Posts tagged ‘Music’

New Country Rehab | Film, Interview and London gig alert

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Hailing from Canada, each of them accomplished session musicians, New Country Rehab are ‘the guys everyone wants in their band, in a band’ (Tom Power | CBC).  They released their debut album last January 2011, carrying a mix of original material and imaginatively reworked covers of Hank Williams (Sr) and Bruce Springsteen.

I came across them in Nashville at the Americana Music Festival in October 2011.  I had missed their first show at the Basement, but the buzz they created on the back of that show meant I wasn’t going to miss the chance to see them play a few days later at the Rutledge.

Filming and interviewing a band on the hoof just before a show can often be a tense experience, finding a location, filming and conducting an interview with a very limited window.  Not with these guys.  Their dynamism and co-operativeness helped produce these films.  Set up outside the Rutledge on the street (with passing traffic thrown in the mix) the first film is a performance especially for us, along with an exclusive interview in the back of their tour bus and a film of their fantastic show-opener, a cover of Springsteen’s State Trooper.

They’re in the UK this week, in Glasgow for Celtic Connections opening for CW Stoneking today, 26th January 2012.  Then playing their first London gig at The Wilmington on Monday 3oth January, free entry.  Make sure you catch them while they’re here.

Danny Schmidt | Film

We filmed Danny Schmidt earlier this year when the sun was shining down on Regent’s Park and the Regent’s canal.  He was in London as part of his UK tour, playing at the Green Note cafe in Camden. For the full interview with him that we did at the time you can skip here, or watch below for a little bit of sunshine and blue skies.

Danny & The Champs Borderline Gig | Poster competition & Discounted tickets

This Wednesday 8th June, Danny & The Champions of the World are back in London for a headline show at the Borderline.

We’ve got 10 discounted tickets available for Notes for Mount Pleasant readers which gets you entry for 6 pounds (instead of 8), that means an extra beer at the bar.  First 10 to email us go on the NfMP discount list on the door.

We also have a signed screen print of their poster, designed by the fantastic Scarlett Rickard, from an original photo by Tommy Sheehan. Get your hands on one by answering the following question:

In Danny & the Champs new song “Every Beat of my Heart”, what animal is “always the one bopping around”.  Answers by email please with *Champs Poster* as the subject.  Good luck!

And here’s something to whet your appetite that we filmed in Cheltnam back in April on record store day.

We’ll see you at the gig!

Josh T Pearson | Live at the Union Chapel

If you’ve not yet stumbled upon Josh T Pearson’s new album, Last of the Country Gentlemen, then read this excellent review by Alaistair Mackay in Uncut and see if it sways you.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste.  It is at times uncomfortable listening.  You’re right in there with him, as he whispers and croons poetic but raw, unashamed and often cruel confessions of his unravelling relationship.  As someone at NfMP said after full submersion in the album: I feel like I know him more intimately than I know my closest friend. It’s not always pretty, but it’s always beautiful. After listening to the album on repeat for a week I took to self-medicating with Onda Vaga. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasure to lose yourself in there, but nice to be able to bring yourself back.

Three weeks after playing to a sold out Slaughtered Lamb (~150 capacity), Josh was back in London playing to a sold out Union Chapel (~800).  Pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran opened the show, delivering a note-perfect performance of cinematic arrangements. The ideal support for Pearson; creating a meditative and reflective space for what was to come.  Dustin toured with JTP’s previous band ‘Lift to Experience’ and later in the show Josh credited him as being one of his heroes.

JTP wandered onto the stage, deliberating with the audience: “Jacket on or off?”  Jacket off.  He’d requested little or no light on him during the sound check.  Once the sun had set he asked: “Can you see me? I wasn’t sure about the lights cause it was daytime when we set it up. S’alright? Cause I’m reaaally good looking” (said with a smile).  “It’s true!  I totally forgot to shave this morning”. Some more jokes followed, about how he’d planned to play from the pulpit and rise up from behind it just as Dustin finished his support.  He’s naturally funny and endearing, but you sense his sharpness, he’s no fool.

The King is Dead” he bellowed and he passed his hand over his face saying, “serious face, serious chords” and with that silence fell, as he launched straight into ‘I Ain’t Your Saviour or Your Christ’, which lasted over twelve minutes and managed to make you feel like it’s just you and him in the chapel in the dark.  It felt almost dangerous.  There was total silence apart from the irritating click from photographers who buzzed around the front of the stage. Not appropriate on this occasion – even though they were doing “the Lord’s work”, as JTP said. Though they did get some good shots. Union Chapel staff said they have never seen an audience so entranced… and silent.

He played most of his set unaccompanied, but for a couple of songs (‘Country Dumb’ and ‘Woman When I’ve Raised Hell’) he was joined by strings (not his idea, but because someone thought it needed to be grander for the Union Chapel) and Dustin on piano. He admits, and it seems, they were slightly unrehearsed.

In between songs he told more jokes: “What do you call a musician that just split up with his girlfriend?  Homeless.”

“Mickey Mouse is on a charge for killing Minnie.  The judge says – ok Mickey, so after all these years of love and devotion, you’re telling me you killed Minnie cause she was crazy?  And Mickey says: I didn’t say she was crazy, I said she was f*cking Goofy!”                   And so on. Throughout the night he continues to pepper his dialogue with “the King is Dead“.

