Thursday, 12 March 2009

last night's gig - Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo

A Fairy-Tale on Sale* I thought - walking back to the sea-front after being spellbound by Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo last evening. And even if tickets for this particular fantasy were rather more than 12/6d a time, and it was Wednesday, not Saturday... I was still left contemplating the power of live music to carry us away from everyday troubles & feelings.

I loved how these folky/country songs were so beautifully underpinned & transformed by The Red Clay Halo - Gill Sandell on accordion & flute, Jo Silverston on cello, and Anna Jenkins on violin. They lent a feeling that ranged from classical ensemble to traditional backing, with each player adding something unique to Emily's vocals & guitar, not to mention their wonderful vocal harmonies. Close your eyes and you'd have thought there were way more band members - a bass & pedal steel, for starters.

Captivating from start, to much appreciated two song encore - with an appeal that goes way beyond the folk/americana roots you might expect, this was a hugely moving performance, leavened by happy between-song banter. Definitely get to see them live if you can - upcoming gigs below, and more on myspace

Disappear - Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo

Nostalgia - Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo

both from 'Despite The Snow (2008)
buy | myspace

and do listen to 'Sideline' on the myspace - it's incredible too - I had a hard time picking which songs to include

12th March @ Chapel Arts Centre, Bath
14th March @ Bristol Folk House
15th March @ Latest Music Bar, Brighton
17th March @ Norwich Arts Centre
18th March @ The Dulcimer, Manchester
19th March @ Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
20th March @ The Old Courthouse, Thirsk
21st March @ The Band Room, Kirkbymoorside
22nd March @ The Cluny, Newcastle
23rd March @ The Mono, Glasgow
24th March @ Leith Folk Club
26th March @ The Musician, Leicester
27th March @ Cambridge Folk Club
29th March @ Come Down Meet The Folks, Clerkenwell, London

Support came from two duos - Tired Rabbit and Bemis, who were both pretty good, although a bit more eye contact woulda made 'em way more engaging.

Owl Song - Tired Rabbit
If Found, Please Return EP
free download | myspace

People Live On - Bemis
Time Enough At Last (2007)

* Ian Hunter's words, not mine - from ♫ Saturday Gigs by Mott The Hoople (1974)
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