East(wood) bound and down..
My yearly stats tell me this is my hundredth post on Ferocious Blog which of course was born back in March this year – so not a bad rate of updating. It was to Eastwood that Ella and I headed for our last gig of what’s been a very busy year to see Brad Dear supported by Kate Auburn, Joseph Knight and until childcare issues put a spanner in the works a certain Ken Bonsall. Whilst of course it’s always nice to see Ken perform, it didn’t take away from a cracking evening’s music.
Chris organises Roots Acoustic Evenings every tuesday up at the Wellington Inn in Eastwood – normally tuesdays don’t normally work well for me, but in the limbo period between Christmas and New Year gave me the chance to get up there for what turned out to be a splendid gathering of friends to enjoy the musical fayre on offer. With work in the morning I was driving and found a parking space right outside the pub which is always a bonus!
First up was Kate Auburn, she took to the stage with her guitar and launched into Jolene which was a nice way to get the crowd warmed up with something familiar. The bulk of her set was made up of original songs though – lots of delicate guitar picking overlaid with a great voice – she’s already confirmed for Ey Up Mi Duck festival so I’m looking forward to seeing her perform again. Let Me Go, Morning Light and Me and You were stand out tracks then the set was finished up with a cover of Girl from the North Country by Bob Dylan.
Next was Joseph Knight, again with an acoustic guitar, and again choosing to launch into a song that was worryingly familiar to me – a cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity which gave an early taster of his powerful but tuneful voice. Other highlights included Blink 182’s I Miss You and Don’t by Ed Sheeran. He was going to treat us to his debut single Keep Your Head Up but a bit of a brainfart caused him to forget how to play it – apparently it had been a while! Joe is also on the line up for Ey Up Mi Duck, definitely one to check out again.
Then for the main act – a first headline act for Brad’s band in its current line up – starting on his telecaster he launched into I’m Still Here, and then They Say before switching to the acoustic for Far Away and Festival Bar Blues. A great atmosphere amongst the many friends in the pub, with plenty of folk still off work (although Geoff was due at work very early the next morning but not letting him inhibit his imbibing!). Save our Souls led into Walls (which we joked was about sausages – ah, banter!).
Billy Brown was up next before a fairly raucous singalong to Special Brew ensued – including a four-man conga-line in a very compressed space led by Tim. The running-away theme continued with Long Road Home and Circles and Roundabouts before a raucous call for an encore saw us treated to what I’m guessing is a new song that I’m not sure I’ve heard before, but very good it was too (edit: I checked with Brad – it is a new as yet unnamed song which I’ve suggested he call Alan – haha!). A cracking set that went down very well indeed. With an early start the next morning it was time for us to start the not inconsiderable round of goodbyes before hitting the road to home.
A splendid way to end what has been a rather special year of live music. I’d heartily recommend checking out Chris’s Roots Acoustic evenings – there’s so much awesome talent out there to enjoy, and it doesn’t even cost anything aside from a few drinks. I’ve shamelessly been pinching Geoff’s photos as mine came out dreadfully – haha!