A power pop road trip from Oxford to Brooklyn: The Dreaming Spires

Since The Dreaming Spires wear their influences so proudly on their collective sleeves, it seems apt to set a review of their debut offering within the context of a brief history of the genre they fit most snugly into. The Spires are UK-born, Americana-tinged, “power pop”. So the choice of ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ as the title-track of their debut album is about more than just a catchy title, it’s a declaration of musical fellowship. The opening track has referenced Gram Parsons before the music’s even started, and you don’t have to wait long before The Byrds are name-checked. But the point isn’t just the tip of a cowboy hat to our cousins across the pond, it’s a reference to just how intertwined we are musically.

Take power pop for example: as with many things, it began with The Beatles. Three minute melody-driven pop songs about young love formed the blueprint, with catchy guitar riffs pushed to the fore alongside vocal harmonies. The power was injected by a dose of the aggression and energy of mods like The Who and The Kinks. Keith Moon’s wild drums and Pete Townsend’s power chords were a formative influence and you’ll even hear it said that Townsend coined the phrase. So it’s no coincidence the first true American power pop bands like The Raspberries cropped up shortly after the British Invasion and the mod scene in the UK. They even dressed like those British bands. But they were going against the grain of the heavier rock ascendant at the time, so they had an uphill struggle on their hands…

Bringing us to the band most famously associated with the term “power pop”. Big Star has been called the second biggest cult band in the world after the Velvets, and while that’s open to debate, they were certainly one of the most ill-fated. Formed in 1971, marketing and distribution problems with their label, soul-based Stax records, meant their output went largely unnoticed by the public and resulting tensions (aka – outright brawls) ended their time together after just two years. Led by the song-writing duo of Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, Big Star were more than just power pop, but they were obviously influenced by the genre and subsequently influenced it heavily themselves, to the point where they’re now synonymous with the term. Bell struggled with depression after leaving the band and died in a car crash in 1978 at the tragic and infamous age of 27. But not before he crafted two of the most painful but beautiful records ever etched in vinyl – “You and Your Sister” and “I Am the Cosmos” – both later covered to haunting effect by This Mortal Coil.

The Spires’ love for Big Star is obvious – they host a monthly night, “Covered in Glory”, at The Betsey Trotwood in Clerkenwell, where they invite friends to help them play covers from a legendary artist, and the opening night was dedicated to Big Star (The Byrds and Gram Parsons, The Beatles and The Band have also been honoured), but listening to “The Strength of Strings” specifically brings Bell’s solo work vividly to mind. It’s a slow-burning, ever-building crescendo and an ode to the paradoxical power of melancholic music to lift the spirits that would feel perfectly at home on Bell’s posthumous album, “I Am the Cosmos”.

Power pop gained popularity as the 70’s progressed, with mostly US acts defining the sound. Compression in the electronics was added, making the sound even punchier, and keyboards began to appear. Early Tom Petty, some Todd Rundgren, Blue Ash, Flamin’ Groovies, Cheap Trick, etc., built the path to power pop’s moment of glory in the late 70s when, spurred on by punk and new wave, a string of classic signals marked the genre’s brief ascendance on both sides of the Atlantic.

Coming out of pub-rock and punk in the UK, The Only Ones’ 1978 single, “Another Girl, Another Planet”, wasn’t a hit at the time, but remains one of power pop’s best-loved tracks. That same year UK punk produced two other classics, which, if you squint at some critics’ narrow definitions enough, you can easily call power pop: The Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love” and The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks”. Then, Nick Lowe, a figure variously associated with pub rock, punk, new wave and power pop, had a hit on both sides of the pond in 1979 with “Cruel to Be Kind”. Meanwhile New York new wave had produced the chimeric Blondie, who were pulling in influences from all over the shop, but while there’s some on “Parallel Lines”, “Dreaming”, the first single from “Eat to The Beat”, was pure power pop and did better over here than it did at home, reaching the heady heights of No 2 in the UK charts. The seeds of power pop’s decline had already been sown though, by what is probably the quintessential power pop single. The Knack’s “My Sharona”, was No 1 in the US and so ubiquitous on US radio that there was a backlash against the band which spread to the whole genre and, despite fine efforts from bands like The Romantics and The dBs, by the mid-80s power pop as we know it had faded from sight…

