Saturday 12th July 08 - Moonbeams Summer Gathering at Little Kelk
By Steve Rudd
Who would have thought that a star-studded music festival in a tiny Wolds village could
rival the exhilarating splendour of festivals of Glastonbury's ilk?
Very few, I'm sure.
But then how many people would really believe that an annual music festival of any sort has
taken place in Little Kelk for the past four years? Even fewer, I'm positive. But it's true.
As always, this year's Kelk-fest was organized with lethal precision by Leila Slater, the
mastermind behind Moonbeams acoustic nights in Driffield. In some respects this year's
festival was a big thank you to all those folk who have supported her nights over the past year;
in others it was a grand excuse for a good old knees-up amongst family and friends in homely surroundings.
Armed with a line-up so fantastic that it could potentially have made organizers of
established Folk festivals extremely envious, ten solid hours of music was the net result,
with the likes of Hornsea's Abbie Lammas playing an early set before rushing off to a gig in
Filey, such is the demand for her live shows now people in East Yorkshire are realizing just
how incredibly gifted she is.
As afternoon gave way to a cool and overcast evening, Zoe and Dave Bottomley strove to warm
up the crowd in spite of the weather. As always, they succeeded in style, with Dave playing
guitar and Zoe wowing the large crowd with her divine and haunting vocals.
Driffield boys Jasper & Smirt, meanwhile, belted out top-drawer banter and a startling set of
songs to match, an introspective rendition of McGuinness Flint's When I'm Dead And Gone
being the most moving number.
York lad Sam Forrest then stepped up and sat down. Well-known for being the singer and
guitarist in top Indie-Rock band Nine Black Alps, who are based in Manchester, Sam always
seem to be busy singing and playing in some capacity. His Nine Black Alps commitments aside,
he writes and performs solo material, too, hence his inclusion on the Moonbeams bill.
Softly crooning to his delicately strummed guitar, his wistful songs have an utterly entrancing quality.
His girlfriend, Hayley Hutchinson, joined him on stage a few songs into his set, going on to
treat the Real Ale-guzzling crowd to songs from an album that they've recorded together under
the guise of The Sorry Kisses. Hayley then loped into a mini-set of her very own consisting of
songs culled primarily from her brand new album, the bewitching Love Songs For The Enemy.
Darkness might have fallen outside, and children were drifting into the fabled Land of Nod with
ever-increasing urgency, but The Wayfaring Strangers were in no hurry as they coolly eased into
their set, a huge double bass dominating the humble stage.
It was almost midnight before they
sloped off stage after a rapturous response, leaving the last act of what had been an
extraordinary day to serenade the mic stand and play for all he was worth.
Former frontman of The Seahorses, York man Chris Helme needs no introduction; indeed, many
Moonbeams supporters had been lucky enough to catch him play at the very first Moonbeams in
2007. Looking dapper in suit and bowler hat, he wryly joked that he was 'going for the
Clockwork Orange look.'
Having supported Shed Seven in York the previous night, he might still have been exhausted
(even if a pre-performance powernap had helped to recharge his batteries), but he wasted no
time, keen to air as many songs from his freshly unleashed solo album - Ashes - as time would allow.
Blessed with an extraordinary voice, emotions ran both high and low in each of his tracks,
his need to express his deepest thoughts and feelings about love culminating in a performance
so captivating that the crowd couldn't applaud him enough. Pure was just that, while his cover
of Marissa Nadler's Yellow Lights couldn't have been more soul-stirring.
Coincidentally, Leila Slater dubbed her acoustic sessions Moonbeams Nights in tribute to
her favourite song by Chris. Flattered that she'd felt so moved by the song, he performed
the beauty without hesitation, prompting lumps in throats to protrude all round.
He even flung in a marvelous acoustic version of The Seahorses' anthem Blinded By The Sun,
a treat that provided the most surreal five minutes of the night as minds were cast back
to how Chris had once supported the likes of Oasis when The Seahorses were at their height
of their powers.
Still, it was the final song he performed that had the most profound effect; a cover of
Jeff Buckley's Be Your Husband, he surrendered his guitar in favour of a steady hand and
foot-fathomed beat that echoed around the barn. His voice soared to transcendental
heights, all the while the hand-clapping and foot-stamping leant a mesmerizing, hypnotic
and euphoric quality to the song. Little wonder then that the ensuing applause almost
brought the barn down.
All in all it was a dazzling day of music from start to finish. In light of having
witnessed such a sensational wealth of talent, all of Leila's family and friends who
had provided invaluable help with the day also got a much-deserved round of applause.
As for Leila, she could barely contain her delight at how great the day had been.
Her love for live music knows no bounds, and that's why Driffield at large is surely
waiting with baited breath to discover which acts she has got booked for the Autumn 2008
season of Moonbeams. Trust me when I say that she's got some colossal treats in store, so watch this space...