Here’s his second song: ‘Woman When I Raise Hell You’re Going to Know It’:

And third: ‘Sorry with a Song’, that has a distinctly Buckley-esque (Jeff) feel.  Though as another friend put it; he makes ‘Grace’ look like Justin Bieber.

By the end of his encore we were wrecked (but exhilarated)… and understandably, he was too – exhausted from touring these songs.  They’re not easy to listen to and, one imagines, even harder to perform.  He invited the crowd along to the after-show drinks at the Buffalo Bar.  “Password?” he says –  “The King is Dead”.

The password did actually work.

Josh T Pearson returns to London 26th November to play the Barbican.  We suggest you get your tickets now before they sell out.

Film | Ange Boxall

We were delighted to welcome back our friends, lovely Tasmanian devils Ange Boxall and husband Mike, who were in London for a fleeting visit last week before continuing their grand tour.  They’ve spent the last few months touring the US with Ange performing all over the country.  Her stamina is unparalleled.

We held on to her long enough in between gigs and meetings to shoot some film on the old railway track that runs from Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill, if you’ve never walked it, you should; it’s a beautiful little hidden treasure, perfect for these sunny days.  The acoustics are great under those tunnels,  in spite of passing joggers and cyclists, and we got lucky with the last rays of setting sun, not that she needed any added radiance.

Ange’s next UK date is playing mini-fest Frankstock on the 23rd July 2011, which we’re looking forward to. If you fancy a day in Dorset’s rolling hills and a damn fine barn party, hog roast and camp-fire combo then go ahead and book your tickets.  We’ll put more info up about it nearer the time, once the full line-up is announced.

Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou | Film & Tour news

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The ever-touring, multi-talented, thoroughly productive, cottage industry that is Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou are hatching another tour plan for June 2011 to see them on their way to Glastonbury Festival.  This time they’ll be trading their hard-working camper van, Namgyal, for a canal boat and playing pubs along the canal at the locations below. They’re joined by original line up from their Village Hall tour in 2010: Jack Day, Benjamin Folke Thomas, and the very welcomed, safe return of Pepe Belmonte..  Join them for some canal-side entertainment along the way, while the sun shines.

Prior to setting off on their canal tour they’ll be doing a London show at the Lexington on June 16th in case you can’t make the others.

Fri 17 Newbury The Lock Stock and Barrel
Sat 18 Kintbury The Blue Ball
Sun 19 Hungerford The Railway Tavern
Mon 20 Bedwyn The Cross Keys
Tue 21 Pewsey The Crown
Wed 22 Honey Street The Barge Inn
more dates to come...

Their new album ‘Quality First, Last & Forever!’ is released on June 20th on Heavenly Recordings.

We got to film them one breezy, sunny afternoon on a canal boat by Regent’s Park, and celebrated Hannah’s birthday with cake and fine wine.  Bon voyage!  Chocks away! (Or whatever the nautical equivalent is).

We also recommend checking this version out; their very own film of the same song with added jangles, balloons and boxing gloves.

James Walbourne

Despite his punishing workload as one of the world’s most in-demand guitarists, the seemingly ubiquitous James Walbourne invited Notes from Mt Pleasant up to his house in North London’s hills for a chance to catch up with him and shoot some film.

As we settle down in his kitchen with twilight views of London he explains he’s been busy the past few days rehearsing with Edwyn Collins, preparing for a world tour in February & March.  This kicks off with a gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 16th February, followed by dates across Europe, Japan and the US.

In a few hours hours he’ll be making the most of some precious downtime by going to see his favourite football team, Arsenal play at Highbury and the following morning at 7:30am he leaves for Dallas to play with The Pretenders at the Super Bowl as part of CMT Crossroads, along with Faith Hill.

He arrives back in London on the 7th February, going straight into a UK tour with Heavenly label-mates Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou and Sea of Bees.

As if this doesn’t sound busy enough for one man to be, he also spent last year touring with the Pretenders playing a double headline tour of Australia and New Zealand with Blondie, recorded and released an album of his own with Jim Keltner, Ivan Neville, and members of the Pogues and still found time to tour with old friend Justin Townes Earle, finishing off on the 29th January with a sold out show at the Union Chapel.

When I mention our blog he says “I tried writing a blog myself but never managed to keep it up, and I gave up after just a few posts”.  Is it any wonder why?

We decide against an interview as neither of us feel like going through the rigmarole, besides, he hates being interviewed, especially, he says, by guitar magazines due to their tendency to fixate on technical and gear-related questions.  He’s never been too fussed about gear, he just loves playing.

He brings in a mandolin and a 12 string and we get set up to film.  I don’t need to tell you the rest. You can see for yourself above.  More films from this session will be loaded up in our video library soon so keep an eye on the site.  James played songs from his new album The Hill.  Cocaine Eyes being the only track really showing off his guitar skills. The rest highlight James as singer-songwriter.  Go listen, or better still, go see him.

James plays another sold out gig in London tonight, 9th February 2011 as part of the Heavenly Records tour at Bush Hall details here.


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