With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Adam French, Sam Griffiths and Crispin Halcrow – The Basement, City Screen, York – Tuesday 26th January 2016 January 27, 2016


I haven’t been to the Basement at City Screen for sometime so it was good to be back. Especially as this was a show recommended by my good mate Simon Pattinson. He has never let me down with those recommendations and tonight certainly maintained his 100% record!

crispin halcrow

First on start was Crispin Halcrow, although he seemed a little nervous at first he finished his set with confidence. I heard something of Teddy Thompson and Seth Lakeman in him. He certainly knows how to write a song, “Charcoal” is beautiful and it is about remembering. Crispin also introduced us to Phoebe the ukulele for a very well performed cover of the Mama’s And Papa’s hit “Dream A Little Dream”. This lad from Kendal is one to watch.

sam griffiths

Next under the stage lights was Sam Griffiths ably supported by Bradley Blackwell (I hope I got that name right). He kicked off with a song that he introduced as being a song about a Bob Dylan album, it is called “Blood On The Tracks“. Dylan got another mention later in the set when Sam suggested that he had ripped off the great Mr Zimmerman with a song called “Shelter Of The Storm”. That ripped off reference was very much tongue in cheek and I think the song is superb and given airplay I would say it has big hit written all over it. Sam’s songs are all well-developed and mature. In particular a song inspired by the David Lynch film ‘Lost Highway‘ called “Camera” which was my favourite from Sam’s set.

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The first two acts were damned good but Adam French took it to another level completely. The likes of James Bay and Hozier are indeed very talented but I think Adam knocks the socks off them. His songs are incredibly well constructed and given how sublime they sound in a solo setting I believe they would be even better with a band. Adam is a multi instrumentalist utilising guitar, keyboard and bass guitar. “Hunter” was accompanied by Mr French on bass guitar and worked so very well. Will Adam French write a classic song? I think he already has at least two in the haunting “Silhouette” and the gorgeous “Ivory”. I have been going to gigs for more than 40 years and this was probably one of the finest small club sets that I have ever seen. Forget about all that X Factor rubbish, if music has a future then it is in the hands of very talented people like Adam French. I urge you to check him out on-line or live when you get the chance. I sense that his days of playing small intimate gigs like this may well be numbered. He will, I am sure, be coming to you on a much bigger stage very soon. I would also like to add that he is a great bloke too having had a few drinks with him after the show along with his Mum and other friends and family.

adam french

Public service announcement! The photos of Crispin, Sam and Bradley were sourced on line and those of Adam were taken on my trusty Nokia phone.

 

Rufus Wainwright – York Barbican Wednesday 21st November 2012 November 22, 2012


Teddy Thompson, Adam Cohen and Rufus Wainwright on the same bill. Could this be the greatest ever offspring of famous musical fathers and mothers show? Yes it could be and it probably was. How do I know? Because I was there at the Barbican in York on Wednesday night.

Teddy Thompson, son of Richard and Linda Thompson took to the stage first armed with just his acoustic guitar. He is a real troubadour with great style, great songs and a superb dry wit. In my opinion an inspired choice to support Rufus. Incidentally Teddy is also a member of Mister Wainwright’s band.

Adams Cohen son of Leonard Cohen is a very talented showman indeed. He has clearly invented the great song writing gene from his Dad. He also did a rather amusing ‘guess whose son I am thread between songs. In fact the between song banter was intelligent and humorous. Especially the Celine Dion and George Michael references. All of this helped him achieve great rapport with and support from the audience. But what cemented that was the songs; his own compositions are truly special and he also interprets his father’s material very well too. Adam’s “I Love You” (I think that may be the title) is a stupendous song that ought to become a classic. I would definitely go and see Mr Cohen Junior again.

Rufus Wainwright, son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle is a true showman with undoubtedly one of the best voices of his generation. I have heard him described as the gayest man on the planet. I’m not sure how you measure that, but he is certainly one of the campest. His stage clothes look like they came from Rupert The Bear’s wardrobe. I have loved his music since I first acquired a copy of his ‘Want One’ album so I was really looking forward to his show and believe me I wasn’t disappointed. He and his band were on stage for around an hour and forty minutes in which they performed new stuff, old stuff and a cover of one of his Dad’s songs which was shared equally among the whole band. He also gave the spotlight to a couple of band members too. He played one of my favourites in “Going To A Town” as well.

But he saved the best until last. After Rufus and the band left the stage we were waiting in anticipation for the usual type of encore. But what happened transcended any other encore I have seen before. Some of the band came back on stage dressed in their best funk and soul brother outfits and were followed by a musclebound Cupid, who proceeded to whip the crowd into a dance frenzy of mega proportions. Well ok he get everyone on their feet at least. We were all stomping and clapping for the return of the newly anointed Rufus Apollo who appeared from the back of the auditorium wearing a toga like outfit a mask and a blonde wig. He and Cupid started some of the crowd in a conga and lead them onto the stage. Rufus and the band then closed proceedings with a barnstorming version of the truly wonderful “Gay Messiah”. This Rufus bloke knows how to put on a good show and a great party, I order you to go and see him. Don’t delay get out and buy your tickets now!

Please note that none of the pictures and clips are from the show at the Barbican, I was enjoying the show way too much to get my camera out!

 

 
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