The gigs to see in York right now – August 2016

Annabella Lwin brings Annabella’s Bow Wow Wow to Fibbers this month. Photograph: Facebook
28 Jul 2016 @ 5.01 pm
| Entertainment

A lack of time means that I’m going to get straight down to it this month.

No waffling commentary on the state of York’s live scene (partly because I have nothing to say), just the best of this month’s gigs.

A full day at the Fulford Arms

Head down to the Fulford Arms on the 6th and you will find an array of local talent playing the appropriately named Fully York Festival.

Starting at 1.30pm and going on well into the night, there will be 18 bands across two stages, comprising a bill that is incredible in its scope.

From the whisky and molasses vocals and acoustic Americana sound of Boss Caine through to the full-on hardcore metal of RSJ, there seems to be something for almost everybody.

That includes pop-punk in the form of One Way Street, electro-dub from Dub Barn Collective, Fat Spatula’s brand of surf rock and drone from Soma Crew.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A full listing can be found here. Best of all, the whole thing is free.

There is another impressive line-up at the same venue on the 20th, when local promoter Please Please You is throwing a party to celebrate 11 years in the business.

This one starts at 7.30pm and I’m not sure how they are going to fit everybody in. Headlining are Californian rock and rollers Gun Outfit, described as “perfectly ramshackle yet hyper-intelligent, gloriously melodic but always feel close to falling apart, trippy enough to be graceful but not disappear up their own… and fully rocking” but, again, there is plenty of local interest on the bill.

I still can’t get a handle on Mark Wynn’s music, but there are plenty who can and he will be joined by The Black Lagoons, Missing Kids and Wolf Solent.

A return to the Eighties

There’s a sort of mini-Eighties revival going on at Fibbers this month, with punk, post-punk and new wave being represented.

OK, The Damned were formed in 1976 but they released four studio albums in the eighties (and sometimes I’ll take anything to form a link between bands). They were part of Fibbers’ Summer of Punk last year and are back again for what promises to be another popular gig on the 3rd.

After punk came post punk and two days after The Damned comes Chameleons Vox, Mark Burgess’ continuation of The Chameleons, as part of their The Magical History tour, the set list for which has been chosen by fans.

This is a full post punk bill, with support from London’s Desperate Journalist and York’s own Berlin Black.

There are two versions of new wave band Bow Wow Wow out there. Once was formed by original bassist Leigh Gorman, but he failed to get original vocalist Annabella Lwin’s permission.

Lwin, in turn, has continued to perform as Annabella’s Bow Wow Wow and it is this version that comes to Fibbers on the 14th.

People of a certain age (me included) will remember the brilliant Go Wild In The Country and I Want Candy – I’m willing to bet more for Lwin than for Gorman…

Recently announced and almost fitting into this section is a Fibbers gig on The Undertones 40th anniversary tour. The most successful band to ever come out of Derry will be in York on the 26th. Anybody want to hazard a guess what the encore will be?

Country folk

For those with quieter, more rustic tastes, there is a choice on the 4th.

You could either head to The Basement to see Australian singer-songwriter Anne McCue – discovered by Lucinda Williams, played legendary venues such as The Fillmore, and recently released Blue Sky Thinkin’, an album of originals reminiscent of swing era jazz which plays tribute to the likes of Django Reinhardt and Mississippi John Hurt.

Or opt for the Black Swan for trio Granny’s Attic – a Young Folk Awards finalist who will be performing a lively night of (mostly) English folk songs and instrumentals on fiddle, guitar, melodeon and concertina.

Ryley Walker is heading over from Illinois for his first ever York appearance at The Crescent on the 10th, for a solo acoustic show ahead of his new album Dead Oceans.

Americana singer-songwriter Guy Jones returns to The Basement on the 13th presumably to promote his album Kicking Stones, which he recorded in New York last year after a very successful crowdfunding campaign.

Also on the 13th, over at Fibbers, you can see a strange juxtaposition of a tribute band. GlasVille are based in Glasgow and play music from the US TV show Nashville, which chronicles the lives of fictitious country music singers.

I’ve never seen the show (I hadn’t even heard of it until this gig was announced) and can’t think of another tribute band that doesn’t base its act around a regular band.

The full line-up for the Black Swan this month also includes Serious Sam Barrett. Unlike The Damned, he didn’t play York last year, due to a broken wrist which put paid to the gig he had planned.

