enrich his strummings. I am still heartily in favour of the loop pedal.

Mr Delaplane pretty much depends on it to lend his rather odd series of songs a certain eerie nonconformity to them. I couldn’t begin to understand quite what was going on in the lyrics or where on earth he’s coming from, but I rather liked it. I still get a bit of a thrill when someone does something different on stage, and so as far as I was concerned the evening was a success, when it became clear that I could tick “euphonium” off from my list of never-seen instruments. A simple soul am I.

Although Mr Delaplane has a Myspace page, Myspace has had a revamp and now doesn’t seem to allow downloads from pages any more. So, no music, I’m afraid. This is all the more galling, because there was a free CD to be had on Friday, but I missed it as I fled guiltily to the bar half way through the Alchemy wotsit set. (I’m again forced to conclude that a real blogger…)

So anyway…

In my more po-faced moments, I like to think that by doing this Blog I am occasionally giving young bands a bit of a boost up. You know, cupping my hands and helping a deserving artist over the wall into the … er… cider orchards of success.

Passing swiftly over the unfortunately over-extended metaphor, I generally try to find new artists just on the way, as it were.

But when I’m doing this I often come across other people who’ve been around for ages and who basically don’t need any help from another small Blog. Nonetheless, there’s some great music coming from them. Here’s three tracks, I’ve really liked in the last few months that are well worth a listen…

Alastair Galbraith

This bloke’s been around for years, apparently, and is some sort of national treasure in his native New Zealand. Here’s his Wikipedia entry. And here’s the track that I found on the Emperor Jones site. Lovely wonk harmonies and complex guitar work, it reminds me of Alexander Tucker.

Bellbirds – Alastair Galbraith

United Bible Studies

Here’s another bunch who again have made a beautiful record that I really like, but which certainly needs no plugging from me. Again, donkey’s years.

Lowlands of Holland – United Bible Studies

The Anomoanon

And finally, this track is from a band that includes Ned Oldham, brother of Will, who hardly needs any publicity, but nonetheless is making good music. Read about him here.

Mr Train – The Anomoanon