Gotta plough on through..
So in the one previous gig I played with The Star Copiers I had the privilege of Bart writing us a review – it doesn’t feel right reviewing something you’re involved in yourself somehow! For last night’s gig at Brad’s open mic Ella offered to fill the gap for me – then foolishly advanced that to writing the whole blog for me, so I duly accepted – so following are her words, and also her awesome photos! Anyone fancy writing up Sunday’s set at the Black Market? Haha!
Brad Dear has recently started doing a Open Mic at The Plough Inn in Warsop on a Thursday night, Tonight’s line up was a smashing one at that with Brad himself playing, The Star Copiers and King of Rome. After travelling from Stevenage to Solihull, and then the traffic fuelled journey from Solihull to Alan’s house so he can get changed ready for the gig, and jumping back into the car to have a service station sandwich on the way as we didn’t have time to have the dairy-free lasagne, but that doesn’t matter!
We got to the Plough in time for sound-check and even time to have a chat with everyone who had come. Ken, Ian and Lynne Corbishly which was a lovely surprise, The Dears and many other locals who had come to see the line-up of people play. First on was Brad Dear, who Alan has blogged about a lot before during this year, Brad played solo tonight which is always just as good as full band with his rustic voice which I really enjoy.
He opened with The Only Road I Know then Beautiful Day by Levellers , And then played a new song which hasn’t got a name yet, But when talking to Brad afterwards to get the name for it as he didn’t say what it was called.. Alan said ‘Call it Alan’ so… the song is called Alan haha! He then played I’m still here which is one of my favourites, It’s a great song in my eyes, I believe others would agree! He then played another great cover by the almighty Bob Marley No Woman, No Cry which I felt fit his voice amazingly!
He finished up with the festival favourite Special Brew (no conga line this time though, we missed you Tim!) after asking for requests and members from The Star Copiers shouting out to play 5 more, haha! Brad always plays a great set, and I was glad to hear him play again!
After a break so people could go to the bar a fuel up on drinks and snacks, and The Star Copiers could set themselves up ready to play. Jacquie was feeling the nerves before they went on, but I have no idea why because her voice is beautiful! They opened with Fifteen Years by Levellers, which complimented Jacquie’s voice really well then went on to play Good Riddance by Green Day, which definitely took me back to my teenage years when I went through a massive Green Day phase. Slowed down, and with Jacquie’s voice… I think I prefer this version!
In-between songs, Kev had a lot of banter between band mates and the crowd. The Star Copiers have had a couple of line-up changes recently, but they continue to go from strength to strength. Next up was Kev on the vocals with a cover from a small unknown band called Ferocious Dog, who am I joking? All you reading this know who they are and love them. Criminal Justice was more acoustic version, and even with Ken in the crowd I don’t feel like they felt the pressure at all.
With just Mark on guitar on this song, and Alan on his cajón, It really complimented the song well. Jacquie was harmonising with Kev – they have really upped their game, I think they will definitely be a new crowd favourite next year! Next up was Tears for Fears’ Mad World which we last heard at Rockstock, Jacquie does an absolute amazing version of this well known, deep song. Alan gets better on that cajón every time I hear him play, very proud of him!
Next up was more Green Day – this time Basketcase and then Ferocious Dog’s Slow Motion Suicide, which have been staples on their set since they started. They then played their customary new song which was Down Under by Men at Work. This song really showed each one of their great talents, Jacquie’s voice, Mark and Kev’s guitar playing and Alan’s box banging (Alan edit: except when we cocked up and ground to a halt half way through before recovering!)
Overall, I believe that everyone really enjoyed the set, but that wasn’t the end at all. Issac, Kev’s son, got up with them for the final song Too Late Issac is one to watch, he is a musician of the future. It’s funny where you can find really talented people like this nowadays, from a field of friends has formed an amazing 4 piece band like The Star Copiers. Well done guys, You were all amazing!
After another break, King of Rome were all set up. We saw them earlier on in the year at Ey Up Mi Duck and Alan and I both really enjoyed them. They are a two piece (and sometimes three or four piece) band who play country with a hint of Irish folk music, with Martin on an 8 string bazouki guitar (correct me if I am wrong!) and husky vocals, which suit the music style so well. And Ian on other instruments, he must have played three different instruments in the set.
They opened with a song called Johnny Come Lately which was written by Steve Earle.. if this is wrong, blame John Lindley… he told me haha! (Joking, please don’t be mean to him). After that was Frankie’s Gun. This song was written about a murderer. A nice song, just not a very nice subject! After doing some research on the song, I found that an American band called The Felice Brothers had written the song about a man who got killed by his ‘friend’ Frankie after a pick up and he took his money!
Fisherman’s Blues was up next – written by The Waterboys, a great cover in my eyes and really suits their style of music. Martin was telling us about the time they went to the bar where the band and their friends used to go to in the 80’s and when they went.. it was shut! An original song was up next called Welfare Whore, if I heard correctly.. they did have a set list and I didn’t even think to have a look to correct myself, I’m sure if I’m wrong I will be corrected!
It was about the mining towns and the closure of the Miners Welfare Clubs, which during the times of the mines closing was really hard on the miners, they must have felt that one of their few remaining lifelines was being taken away from them.
Roman Roads is another original, Martin wrote this song when he was working with a trucker and discovered that whilst his friend was having lunch in his truck that there was a camera spying on him. Talk about an invasion of privacy! Ian played an amazing and new instrument to me during this song called a mandocello (correct me if I am wrong haha!) It has a beautiful sound to it and added an extra element to the dynamics of the song.
DH Lawrence and The Vaudeville Skiffle Show’s Sons and Lovers was up next. Even though there was only two of them, the music they made was very much powerful in every song they played, especially this one. After was Honey a beautifully written song, very intricate to play. Although the song was beautiful, the story behind it not so much.. It was about a man who stalked a prostitute, almost psychopathically! They thing people will do when they love someone ya?
Lastly, was King of Rome. Ian finger-picked throughout the whole song on his guitar and with Martin’s vocals.. wow. It was a beautifully melodic song which really complemented the story behind the song itself. All in all, The whole set was great and you should really check them out and recommend them to play at the festivals this ear, I feel they will be a great addition to the line up!
Brad’s evening at The Plough was a very enjoyable evening if I do say so myself. I’m sorry if the blog wasn’t as ‘Alan’ as you wanted it, but as he was playing I offered to do the blog for him.. I thought I would only be taking notes! Never mind haha! They are every Thursday at the same venue, If you are near Warsop and don’t have much to do on a Thursday you should really check it out! Also go and check out Brad Dear, The Star Copiers and King of Rome on Facebook!
Cheers! Now Back to Alan…. or is it?
Back to me for now – big thanks to Ella for doing that! We took a while to goodbye around the room as a chap singing with bodhran accompaniment was luring us to stay – he had a fantastic voice, but an early start the next morning dictating we needed to get back at a reasonable hour – indeed, the day I’ve just had has rendered me too lethargic to get off my arse and go and see Ferocious Dog up the road in Derby… what’s happened to me?!