Bonus last gig of the year..
I’ve already gotten half-way through a review of 2016, but managed to sneak a cheeky bonus gig in last night. Having met up with some former workmates for an epic burger at Annie’s Burger Shack I found myself in Nottingham either at a loose end or ready to head home. Luckily for me I knew Sam Jones and Spud were appearing at a Roots Acoustic night at The Pit & Pendulum – since it was just around the corner it seemed rude not to pop along for a bit.
As I was driving and have work in the morning it wasn’t ever going to be a long night – but certainly a worthwhile diversion! I got to the venue just to see what I presume was the first act finishing up, so apologies about that (I can’t find who it was either, d’oh!), but he was an acoustic cover of a Radiohead song and sounded great. Meanwhile I’d found Sam, Spud and Chris propping up the bar. I’ve used the Pit a few times as a pre-gig venue, I’d never really thought of it as a music venue itself.
It works pretty well though – the Pelham Street side made up the music venue, with folk in the Victoria Street side having a few beers. It’s a shame more folk didn’t venture to the music half, but I suppose between Christmas and New Year isn’t the best time to expect big crowds. There were a few folk wandering in and around though to appreciate what was on offer. No matter how many people are in it always seems to take me ages to get served in there, I wasn’t even wearing any camo!
Sam Jones was up next, a ballsy start with a soaring acapella number – it’s been a while since I’ve seen Sam play solo. We’re Not Friends Any More is a heartfelt finger-picky song full of angst and cynicism against romantic comedies, When The Truth Hits The Ground was dedicated to Spud – the start of what if anyone has had the pleasure of seeing them on the same bill was the start of a bit of an evening of bromance – followed by an older Trouble at the Mill.
Having nipped to the bar and having the longest wait ever referenced before, I couldn’t tell you what the next few songs were (that’s my excuse, I’m sticking to it, although anyone who’s read anything I’ve written featuring Sam will know I’m crap at best at getting his song titles!). By the time I got back he was on to Buttons and Pennies, before inviting Spud to join him on stage for a cover of Will Varley’s King for a King and finally Spud’s epic Chocolate Biscuit (with Spud on guitar and Sam on harmonica).
Spud on his own was next – kicking off with a new song about small festivals, some nice namechecks for familiar events like Ey Up Mi Duck and Deerstock referenced in there. He reckoned he needed to finish it off, but it sounded good to me. I’m a big fan of Spud’s no-nonsense don’t-give-a-shit stylings, underpinned by some catchy tunes and clever lyrics. The Never Get Laid on Tinder song got some real belly laughs from the people who’d started to drift in to watch.
With The Bodega just over the road, The DHP Song was inevitable and apt, followed up with a song about fishing (the title involved roam but I missed the rest!) and saw the introduction of a harmonica, which apparently he’s only just started learning – sounded good to me, although he lost patience with it during a cover of Folsom Prison Blues. A cover of Beans on Toast’s Chicken Song brought more laughs from the crowd leaving him to finish up with High Green.
Or was it? I’m not sure if it was asked for, but we got an encore anyway – Sam returning on guitar with Spud on vocals for a raucous cover of Frank Turner’s The Ballad of Me and My Friends. A most excellent diversion rather than just going home early after a fun dinner with friends. My apologies to Junction 25 who were up next – but alas, a longish drive home and work in the morning put paid to the idea of staying any longer.
Those of you in Nottingham should keep an eye out for Roots Acoustic Evenings in The Pit & Pendulum though, a fun night pretty much assured!