Music Reviews - Tuesday 15th July 08 - Chris Helme at Hull Lamp By Steve Rudd
Alighting in Hull as part of a glorious string of intimate UK tour dates in support of his
recently released solo offering Ashes, York troubadour Chris Helme had
the sizeable Hull
crowd in fits of ecstasy due to the strength of his voice and the intensity of the
emotions conveyed both through his music and lyrics.
Only a few days previously he had wowed the gathered masses at a private mini-festival
Music Reviews - Thursday 26th June 08 - Divine Sinn at Winston Churchills, Driffield By Steve Rudd Photographs by Matt Rudd
Back playing in their hometown just a few days after their first gig in Leeds,
Divine Sinn managed to attract the Metal-loving masses in their droves,
despite the biblical deluge pounding the streets outside.
Mixing and matching material from both their debut album, Redemption, and their forthcoming follow-up,
The Seven Deadly Sinns, they energetically roared through
Music Reviews - Friday 20th June 08 - Oli Brown Band at The London Bar, Driffield By Steve Rudd
Whoever came up with the idea of putting a band on at The London Bar deserves a pat on the back.
It was certainly inspired. Moreover, whoever decided to allow Oli Brown and his band to play
deserves to be bought free drinks for an entire evening. Indeed, Oli Brown & Band put on an
incredible show in what has to be Driffield's narrowest pub.
Music Reviews - Wednesday 26th March 08 - Awash With AntleR At Adelphi By Michelle Dee
Photographs by Ian Rook Photography
My first impressions of Awash With AntleR as my slightly beer-stained notes allow from Wednesday 26th March at Adelphi.
Do with them what you will...
These girls have a mad penchant for taffeta, nylon clad feet and vintage headgear.
There's something rather inviting about them. Reminds me of a Miss Marple novel with debutantes frippery
Music Reviews - Friday 16th May 08 - Moonbeams Acoustic Evening at The Old Town Hall, Driffield By Steve Rudd
A lot of people might not realize as much, but Driffield is fast becoming THE place to play host to a
hotbed of musical talent from near and far, and it's all thanks to the impassioned enthusiasm and
organizational capabilities of Kelk's Leila Slater.
Leila adores live music so much that she's been putting on Acoustic nights at The Bell HotelRead more...
Music Reviews - Thursday 17th April Rebel Music Presents Pog Wob Joseph Porter CrackTown with DJ Eddy And Dan Van By Michelle Dee (you'd better believe it)
Billed as Another Class Night. The Rebel Music Presents night featured alt
acoustic folk from Brighton, Pog, Wob ex Blyth Power, Joseph Porter also ex
Blyth Power and Hull's own CrackTown (the love affair continues).
Whether class described the classroom feel that some of Joseph Porters' delves
into Greek history brought
Music Reviews - Wednesday 9th April 08 - The Blueskins (Last Ever Hull Show), Kal El's Cape and Kill Surf City At The Adelphi By Michelle Dee Photos By Winston Sanders (Blueskins) and Michelle Dee (others)
After being approached by CRS Events to help promote The Blueskins visit to Hull it was with a
sense of dismay that I learned that the band had taken the decision to split up the week before.
They were playing their existing dates then calling it a day. It would seem that having
EMI and Domino in your corner is not enough to guarantee successful tour attendances.
Music Reviews - Friday 11th April - Scouting For Girls at Hull University By Gemma Durham
Scouting for girls delivered a belting performance last Friday, it is safe to say
their a 2008 success story and continue to deliver top class performances to fans.
I have been lucky enough to know the band from 2005 as an original wolfcub.
The band started in 2005 with lifelong friends Roy Stride, Pete Ellard, and
The success of the band is largely down to the fans, wolfcubs, and airplay by Radio One.
Music Reviews - Friday 28th March 08 - Thisisull Live featuring CrackTown, Black and White Tango and Mermaids in the Basement at the Adelphi By Michelle Dee Photos by Lucinda Livingstone Photography
A poorly fish was I on this dank Friday night, and after a series of
delays I wasn't expecting the best of nights. How wrong was I?
Just after eight there were queues outside and they kept coming in
until well into the second band.
An odd billing perhaps, putting CrackTown on with a couple of guitar
and keys exponents but one which worked surprisingly well.
Music Reviews - Live Review and Interview with Alain from Isabel At Sunset (Tea Kettle Records) By Michelle Dee
I caught up with the Italian front man Alain on Bank Holiday Sunday evening just
before his band Isabel at Sunset were due to sound check.
Isabel at Sunset the critically acclaimed Parma band made quite an impact with
their debut album Meet The Gang last year.
Rave reviews followed from amongst others, Treblezine who awarded the five piece
indie rock band Album Of The Week.
