As I perused the listings in preparation for this month’s column I noticed a couple of more subtle shifts in the live music scene in York (by which, in this case, I mean the venues rather than the bands themselves).
First up was the fact that The Basement, in my opinion a great little venue for the right kind of gig and usually such a stalwart of those gigs, only had four listed for October, a fraction of the usual number. Hopefully that is a temporary blip.
Secondly, I noticed that Fibbers is continuing to diversify with, alongside a rescheduled evening featuring ex-Liverpool footballers Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler, two nights of stand-up comedy. I don’t remember seeing comedy listed at the venue before but if it, along with the likes of American wrestling and the many tribute bands, is another way of keeping the venue financially viable I’m all for it.
Unless, of course, it is to the detriment of original live music.
Speaking of tribute bands, while I have mentioned before they are not my cup of tea, if you are a fan of them, or even just want a chance to catch the music of a favourite band from the past, this is a good month for you, with The UK Foo Fighters, Whole Lotta Led, The Complete Stone Roses, The Southmartins, Ultimate Eagles and The ELO Experience all putting in appearances. (See the summary table for venues, dates and prices.)
Another thing that jumped out at me this month was the large number of bands that were new to me. (I would love to claim that I am a full-time music journalist who, when not writing, spends all his time listening to new bands – sadly that’s a long way from the truth.)
I did do one of those “I know it can’t be true, but just for a second I got excited” double-takes when checking promoter Please Please You’s upcoming shows and thinking that he had somehow convinced American prog supergroup Flying Colors to play The Crescent on the 2nd, but it turned out that it was actually Australian shoegaze/psych band Flyying Colours. To be fair, though, they sound like they could be a band I would enjoy.
I am going to start with a gig that I have been anticipating for a while.
Pick of the pops
The last time I saw York band Everlate, they were launching their EP. I enjoyed the gig (and the EP) but bemoaned that fact that the release wasn’t album length.
On the 29th, the band will be at The Basement for a launch gig for their debut album, Show Me Bravery, and I, for one, can’t wait to hear it. Everlate are one of my favourite local bands, even though their audiences always make me feel really old.
I have been known to describe them as York’s answer to Snow Patrol (one gig-buddy decrying, “They’re much better than Snow Patrol!”), others have compared them to Hoosier and Dry The River and they describe themselves as “indie/folk”. Whatever, they are brilliant. Having seen the band draw big crowds at The Duchess and Fibbers, I expect this gig to be packed.
Although I originally grew up with my parents’ collection of country and western records, I soon rebelled (who doesn’t) and started listening to rock and heavy metal, along with all my school mates, before deciding that following the crowd wasn’t for me and that I would be happier with a wider taste in music.
Somehow, though, Diamond Head seem to have escaped my notice during my formative years and I can’t recall having heard anything by them. I will, hopefully, be putting that right at Fibbers on the 4th.
As a fan of blues-rock, I have a Best of Rory Gallagher CD in my collection, but sadly never got to see the Irish multi-instrumentalist who died in 1995. There is a chance for me to catch something of his spirit when Band Of Friends play ‘a celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher’ at Fibbers on the 15th.
The band is Gerry McAvoy (who played with Rory’s and was in Nine Below Zero), Ted McKenna (Sensational Alex Harvey Band) and Marcel Scherpenzeel, described as “the closest guitarist to Rory you will ever hear”. Yes, I know that (arguably) this is a tribute band too but, at the same time, it’s not.
I do like discovering new blues artists and, since discovering that country and western isn’t all Jim Reeves and Crystal Gayle, don’t mind a bit of that genre as well.
So, there’s a good chance I’ll also be at Fibbers on the 18th, when Nashville-based Stacie Collins is due to take to the stage. Again, I currently know nothing about her and it’s only the description on the what’s on listing that has caught my eye.
“Sassy, sexy and rocks like a bitch” says Classic Rock and she apparently “pushes the boundaries of rock, blues and country.” If that wasn’t enough, “A singer-songwriter and bad-ass harmonica player… Collins has a reputation for high energy shows (and) diverse songwriting.” That’ll do for me.
Sticking with the ladies, and hopping back a couple of days, I have somehow failed in every attempt I have made to see East Yorkshire-based folk and Americana singer Edwina Hayes when she has appeared in York.
Her appearance in October isn’t the usual (I think) solo show, but as one third of The Mile Roses, along with similarly respected solo songwriters Kate Bramley and Simon Haworth. The trio perform contemporary British folk music with a nod to Nashville and are appearing at the Black Swan on the 13th.
Recommended to me
Some bands this month have been recommended to me by friends, and I promised to pass them on.
First up, and from Salford, are The Lottery Winners, who play Fibbers on the 3rd. I quite like a band who don’t take themselves too seriously. This gig is part of the band’s first headline tour. A tour they are calling their World Tour of the UK – Part One, as well as describing their music as “mediocre indie-pop songs played amazingly well”.
Next are Breabach, a Scottish folk band who were nominated for and won a handful of BBC Radio 2 and Scots Traditional Music awards between 2011 and 2013. They are appearing at the NCEM on the 24th, for a gig being promoted by the Black Swan Folk Club.
The last recommendation is a little more tenuous. It came from a friend who is barely into music but does like The Kaiser Chiefs and went to see them live a few years ago.