Gone but not forgotten. Around this time Big Star’s real impact began to surface, with bands like REM, The Replacements, etc., citing them as a seminal influence. The more nuanced and complex brand of power pop enshrined in the band’s output pointed the way towards the alternative rock of the 80s and 90s and songs like The LA’s “There She Goes” and Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” and bands like Gin Blossoms and The Posies, showed that power pop, if not exactly experiencing a revival, was not exactly dead either. It was this landscape that birthed one of the other cornerstones of The Dreaming Spires’ inspiration. Teenage Fanclub’s 1991 album “Bandwagonesque” drew on both The Byrds and Big Star and fused power pop with indie rock and shoegaze to reinvent it and the band are name checked in the same breath as The Byrds in the opening track of the album.

The major US influence on the development of power pop was the jangle-folk-rock of The Byrds, who were themselves inspired by The Beatles, both of whom were big influences on Big Star, all of whom are loved by The Spires. So there really is no better word than “intertwined” and it’s this reciprocal relationship that ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ celebrates. The band’s love of the music that inspired them shines through, and when they sing: “You said: ‘you know this is the real show,’ Singing Sin City in sweet, ragged harmonies,” the emphasis is on the ragged, rather than the sweet, but you feel that’s intended. It’s a genuine love of heartfelt pop music and it lends the whole album an earnest, authentic, joyous quality that it’s hard not to be affected by – I defy anyone to listen to “Everything All the Time” without an ear-to-ear grin. Yet, on closer inspection, hearing the line: “Walking down the same streets, wondering if it’s me or the city that’s changed…” you realise it’s melancholic, dwelling on the inevitability of human dissatisfaction, a la “I Can’t Get No…” or Steve Earle’s “I Ain’t Ever Satisfied”. And that’s as good a definition of power pop as any: joyful sounding melancholy designed for singing your heart out to – to lift your spirits and exorcise life’s inevitable pains.

The album falters occasionally, usually in its slower moments (“Woman That You Are” for instance), but the rest is a joy to listen to and capable of transporting you to other places and times (admittedly mostly dusty 60s/70s America but that’s no bad thing). “Not Every Song from the Sixties Is a Classic”, recorded with friends from Two Fingers of Firewater, is an absolute gem which grows and grows,and the title track grooves along on an insistent bass riff, delivering their mission statement: “…we do it cos we must cos we need this the most, & we can’t give up, no we won’t give up the ghost, we’ve got a message to deliver to the people back home, oh carry me, carry me, carry me on.”

Amen to that.

Story by Simon Makin, for Notes from Mt Pleasant.  Simon can be found on Twitter (@SimonMakin) or http://simonmakin.me.uk/

The Dreaming Spires – Brothers in Brooklyn is out now on Clubhouse Records. http://www.clubhouserecords.co.uk

The band is currently on tour with Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou and Danny George Wilson – hitting London Sunday 16 September at The Birkbeck, Leyton. For all dates, check their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thedreamingspires

Morgan O’Kane | Interview & ticket competition

Photo credit: Stefan Jeremiah

Morgan O’Kane is back this week, bringing his own brand of raucous Appalachian music to London, on the last leg of a month-long European tour.  If you haven’t seen him play before, here’s your chance to max your fun this Thursday night by winning tickets to see him and his touring band, upstairs at The Garage, Islington.  We have 2 pairs of tickets to give away, email us the answer to the following question by midday (GMT) Wed 27th June and we’ll draw winners out of a hat.

What is the name of Morgan O’Kane’s first album?

  • Your attention-grabbing delivery and sea-shanty type hollerin’ must come from your years of busking: in New York, on the subway, in parks, around the US and subsequently around the world.  What started you off and how have you developed over the years?

It started as way to practice and make a bit of bread, but the more time I spent down there the more people I met and more I noticed how it was appreciated. I fell in love with it and since it’s brought me beautiful things and relationships.

  • Are you still busking or have you put that behind you now?

I busk as much as I can, I’ll never stop and it remains my main source of income.

  • Have you had any mentors that have inspired you along the way?

