23rd January 05 - Jesse Malin at Fibbers, York
By Steve Rudd
Young Jesse Malin, trading New York for Olde York for one night only! I could hardly contain myself
at the prospect, for Jesse is one of the most exciting singer-songwriters to have emerged from
New York City in the past few years since the release of his beautiful debut album, The Fine Art of Self-Destruction.
Handsome urban poet Jesse had actually played at Fibbers once before prior to this gig, but I hadn't
realised until he'd been and gone the last time, so this second time around I could barely wait,
having secured a much-sought-after ticket to the sold-out event a few weeks before the gig.
Mixing and matching almost every song from both his aforementioned debut album and his latest
record The Heat, the gig went down a storm with the crowd merrily singing back many of the songs to him.
Some of his gigs consist of a full band set-up, but this gig was acoustically orientated,
though Christine Smith did accompany Jesse's exquisite singing voice and lush guitar
playing with her incredible talents on the keyboard.
Indeed, watching her play with such grace reminded me of the way in which Mike Garson (famed for
his work with David Bowie) plays the piano, with such breathtaking finesse and artful ears for life-enhancing melody.
Each of Jesse's songs is a masterpiece of emotion in itself, and almost all of his work is
tinged with an air of heartbreaking melancholia. Clearly influenced by many styles of music
over the course of his youth, Jesse actually first started out in his teens in a punk band
These days, his work has the bite of punk and rock 'n' roll fighting and frolicking with
something of a Country-orientated sound, anchored by some superbly catchy melodies and harmonies.
Many of the songs are hopelessly romantic ballads of love, loss, hope and fear that
speak to his fans straight and without being cryptic. He wears his heart on his hip
sleeve, and boy does he bleed.
Whether strumming out his lovely Brooklyn tune (that details a magical love affair
gone awry in the city that never sleeps but is never afraid to weep) or extolling
the virtues of staying in a good old London hotel overlooking Hyde Park courtesy of
his upbeat new tune Hotel Columbia, Mr. Malin is certainly a natural performer who,
over the years, has come to both work with and befriend the likes of Ryan Adams
(who produced Jesse's album as well as playing on both The Fine Art... and The Heat),
Greenday's Billie Joe, Melissa Auf De Mar and Bruce The BossSpringsteen no less.
Still, for all his high-profile friends, Jesse deserves to be just as famous for
his own work for he is truly an incredibly gifted songwriter, who's always dying
to inject witty anecdotes into his shows, as well as being bold enough to pray
for world peace in his own inspirational style.
At this gig, such prayer came in the form of him persuading the entire establishment to sit down
for a few moments while he came over the safety barrier to be seated with his fans, leading a
poignant rendition of Neil Young's Helpless before surging into a wickedly unexpected
cover of Elvis Costello's infamous Olivers Army.
And just because the gig was acoustic, that didn't mean his songs had any less impact on the audience.
Performed acoustically, his songs sound even more rousing and real, as tunes such as
Queen of The Underworld, Almost Grown, the fantastic Mona Lisa and sublime Silver Manhattan told
of his life and times both living and growing up in New York City and in the wider, somehow
wilder world at large.
Thankfully, Jesse - for one night only - had made it back to York in the UK... and surely
nobody who witnessed him sing and play will ever forget his performance.
It humbled my soul and stilled my heart, and I can't wait to see him again - wherever and whenever that may be.
Music Reviews - Thursday 17th February 05 - Elobo at The Adelphi By Lucy Kynman
Many of you who go out on a regular basis will know the disappointment you get when you're
shakin' your thing on the dance floor and the music changes to your least favourite track.
Wouldn't it be nice for every song played to be one that you love, so you could party
Music Reviews -
Tuesday 25th January - Mike (The Bonnits) and The Last People on Earth at The Sesh By Daniel Laney Photos by Darren Rogers
Quite saddened by the fact that this was going to be my last trip to The Sesh in a while,
I hesitantly vacated the cars warm interior, knowing full well as soon as my battered
trainers hit the cold, coarse concrete, the evenings egg timer would be turned and
I would be left
Music Reviews - Thursday 3rd February - Ernest with Park and Ride, Dirty Dreamers and Steve Reed at Thee Box, Asylum By Michelle Dee
In, what has been a busy week, I had a date with The Asylum pencilled in.
I arrived in good time, and queued with a few others, eventually we were all let in.
Tonight's admission was £4 very reasonable for four acts.
For those not in the know The Asylum is a large venue
Music Reviews - Saturday 5th February 05 - Sidewinder, Mr. Mojo and Tekoba at The Late Room, Manchester By Richard Kemp (Racing Pulse Records / Tardis Music)
Saturday saw Hull's latest assault on the Manchester music scene in the form of Sidewinder,
Mr Mojo, and Tekoba as well as two coach loads of some of
the city's most dedicated music fans and followers.
The event organised and run by Red OktoberRead more...
Music Reviews - Wednesday 2nd February 05 - M.J. Hibbett at The Lamp By Michelle Dee
Tonight the Lamp is filled with an eclectic crowd all anticipating the return of M.J. Hibbett to Hull.
He has brought a Validator with him this time, in the shape of the violinist Tom Mc Clure who appears
on many of the Hibbett Recordings.
Music Reviews - Saturday 29 January - ThisisUll 'avin' it large in Liverpool with Blue Sand and Park and Ride, Courtesy of Under the Influence By Michelle Dee
The last Saturday in January 2005 is sure to become one of the most treasured days of my life.
Long before we arrived in Liverpool, the excitement was overflowing.
Owing much to all the fun and great atmosphere that my fellow Park and Riders
Music Reviews - Sunday 23rd January 05 - Tsunami Benefit Gig at The Welly By Daniel Laney Photos by Mo
The Freaks Union, Silence In The Streets, BB Bruce, Diverse Unit, The Favours and Face to Feet.
The winter's bitter chill began to make my hands weak and numb as I walked along the street in the pitch black.
Whilst listening to my walkman I began to ask myself what the
Music Reviews - Park & Ride, Andy (The Sneaks),Andy Cornfoot Tue 18th Jan - The Sesh at The Linnet & Lark By Daniel Laney Photos by Michelle Dee
For two Tuesdays in a row now The Sesh has proved to be the venue of choice.
Last week it was almost impossible to move, due to all the people that turned out to show
their support for the tsunami benefit gig.
This Tuesday the whole place is again full, it may not be as
Music Reviews - Tuesday 11th Jan - Hull Aid Tsunami Benefit Gig at The Sesh By Lee Atkinson Photos Darren Rogers
A Turismo acoustic session, a new member of The Bonnitts, The Johnsons making their live debut, all at
The Linnet and, most importantly, all for a very important cause.
The date is 11th January and I am standing in the middle of an enthusiastic crowd at a very
Music Reviews - The Reputations, Jonny Panic and When Water Comes at The Ringside
- Mon 17th Jan By Daniel Laney
You know it's been a good night when your face hurts from smiling and ears are ringing from
the evening's entertainment. The performance given last night from all three bands made the
evening highly entertaining.
It was also the first time that I had managed