Music Reviews - 14th March 07 Moonbeams Acoustic Night At The Old Town Hall By Steve Rudd
Consistently featuring a wealth of talent, Leila Slater's acoustic Moonbeams events
at The Bell are becoming bigger and better affairs every time. So much so that this,
the third night of its kind, was relocated from The Maple Room into The Old Town Hall
in order to accommodate the crowd.
First act of the evening was Jasper & Smirt, a couple of local lads
Music Reviews - Friday 29th February 08 - ThisisUll Live Featuring Spoken Word, The Rocky Nest and Hayokee Words and Pictures by Michelle Dee
The second thisisUll gig of 08 promised a more organic kind of live music night.
I am informed by the poets that they rarely have a fixed idea as to which pieces they will do in a set.
The choices are made for them by the audience's reaction and response.
Gauging the crowd and then responding there of is an important skill for every performer.
Music Reviews - Friday 7th March - Hull Punk Mini-Fest Featuring The Vibrators support from The Cliques Go-Go Kings Mike Watts Words and Pictures by Michelle Dee
In a back street club in Hull, a dark dingy place that smells of piss and vomit, crazed punk
fans drunk on riot and revolution, hurl themselves this way and that to raw guitar sounds
and anti-establishment rhetoric. If only that were the truth.
The reality however is somewhat different. Two local bands and a spoken word artist support
the now aged punk
Music Reviews - Saturday 1st March 08 - Edwina Hayes at Driffield Folk Club By Steve Rudd
It's not every day you get to see a world-class singer-songwriter perform in Driffield.
Similarly, it's rare for the singer-songwriter in question to actually live in town.
But then Edwina Hayes, despite her profile and enviable acquaintances in the music
industry, is thoroughly modest and down-to-earth. She doesn't seem the type of
Music Reviews - Thursday 14th February 08 - Divine Sinn at Winston Churchills, Driffield By Steve Rudd Photos by Matt Rudd
It's been a long time since Metal fans in Driffield have had a band to call their own.
Too long, in fact. So, thank the devil for new quartet Divine Sinn.
Not to be confused with Swedish rockers Divine Sin, Driffield's
Divine Sinn have been practicing hard for the past seven months
in anticipation of performing live, with this being their first
Music Reviews - Tuesday 29th January 08 - Alison Moyet at York Grand Opera House By Steve Rudd
Striding on in front of an eye-catching stage backdrop, Alison and her backing band
immediately made themselves temporarily at home on the stage. And even sat up in the
rafters of the fabulously preserved venue as I was, the sight down below was one to behold.
It's not very often that Alison hits the road, making this date in York one to be
savoured all the more.
Music Reviews - Friday 25th January 2008 - ThisisUll Live at The New Adelphi, Hull
By Benny Jenner, Life Burns Records Photographs by ChrisW Photography
Half past eight on a Friday night, I'm stuck in Hull and I'm here at the new Adelphi club,
a place I haven't been to in over eight months. Not due to my own fault I just haven't had
the urge to check out many bands who play there, but tonight is different. I've been asked
by thisisUll.com to come down and review three bands who played tonight.
Music Reviews - Sunday 16th December 07 - Lucy Kaplansky and Miles Cain at York NCEM By Steve Rudd
York native Miles Cain opened proceedings with aplomb, drawing the humbly assembled crowd
into his Folk-infused music with affable charm.
His strong, superbly soulful voice perfectly complimented his lush acoustic guitar
melodies, with the fantastic acoustics of the venue - a church, no less -
Music Reviews - Friday 28th December 07 - The Sorry Loves, Fact is Fiction and Kick Riot at ThisisUll Live at The Adelphi By Michelle Dee
Every one of you did us proud. We thank you from the bottom of our memory cart.
Fact is Fiction delivered despite their nerves and cowbell issues, they pulled it
off with their forward thinking, sparkly indie sounds.
A new looking band that given time, will become a regular on the local circuit.
Think Pigeon Detectives but from Ull.
So Kick Riot turned
Music Reviews - Thursday 13th December 07 - It's A Happening at The New Adelphi By Martin Wellbourne
When an event is promoted as a 60s-style melange of music, spoken word, and visuals - a tribute to the
sort of binge that kept hundreds of Deadheads from stinking the Frisco streets out with patchouli oil
and savage body odour for hours at a stretch - the experienced reviewer grits his teeth; it will be,
he knows, a mixed bag.
This sort of thing, back 'in the day'
Music Reviews - Friday 23rd November 07 - ThisisUll Live at The Adelphi Featuring Awful Scenes The Cliques And The Charge By Michelle Dee
New Brit rock band The Charge opened the night with self assured style,
amidst much shouting from a whole bunch of unruly fans. It's back to the
mid nineties for these lads so if you are in the mood for a window back
to those mad for it days, and some rowdy optimistic sing along tunes such
as Voodoo and She Goes On then these are the ones for you.