I’ve been lucky to be very close to all my mentors, Bobby St Ours (of the Hackensaw Boys, also from Charlottesville, VA – Ed) made me pick up the banjo, Zake Orion showed me the ropes and Phillip Roebuck put the door in front of me and kicked me out.
My band are my biggest mentors, Zeke Healey (Dobro), Ferd Moyse the IV (Fiddle – also of the Hackensaw boys) , Liam Crill, Leyla McCalla on Cello (also plays with Carolina Chocolate Drops), and Jr continue to blow my mind every time I hit the street or stage with them.

  • Though you’re originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, you now live in Brooklyn in an old church.  How does your kind of music go down in NY?

In NYC you have people from damn near every walk of life and at the end of the day everyone wants to feel good and have a good time. Music is the quickest road to both and my music seems to do the trick.

  • We hear you’re planning a concert in the church in the near future and you’re planning on incorporating the bells, what’s that about?

Zeke and I are fixing up some church bells in my new home. A beautiful old church in Bushwick that’s become a venue for the next few months. I’ve never played church bells but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  Phillip Roebuck will be playing the pump organ as well and Veveritsi Brass Band is on board. It’s gonna be a good one!

  • Could you tell us a bit about your 2nd album Pendulum, which came out last year, who did you work with on it?

Billy Cambion “Vic Thrill” is one of my closest friends and I recorded both records in his studio. The first “Nine Lives” I did in a bunch of solo one takes to have something to sell on the street, and when I had Zeke, Ferd, and Leyla jump on a few songs this beautiful sound came out. Something none of us had really heard before. So Pendulum was to make a full record of that sound and Billy helped to produce and watch over the project.

  • Are you working on another one this year?

The plan is to get Billy in the church with his gear and record at least half the next album there while we have the space. We’ll start in September and work through the fall. Jr’s been playing a lot more with us and his horn will be very prominent on the next one.  I love what he brings to my music.

  • Though you’re now living in Brooklyn, you still keep issues affecting your Appalachian roots close to your heart.  You have recently contributed music to a film about mountaintop removal that portrays how it has affected local people’s histories and communities.  Could you tell us about the documentary and about the score you contributed?

I met Jordan Freeman three summers ago at the Marsh Fork protest on Coal River. He had been documenting the actions of the locals, miners, and protesters for years and when he asked me to put music to this, I was honored.

  • What other music are you listening to at the moment?

Iswegh Attay by Tinariwen
Anywhere on this road by Lhasa de Sela
Carrick Bend by Phillip Roebuck
Depression Blues by Sam Doors
Hell Ball Rolls by Vic Thrill
54 46 by Toots
Tighten up by Archy Drell and the Drells
The Seeker by the Who
Cocec na pocec by Veveritse Brass Band
Imidiwan Winakalin by Tinariwen
Out of nowhere by Phillip Roebuck
Come on up to the House by Tom Waits
Box of Pine by the Hackensaw Boys

Or listen to a selection of those tunes on this Spotify playlist. Morgan O’Kane – June 2012

Here’s a nicely shot film we found of Morgan busking, by Tom Levin:

Morgan O’Kane from Tom Levin on Vimeo.

Competition Time | Win Howe Gelb tickets

Howe Gelb plays the Village Underground, London this Thursday 31st May, and we have two free tickets to give away to one lucky winner.

The first person to reply to the following question by emailing us wins the tickets. Ready…go!:

  • What was the name of Giant Sand’s 1985 debut album?

From VU website: Legendary Giant Sand founder Howe Gelb – whose newest band incarnation has got so large that he’s named it Giant Giant Sand – is coming to Village Underground.

In our intimate confines he’ll be delivering a stripped down solo performance of his new album, Tuscon. Howe assembled a ten strong group of collaborators (or cast if you will) for the album which is due to be released on June 11th, 2012 on Fire Records.

The idea was to make a country rock opera, a vision that has followed Howe for decades. Taking place in the town of Tucson, the story revolves around a “semi grizzled man with overt boyish naïveté” who sets off to escape the trappings of hometown life and embarks on a life-changing road trip; eschewing all his worldly goods and leaving behind his girlfriend, encountering jail at the Mexican border, finding new love at a train station saloon, all while ‘the end of the world’ provides the landscape game changer.

The album is a dusty work of art, conjuring images of the all knowing desert and a confused river inside the cacti-strewn sound scape.

And Gelb is coming to London to tell his Tuscon tale man-to-man.


*Competition is now closed* 3pm (GMT) 30th May 2012

Thanks for all your entries!