The support band that night were New York indie rockers We Are Scientists and he liked them enough to mention them to me. I doubt my friend will be at Fibbers on the 27th, but We Are Scientists will be.
I know a lot of people who rate Glass Caves as well. I have still only managed to see them once and that was at what I’m told wasn’t one of their best gigs. You (and I) can see what everybody is raving about at Fibbers on the 28th.
One friend also tries to get to as many gigs promoted by Please Please You as he can (and he does have the opportunity to get to more gigs that I do). This month he’s spoiled for choice.
There’s little I, personally, can actually recommend and I would expect a few of them to be covered more fully in Dan Gott’s “underground” column but, for those in the know, be aware that you can catch the likes of Edinburgh duo Man Of Moon at The Fulford Arms on the 5th, the “fuzz, monotony and noise pop” of Ulrika Spacek (a quartet, not a solo) at the same venue on the 14th, North Dakota troubadour Tom Brosseau at The Basement on the 20th and Simone Felice, of The Felice Brothers, at The Crescent on the 30th, along with others in the promoter’s usual diverse line-up of gig.
You’ll have heard of these
As usual, there are a few bigger names playing our venues, starting with punk stalwarts Buzzcocks at Fibbers on the 6th and continuing with former Bluetones frontman Mark Morris at The Fulford Arms on the 16th.
It’s the bigger venues that continue to attract most of the bigger names and at The Barbican this month you can see Jamie Lawson (who, I admit, I have never heard of) on the 10th, Grammy award winner Loudon Wainwright III on the 25th and X-Factor runner up Rebecca Ferguson on the 28th.
It’s veteran soft rockers Dr Hook, appearing on the 27th, that would be more likely to draw me to that end of town, though.
Sylvia’s Mother and When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman are songs from my childhood and – younger readers skip to the next paragraph – I’ve always wondered, but never bothered to check, whether the latter included a deliberate double-entendre or whether it was just the way my mind worked.
…And the rest
There are plenty of other choices around the city. The Basement gigs I haven’t mentioned so far are from local experimental/Krautrockers Neuschlaufen on the 14th and almost local alternative RnB singer Kymberley Kennedy on the 30th.
The Black Swan Folk Club have three other gigs. Cork-based Irish folk singer Jimmy Crowley returns to the club on the 20th, 30 years after his last appearance, while newly-weds US singer/songwriter Cathryn Craig and ex-Strawbs guitarist Brian Willoughby will be melding folk rock and American country and roots on the 27th.
The club’s first gig this month is at the NCEM on the 3rd, with chamber folk quartet RANT, who use just fiddles to weave rich tapestries of sound across a wide repertoire of tunes.
As to Fibbers, they have dark electronic rock in the form of Canada’s The Birthday Massacre on the 7th and two of the biggest up and coming British punk bands, The Kenneths and Waco co-headlining on the 12th.
Scottish rock band Balaam and the Angel are celebrating 30 years of their The Greatest Story Ever Told album, which will be played in full by the band’s original line-up, with singles and rarities making up the rest of a set that will change on each night of the tour, the York leg of which will be on the 14th.
If Celtic folk rock with hints of reggae and ska is to your taste you might want to venture out on the 22nd, when you can see Warsop’s Ferocious Dog perform just that.
Finally, you can see Liverpudlian pop punkers WSTR on the 26th.
And, as usual, that is just about that. Unless you think I’ve missed something worth seeing, in which case comment below.
Here is a chronological list of the main gigs I covered above. All details are correct at time of putting this column together and ticket prices are as advertised. Paying on the door at Fibbers will cost a pound or two more.
On a smartphone? scroll horizontally to see all the info.
|1st||UK Foo Fighters||Fibbers||£12.50|
|2nd||Flyying Colours||The Fulford Arms||£6 adv / £8 otd|
|3rd||The Lottery Winners||Fibbers||£10|
|5th||Man of Moon||The Fulford Arms||£5 adv / £7 otd|
|7th||The Birthday Massacre||Fibbers||£16|
|8th||Whole Lotta Led||Fibbers||£13|
|10th||Jamie Lawson||The Barbican||£19.80|
|12th||The Kenneths / Waco||Fibbers||£6|
|13th||The Mile Roses||The Black Swan||£11|
|14th||Balaam and The Angel||Fibbers||£15|
|Neuschlaufen||The Basement||£4 adv / £6 otd|
|Ultimate Eagles||The Barbican||£24.64|
|Ulrika Spacek||The Fulford Arms||£6 adv / £8 otd|
|15th||Band of Friends||Fibbers||£15|
|16th||Mark Morris||The Fulford Arms||£7|
|20th||Tom Brosseau||The Basement||£8 adv / £10 otd|
|Jimmy Crowley||The Black Swan||£10|
|21st||The Complete Stone Roses||Fibbers||£14|
|25th||Loudon Wainwright III||The Barbican||£29.68|
|The ELO Experience||Grand Opera House||£25.90|
|27th||We Are Scientists||Fibbers||£16.50|
|Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby||The Black Swan||£10|
|Dr Hook||The Barbican||£28, £33.04, £36.40|
|Rebecca Ferguson||The Barbican||£25.20, £31.92, £39.20|
|30th||Kymberley Kennedy||The Basement||£5|
|Simone Felice||The Crescent||£15|