I do like a bit of 12-string guitar but, sadly, won’t be around for his appearance on the 11th.

There are more 2016 folk award finalists in the form of The Peak District’s The Rheingans Sisters, who play there on the 25th. The sisters were nominated for Best New Act and won Best Original Song with their track Mackeral.

I mentioned Vale Radio’s events at The Cottage in Haxby last month and had an enjoyable Sunday evening their listening to, among others, Carrie Martin and The Jon Palmer Acoustic Band. This month they have the gypsy folk of Leather’O appearing on the 28th.

Rock and roll

Rock’n’roll is such an all-encompassing term these days that it gives me a chance to lump together a few gigs.

Canadians Cherry Suede have been compared to Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi – two acts that make up a fair proportion of my CD collection (say what you will about me). 

Their Up Close And Personal tour comes to The Basement on the 5th, for an acoustic evening of songs and stories. I would be there if I could be. Sadly, I can’t.

Indie rockers Part Time Miserables have three hometown gigs this month.

They headline The Basement on the 12th and the 20th and also provide support for Immingham’s Ming City Rockers, a band influenced by the spirit of US band MC5, at Fibbers on the 18th. I have literally just worked out where the band name comes from – colour me slow…

Another local indie rock band, Faux Pas are causing a scene on the York, errm, scene.

Having already supported the likes of King No-One, Bull and Glass Caves, as well as putting in a number of festival appearances, they are playing their second headline gig of the year at Fibbers on the 19th.

This will be the last with current drummer Ethan Lewis and, with support from The Indigo Project, The MallRats and Dos Cervezas, this is the biggest gig the band have put on. Go on, show your support.

There’s a similar show at Fibbers on the 20th, with a line-up of bands from around York and Hull headlined by grunge trio Octopus and also includes genre-mixing Accentus and plain-old- rockers The Public House Delegates and Grolar Bear. It’s great to see local line-ups like this at Fibbers and I, for one, hope they are successful enough to continue.

The best of the rest

And then there are the gigs that even I can’t pigeonhole, starting with Manchester based Welsh singer Irma Vep at The Crescent on the 4th.

Then there’s Lion Papers at Fibbers on the 10th.

The (I think) quirky drum and guitar duo are launching their new EP with support from another line-up of local bands – indie from Cry Baby, psychedelic fuzz from Layke and rock from Borderline.

There are two different varieties of female singers at The Basement on the 11th when singer-songwriter Laura Kindelan and RnB singer Kymberley Kennedy are performing, the latter celebrating the upcoming release of her debut album Head Games with a full band, but stripped down, acoustic set.

I know nothing of Manchester’s Politburo except that they are playing The Basement on the 19th.

There’s a reference to Soft Machine in the gig preview. Make of that what you will, but it piques my interest.

Finally another American appears at The Crescent on the 29th when New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis (one of the few people who mixes music with another of my interests, comics) appears with his band Los Bolts.

I think that’s pretty much it this month – apart from the usual pub and bar gigs and open mics – but if you think I have please comment below. (Now that I’ve said that, there’s bound to be some big gig or festival that I’ve overlooked…)

Below 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.

Date Act Venue Price
3rd The Damned Fibbers £20
4th Anne McCue Basement £8 adv / £10 otd
  Granny’s Attic Black Swan £8
  Irma Vep The Crescent £4 adv / £5 otd
5th Chameleons Vox Fibbers £17
  Cherry Suede Basement £13
6th Fully York Festival Fulford Arms Free
10th Lion Papers Fibbers £5
  Ryley Walker The Crescent £11 adv / £13 otd
11th Kymberley Kennedy Basement £5
  Serious Sam Barrett Black Swan £8
12th Part Time Miserables Basement £4 adv / £6 otd
13th Glasville Fibbers £12
  Guy Jones Basement £8 adv / £12 otd
14th Annabella’s Bow Wow Wow Fibbers £15
18th Ming City Rockers Fibbers £5
19th Faux Pas Fibbers £5
  Politburo Basement £5
20th Octopus Fibbers £5
  PPY11 Fulford Arms £6 adv / £8 otd
  Part Time Miserables Basement £5
25th The Rheingans Sisters Black Swan £11
26th The Undertones Fibbers £20
28th Leather’O The Cottage Free
29th Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts The Crescent £10 adv / £12 otd