The lucky winner is: Julia Grant


With thanks to another reader who wrote in we’ll make it a bit fairer for future competitions and put a time deadline on it rather than ‘first to reply’ for people who are not at their computers all day and we’ll draw the winner out of a hat.

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Films and exclusive album alert

Photo: Kathy Magee

Hurray for the Riff Raff signed to Loose records last March 2011 and toured in the UK last May, you may have caught one of their shows, or heard their live session on Huey Morgan’s radio show on BBC 6 music (he’s a big fan).  If you did, you will not have forgotten Alynda Lee’s rich, emotive, wise-beyond-her-years voice.

Alynda ran away from home in the Bronx aged 17 and hopped freight trains from New York, winding her way down to Louisiana.  Settled in New Orleans, she works with a changing group of musicians.  When she visited the UK last year she was accompanied by Yosi Pearlstein on fiddle. We saw them upstairs at the Queens Head, Islington for the first night of their tour, at the end of the night when Alynda sang about the murder of her friend Sali down in Mexico, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Hurray for the Riff Raff are in the process of recording and releasing their next album ‘Look out Moma’ and have been running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release in the States.  The album will be released later here in the UK on Loose records. The campaign only runs for 4 more days and to date they have already hit 135% of their target.

Why are we alerting you to this when they’ve already exceeded their target?  Well, as part of their campaign they are offering an exclusive covers album that we would highly recommend you sign up for, you just need to pledge $23.  Go and pledge before you miss your chance, it will not be available anywhere else.

The track listing for the covers album is

1. Delta Momma Blues (Townes Van Zandt)

2. Fine and Mellow (Billie Holiday/Big Bill Broonzy melody)

3. My Morphine (Gillian Welch)

4. Black Jack Davey (Carter Family)

5. Western Cowboy (LeadBelly arranged by Alynda lee Segarra)

6. Jealous Guy (John Lennon)

7. Just A Heart (James Hand)

8. Angel Ballad (Alynda lee Segarra adapted from Gillian Welch Melody)

9. Cuckoo (Alynda lee Segarra)

10. People Talkin’ (Lucinda Williams)

11. River (Joni Mitchell)

12. I’m Goin’ Away (Elizabeth Cotten)

13. Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams Sr.)

14. Needin’ Time (Spiritual Traditional)

We filmed a beautiful session with Alynda Lee and Yosi Pearlstein in a North London kitchen on a particularly rainy May morning.  Here they cover Lucinda William’s ‘People Talkin’ which will be released on the covers album.  You can also see our other films from the same session, performing the title track from their new album Look Out Moma and Slow Walk off their last album.

We’ll alert you when they’re back on tour in the UK, there’s a plan for them to come back this autumn.  In the meantime, enjoy this, and sign up for their covers album.

The Deep Dark Woods | Interview, Film & Gig Alert

Juno-nominated, Canadian folk rockers Deep Dark Woods are currently in the UK as part of their first European tour, with two London dates which we would reoommend you to attend, one tonight 21st February at the Lexington, Islington and another tomorrow, south of the river at the Windmill, Brixton with good friends and fans of theirs, The Arlenes in support.

We caught up with them last October in Nashville at the Americana Music Conference and Festival on the night of their album  worldwide release date at 3rd & Lindsley and briefly interviewed lead singer Ryan Boldt, drummer Lucas Goetz and organist Geoff Hilhorst backstage before the show. As with New Country Rehab we had seen them play to a packed crowd at the Basement and been in their thrall along with the rest of the crowd.  Since we last saw them they have continued to gain more accolades, having been nominated for a Juno for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year 2012.

NfMP: How has your experience in Nashville been, have you enjoyed it? Is it your first time at the conference?

Ryan Boldt: Yes, it’s always great, from the BBQs to the live music.  We’ve been here about, say twice before? Something like that. We’ve always had fun, but this is the funnest of all the times, like right now.  We’re having a blast.

You’re here promoting your new album?

Ryan Boldt: Yes, it’s called ‘The Place I Left Behind’, it’s out on the Sugar Hill label, comes out tomorrow 18th October (2011) on worldwide release, it released in Canada about a month and a half ago.

What can you tell us about the album?

