Grace Clarke looks ahead to what promises to be a cracking month of live music
This May, as with every month in this fair city, there is plenty to be doing music wise. Despite being small, and dangerously close to Leeds, York still attracts some pretty great acts. If I had all the money in the world, and all of the hours in the day, this is what I’d be seeing…
If you haven’t got your tickets for the YO1 Festival, what are you playing at? This year they’re ditching Askham Bryan College for the altogether greener pastures of Knavesmire on Sunday, May 5. With headline acts such as Rudimental and Aluna George, this is arguably their best line up to date.
Big enough to attract national talent, I’d strongly suggest you make time to see Lulu James, hailing from the North East, inspired by James Blake and Jamie XX’s work with Gil Scott Heron, she’s 21st century soul. Nestled in amongst the national talent are the expected local gems too. The raspy Ryan Adams, Tom Waitsesque, vocals of Boss Caine, Mark Wynn (see below), and, if you cut him he’d bleed the blues, Colin Rowntree.
Here’s my all time favourite video of The NYBB in action in St Helen’s Square.
On Friday, May 3 Lucy Rose makes a long awaited return to The Duchess. She’s been touring pretty much continuously since we saw her here last year. Somebody once told me she sounded exactly like Ellie Goulding. Don’t panic, she doesn’t.
She’s more like Laura Marling without the arrogance. She’s just a tiny strawberry blonde girl, with a really pure voice and some fantastic lyrics. She’s lovely. If you caught her at The Duchess last time, you’ll undoubtedly already have your tickets for this one.
- Tickets are £12. More details here
Mark Wynn and Salvage My Dream
Also on May 3 if you fancy supporting local music – and so you should – you can catch Mark Wynn and Salvage My Dream at The Woolpack. Mark Wynn was recently dubbed by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Tom Robinson as a “future national treasure”. The last person I remember being a national treasure was Cheryl Cole. Thankfully there are absolutely no similarities between the two, and hopefully Mark and Simon Cowell’s paths will never cross. He’s a rambling regional troubadour. Clever lyrics, delivered so astoundingly quickly that I can’t tell which I’m more impressed by.
Salvage My Dream, as well as drumming for The Buffalo Skinners, has been writing and releasing music since 2008. As his latest EP, due for release at the end of May, has been recorded in garages and bedrooms between York and Los Angeles, I reckon there’ll be some rather conflicting sounds on this one. He’s difficult to describe. But this is something to see. One future national treasure, with another not far behind…
Beans On Toast
I am over the moon that Beans On Toast is playing Fibbers on Thursday, May 23. The last time I saw him he was supporting Frank Turner at Wembley Arena, and I must admit I was slightly distracted because another well known political singer, commonly known as Billy Bragg, was sitting in the row in front and my Dad had sparked up an awkward conversation with him.
Beans is always great in a small venue, endearingly unprepared he stumbles through a spontaneous setlist, sipping on Newcastle Brown Ale as he goes, regaling us with cautionary tales about drugs, drink, and politics. With Boss Caine, Mark Wynn and Zak Ford as support you can’t afford to miss this.
- More info and tickets on the Fibbers website
Finally, Blonde On Bob and Mulholland celebrate Bob Dylan’s 72nd Birthday at The Basement on Friday, May 24. Blonde On Bob, who were incredible during this year’s York Literature Festival, will be playing all your favourite Dylan tracks, while Mulholland will be playing classic album Blood On The Tracks in it’s entirety.
- More information and tickets from the Basement website