This was the first time I had been to a gig at the Micklegate Social in York since before Covid and it is still a wonderfully intimate basement venue. It is almost perfect for smaller shows, but I really hope they can sort out the toilet issue, two toilets for the whole venue upstairs and down really isn’t good enough. Anyway, that is enough of a toilet rant, let me get on with telling you about the gig! First up was Rowan, who has been featured on these pages before. This talented troubadour weaves some great tales in his 21st Century folk-style songs. “Skeldergate” is epic, contemporary, and topical (in a York sense for the latter). While many of Rowan’s tunes have somewhat dark themes, “Once A Rock Star” proves that he can write stuff that is a bit lighter, although even here there are some dark elements, but this was a great song with a hint of Jonathan Richman behind it. Tom Gulliver was next and he has a great collection of songs. “Place Of Peace” was damned good indeed. At times Tom’s vocal phrasings reminded me of Elton John, Mark Everett a.k.a Mr. E, and even Marc Almond. Everyone one of those inflections fitted perfectly with his well-played maniacal acoustic guitar playing. My highlight from his short set was probably “Cemetry Song” which I thought was sublime.
Next on stage, was Marnie Glum who says in her socials that she writes “sad songs for sad saps”, which I think is a little self-deprecating. She does write some sad songs, but for me, they work for everyone on many emotional levels, not just for sad saps. Marnie’s voice has the quality of a 21st-century Joni Mitchell in her phrasing and a hint of jazz in her styling, particularly on the new songs. She tells kitchen sink dramas and heartfelt soap opera tales with her infectious tunes. She is a Clifford T Ward for our troubled times. “Polaroid Ghosts” is gorgeous, heartfelt, and soul-baring. If you love great music then you need Marnie Glum in your life!
Finally, it was the turn of headliners Everything After Midnight to take centre stage. Their opening song showed the depth of musical quality they now have as a band. It was largely acoustic and fucking beautiful as it built to a fabulous 1970s rock-styled crescendo. The wah-wah style guitar licks were ace. The way Everything After Midnight have grown in confidence, skill, and stature since I first saw them a mere 15 months ago is incredible. Tonight is the fifth time I have seen them live. They possess a great maturity of thought and attitude that belies their age and adds to the compelling complexity of their rather wonderful tunes. I really loved “Sale Sign” with its mostly spoken word vocal, an awesome track. The band was joined on stage by two of the support acts for “Still Sleeping”, Marnie Glum and Tom Gulliver. The latter of whom produced the first Everything After Midnight EP. The final song of the evening was a cover of Razorlight’s 2006 UK number one “America”. It was a chilled take of Razorlight’s greatest tune. Some might say the only decent tune Razorlight ever did! But enough of Johnny Borrell’s boys, Everything After Midnight played a perfect set for such an intimate venue, another mark of a great band.
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