Lucas Goetz: It’s our fourth album, we recorded it in Halifax Nova Scotia on the East coast of Canada.  The album was self-produced and was the first time we’ve worked with Geoffrey here, who plays keyboards; the organ and the piano and Mellotron, electric pianos…

Geoff Hilhorst: And grand piano, on that record. It was such a great experience to produce it ourselves.  Yeah, we had a lot of fun.

Ryan Boldt:  It was the start of the hockey season

Geoff Hillhorst: The Leafs were doing good.

Ryan Boldt: And the Oilers won their first game.  It was really great! They lost pretty much every one after that though.

Geoff Hillhorst: So did the Leafs.  It was great, our teams were winning when we were recording the record which plays a role in the fantastic memories we have of that time.

Ryan Boldt: We stayed in a bed & breakfast, the people in the B&B were really nice to us, if a little crazy.

Geoff Hillhorst: In a fun way, not like ‘oh my god I’m afraid to go to sleep’

Lucas Goetz: We were there for about 2 weeks, and recorded the album, and that was that, we all flew back home.

So you self-produced your album?

Geoff Hillhorst:  Yeah all five of us.  We had a great recording engineer Darren Van Niekerk, the studio was called The Sonic Temple.  We happened upon the studio cause we were on the road and we had to record this song for the CBC Song Quest, and had to record it while we were on the road, so our bass player Chris Mason found this studio so we went in, it was such a fantastic room and Darren was just an awesome engineer, willing to go the extra mile in just about every aspect of the process.  So we went back there to record the full length record there because of that. He gave us some great input.

Lucas Goetz: He’s also good at interpreting our ways of describing our ideas, cause we don’t really know how to speak the engineers’ speak.

Geoff Hillhorst: Yeah, we’d just make motions and sounds, like: Woooongh wooongh, you know? Woooongh (laughs) and Darren would say ‘yeah I TOTALLY know what you mean, we’ll do that’.  And then he does it.

Ryan Boldt: It’s kind of like James Brown in the studio, he would do all sorts of things.

Geoff Hillhorst: Hand signals? Yeah, or like Bob Dylan.  He’d rehearse his band super hard and then the band’s all ready to go and then Bob Dylan will throw out a song they never ever played before.  It keeps them on their toes.  I don’t know where I’m going with that…

So who’s the primary song writer?

Lucas Goetz points to Ryan: This guy (Ryan shrugs), and Chris Mason writes some songs too, and our road manager and friend Evan Dunlop wrote a song as well that’s on the album.

How long had you been playing the songs live before you recorded them?

Ryan Boldt: We’d been playing three of them for about 2 years, then learnt three of them just before we went in, maybe played them once or twice on the road.

Geoff Hillhorst: I’m surprised we didn’t do more.  I like it that way though, it’s nice to learn them and then record them. It’s neat how certain songs will change and develop over time as well.  You learn a song in the rehearsal room and you record it and you think it’s good, we recorded a coupla the rehearsals when the songs were brand new from this record and the difference between them then and now is from playing live, rather than going over and over them in a rehearsal situation.  They kind of happen live and it’s pretty cool that way for sure…and then they change up even more in the studio.

Ryan Boldt: And now they’re changing even more on the road.  You always want to kinda change them a little, otherwise it gets too boring.

Your performances are particularly engaging, do you think that crosses over into your recordings?

Ryan Boldt: Recording and playing live, yeah, they’re completely different.  I love recording, cause sometimes, at certain live shows, you can’t sing with emotion cause there’s one person in the audience that just doesn’t care or something, whereas in the studio you can really, you know, sing it really hard if you get the mood right in the room.  It just depends on the live show, when there’s loads of people it’s wicked, awesome.  Like at the Basement the other night!

Geoff Hillhorst: When you have everyone’s attention in the room, when something like that happens, from the musical and the lyrical perspective, the lyrics that Ryan writes you really need to pay attention to the whole dynamic, and if we know that people are doing that and listening to what Ryan is singing about that becomes just as powerful for us as it would for anyone in the audience as well.

Check out our website to find out more about us.  There’s a free single on there from our record, it’s called West Side Street and we’ll be over in the UK in the Spring of 2012, so come see us.

Don’t miss Deep Dark Woods: there are two London dates to choose from so there should be no excuse.

After the 3rd & Lindsley show Ryan came outside, across the street and performed a solo version of Virgina for us from the album.

