This was originally planned, with a slightly different lineup, as Shezza’s Leaving Do. Shezza is of course Chris Sherrington who has decided to move on to different pastures after being at the rather wonderful Fulford Arms for quite a few years. And like many of us, Covid caught up with Chris so he was unable to be there for his leaving do! I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery. Emerson, Lake and Palmer once said “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends” (“Karn Evil 9” from the 1973 album ‘Brain Salad Surgery). Maybe the show that never ends will be Shezza’s Leaving Do. If it is I am sure it will be an absolute blast! A big shout out to Aron Murray of Vexed Music Photography for all the excellent pictures below.
Unfortunately, Luke Saxton had to pull out, so I hope you are better soon sir! First on stage was Rowan. This bloke does folk with a punk attitude. His songs are full of anger, sadness, and also fun, even though some of those tunes are incredibly short. He makes his acoustic guitar talk and the way he attacks it gives it a real percussive element too. “Scrap Heap Man”, now that is a song! Following Rowan was singer-songwriter Amy May Ellis, who I first saw at the York City Screen Basement back in 2016. I said this about her nearly six years ago, “She is a great talent with a haunting and siren-like voice which weaves the words of her songs with a soaring grace.” that comment remains true. Musically she writes and performs 21st Century ethereal folk music with one foot in the long history of English folk storytellers. Amy has a gorgeous voice that reminded me of Laura Kindelan and on some occasions, her vocal phrasings were reminiscent of Bjork. She also has a great style of banter with her audience too. Why did I wait nearly six years before seeing the immensely talented Amy May Ellis again? I don’t plan on leaving it to 2027 for my next live show from her!
Next was Seattle On the Mantle, this was the second time I have seen them. The first being in November last year when they were supporting Seagoth. Back then they were a four-piece but they seem to have lost a couple of band members since then as they appeared here as a two-piece. It definitely sounds like the split with the most recent bass player was somewhat acrimonious, but I won’t dwell on that, this is a gig review, not a gossip column right? The two members left played an absolute blinder of a set. This is a band quite like no other, although, that said, I did detect some small pockets of influence from the Libertines and the Velvet Underground. The only song from their drunkenly planned concept album (how prog it would be to make a one-song concept album?) was a musical highlight for me. Another highlight was perhaps having an ace drummer stood up behind an economical drum set which he played like a sticksman possessed while dressed as a character from a Dickens novel. Great songs from a truly entertaining band, a Seattle On The Mantle album, concept or not, is needed methinks!
In a recent review, I described tonight’s headliners Trueman and the Indoor League as a Pound Shop E-Street Band. When I first wrote that my wife said “you can’t say that, it’s mean”. I replied that I meant it in a good way and thankfully that is the way the band took it, something I discovered after speaking to a few of them. Anyway, after a stupendous set, it is fair to say that they are definitely more E-Street than Pulp. They are evolving into a band that puts on more of a full-on entertaining review than just a gig. “Flares” and “Frivolous Things” were my top picks from tonight’s show, but it was a hard choice indeed. Trueman is a veritable cultural commentator through his songs which are in most cases astute observations of ordinary life. I believe that this band has the potential to outgrow intimate grassroots venues and ultimately move up to Arenas. So in case that happens, and I hope it does, then you need to get out and see Trueman and the Indoor League at wonderful places like the Fulford Arms while you still can. I am really hoping for an album from this lot soon. One final question, if the band ever graduates to playing stadiums will they have to rename themselves Trueman and the Outdoor League?
All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by Aron Murray, Head Honcho of Vexed Music Photography. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.
If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;
Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.