You can also watch this beautifully filmed version of Two Time Loser, recorded by The Neighbor’s Dog, a channel that lovingly records house gigs in Canada with beautiful production values.  Well worth checking out their channel.

Stay tuned as we’ve also got The Deep Dark Woods in for a special recorded studio session in Reservoir Studios which we’ll be putting up soon.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops | Gig Review Cecil Sharpe House

Photo credit: Crackerfarm

23rd January 2012

Since the sad departure of Amy Winehouse, Camden Town has been lacking in award winners. But tonight that’s all changed as Cecil Sharp House strikes a folk-coup, attracting last year’s Grammy winners for Best Traditional Folk Act, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, to its historic stage.

With a refreshed line-up following Justin Robinson’s departure, the ‘Drops’ are now a four strong tour de force. And with a repertoire of American tunes that draws from the 30s – the 1830s – through to modern pop, they have a seriously varied archive from which to select the best musical tricks and turns to captivate an audience.

Rhiannon Giddens, founding member and co-host is perhaps their biggest star. A classically trained singer, she turns her chops to blues, cabaret and modern R&B styles. While the funky chart hit, Hit ‘Em Up Style has long been a crowd favourite, a welcome surprise is a Gaelic language lament backed just by calm strokes of cello and a solitary drum, putting any Transatlantic Session to shame.

Her co-host Dom Flemons has a penchant for minstrel style banjo and quirky ragtime songs and blues. Tracks such as Ben Curry’s Boodle De Bum Bum and Charlie Jackson’s You’re Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine are veritable rarities. And when he flips his guitar, improvises scat vocals, and frenetically clacks his pair of ‘bones’ (wooden blocks played like the spoons), he can be a one-man spectacle to boot.

But Rhainnon and Dom are at their most fabulous when alongside their new band members, Hubby and Layla. Whether they raise a ruckus through sets of old-time dance tunes like Old Cat Died / Brown’s Dream or Was You Ever in Quebec / Candy Girl, or share more contemplative, mellow numbers like Leaving Eden, the title track of their forthcoming CD, the Chocolate Drops put on an outstanding show. Award-winning in fact. They sure don’t hand out those Grammy’s for nothing.

Katzenjammer | Film, interview & gig alert

Katzenjammer were in town last summer to play their first London gig at the Water Rats. We arranged to interview them and in the course of researching for it discovered that some friends from one of our own favourite bands, ahab had toured with them and were also on their way over to the gig. After a few calls to arrange it, we decided to surprise Katzenjammer with our guest interviewer, Cal Adamson, singer, songwriter, 12 string guitarist and bass player with ahab. So we set up for filming and kept Cal hidden away until the right moment.

Norwegian all-girl folk pop band Katzenjammer first started drawing attention in the UK with festival gigs, playing both Glastonbury and Bestival and wooing crowds with their theatrical, energetic and cabaret-like performances. Band members Anne Marit Bergheim, Marianne Sveen, Solveig Heilo and Turid Jørgensen regularly swap instruments on stage and, dressed up in wigs and costumes, look almost cartoon-like. Their music is a mix of pop, folk, Balkan, with some country thrown in. They cite influences ranging from PJ Harvey, Marvin Gaye, Hank WIlliams, Nick Drake, Gillian Welch. Their appeal seems to span musical tastes. even garnering a following from people you would never expect to like them, such are their charms. They’re like next generation Spice Girls who can play their own instruments (25 between them) and have adoring fans young and old (nearly 60,000 on facebook alone) which they foster close connections with, earning them a loyal following.

Make up your own mind what you think of them. Katzenjammer are back in London, playing the Borderline on Monday 6th February, though if the Water Rats gig last summer was anything to go by it will sell out and guarantees to be packed. After this interview the girls went straight on stage minutes later to a room so packed we couldn’t even get in to see the gig. If you can’t make this gig, they’ll be back in March, playing at the Scala.

Watch our full interview or skip to the 13:13 to see them singing acapella. The interview was filmed backstage with a short interruption as the support act came off stage. We’d also recommend watching some of their live performances on YouTube.

If you’d like to see more of Cal Adamson and ahab, they are also now currently on tour (see website) after completing a very successful recent tour supporting Bellowhead. You can also read our full article on them or watch the film we made backstage at the Lexington last year, with Cal causing a ruckus in the green room.


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