Friday 29th May 09 - Moonbeams Acoustic Evening at the Bell Hotel, Driffield
By Steve Rudd
Chris Helme, Edwina Hayes, Ben Leftwich, Jasper Bolton and Joe Pickering
In light of the fact that it was the final Moonbeams before summer, organiser Leila Slater had gone all out to arrange the greatest line-up imaginable, managing to replace Hayley Gaftarnick with Edwina Hayes at the last minute when Hayley unfortunately came down with tonsillitis.
Opening proceedings, resident barman at The Bell, Joe Pickering, played four original songs, his cleverly-worded lyrics conspiring
to have the audience in stitches. He has evidently spent a lot of time refining his lyrics in order to make them relatively risqué without being offensive, leaving much to the imagination as he smoothly 'alters' the type of words that listeners expect him to sing at the start of certain lines.
Winding his light-hearted set up with perhaps the most offbeat 'peace anthem' ever penned, had the likes of Vin Garbutt or Bill Bailey been in attendance, they would have surely dashed straight up to Joe after his set, eager to shake his hand.
Jasper Bolton subsequently took to the stage, boldly barrelling through a soulful clutch of tunes, kicking off with the supremely catchy Shoot The Moon. Still, it was his extraordinary song The Flood, an emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions, which seemed to have the most profound impact on the audience, before an exhilarating cover of The Doors' LA Woman sealed his set with a hard and fast flourish.
In total contrast, Ben Leftwich's extraordinary voice and subtly finger-picked melodies brought the house down in a different manner altogether. His softly-sung vocals are a revelation, while his modest on-stage demeanour (reminiscent of the way in which Ron Sexsmith 'acts' on stage) naturally wins over all who witness his sets.
His painfully mature lyrics belie the fact that he's only nineteen; listening to what he's singing, it certainly sounds like he's experienced his fair share of girl-induced heartbreak, his sad Sophie proving to be one of the set's highlights.
A rising star on the York music scene, he used to play in a band called The Nicoles, and it's surely only a matter of time before his highly original songs attract major attention from lovers of good music on both a national and international scale.
Edwina Hayes is no stranger to Driffield folk, not least because she lives in town. Having cancelled a radio show appearance so she could play at Moonbeams, major respect was due.
Opening with a rousing rendition of Leave A Light On For You (taken from her Pour Me A Drink album), she went on to play a sultry set of lovelorn tunes. Dedicating the title track of Pour Me A Drink to her dad, she went on to treat the audience to Love Unknown, concluding her set with a spellbinding version of Randy Newman's Feels Like Home, her cover of which is going to feature in this year's Cameron Diaz-starring movie My Sister's Keeper.
As things stand, Edwina is already extremely well-known, but it seems that 2009 is bound to be the year in which she becomes a household name, not only because of the song-in-the-movie deal, but also because she's poised to release the follow-up album to Pour Me A Drink in the form of the aptly titled Good Things Happen Over Coffee.
What's more, one of Edwina's musical heroes in Nanci Griffith is set to cover her Pour Me A Drink tune. As if all that wasn't enough, Edwina is on the cusp of joining former Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn on an extensive UK tour, swinging by Pocklington Arts Centre.
While Chris Helme hails from York, he is a relatively regular performer in the Driffield area thanks to Moonbeams organiser Leila Slater.
Having first played at The Bell in 2007, when Moonbeams was in its infancy and held in The Maple Room as opposed to The Old Town Hall, Chris also brought the barn down at Leila's Kelk-Fest last summer. Truth be told, Chris never fails to bring venues down across the land with his genuinely mesmerising voice and sublime guitar melodies.
Currently dividing his time between playing solo shows and performing with York-based band The Yards, Chris is forever 'training' around the country to shows, having recently wound up in the far-flung Shetland Islands to play.
Amicably flinging all manner of hilarious anecdotes into his between-song banter, former Seahorses front man Chris is a natural performer, and yet he remains incredibly modest and down-to-earth about his status as singer-songwriter extraordinaire.
Keeping renditions of Seahorses hits to a minimum, it was a huge surprise to hear a rarely performed version of You Can Talk To Me spring up mid-set, a song he confessed was ironic because he wrote it when feeling lonely in an LA hotel room at a time he was unable to confide in 'Horses guitarist John Squire.
Mixing and matching material from both Yards albums and his solo Ashes release, Chris consistently succeeds in projecting his voice to stunning effect, even when he takes a step back from the microphone, regularly hitting notes so high and with so much unbridled passion that shivers can't fail to ricochet down the listener's spine.
From his Last High to The Yards' Rollin', from an atmospheric interpretation of Marissa Nadler's Yellow Lights to a deliciously soulful cover of The Soledad Brothers' Lorali, Chris was on top form, going on to play Moonbeams especially for Leila.
Chris then encouraged the crowd to stamp along and keep a beat for his take on Nina Simone's Be Your Husband. He regularly finishes his sets in such an exhilarating fashion, his voice tending to strike notes so high that they seemingly don't even exist in the vocal ranges of many people.
At large, the evening had been one of the greatest nights of live music staged in Driffield for some time, testament to Leila Slater's unassailable desire to bring the best of the best musical talent to town for one and all to enjoy, even if three of the five acts were from Driffield in any case.
And while she is having the summer 'off' in terms of organising and promoting Moonbeams at The Bell, she is currently hard at work organising and promoting Moonbeams Folk Festival which is going to be held at Wold Newton's Wold Top Brewery on Saturday July 11th . A twelve-hour music marathon, it is scheduled to feature performances from Edwina, Duncan McFarlane, Dan Webster and The Gerry McNeice band amongst many others.
For more information and tickets, please consult www.myspace.com/moonbeamsacoustic
Music Reviews -Monday 19th May 09 Musicians Night featuring Disaster Radio New Zealand, By Michelle Dee
Annie, budding stand-up comic from The Willows women's centre begins a night where it seems the strange and the stranger have come to congregate in the Adelphi. Annie has an old style ghetto blaster on which she is attempting to record her homework.
Was she funny? Yes, but it wasn't easy to pin down why. A bizarre opening to a night that was to get steadily more fantastical.
Music Reviews - Tuesday 12th May 09 - Silent Revolution Magazine Presents 59 Violets, The Shadow Cops and Kill Youth Culture at New Adelphi Club, Hull By Michelle Dee
Barton's 59 Violets have been busy writing and recording new material for their forthcoming album.
The band remain a four piece with Lee Drinkall on vocals/guitar and Matt Cade
on drums alongside Digsy
vocals/guitar, and John Amos (known as Bill to his friends) on bass.
The new material sounds more considered with Lee taking on some of the vocals from Digsy; on one number
Digsy was just doing backing vocals and chorus.
Music Reviews - Wednesday March 25th 09 The New Beautiful South At Nottingham Rescue Rooms By Julia Grant Live Pictures By Dave Cowan
I wasn't planning on going to see The New Beautiful South. From the moment I heard about the band reforming without guitarist/co-songwriter Dave Rotheray, bassist Sean Welch and most importantly, without lead singer/songwriter/band leader Paul Heaton, I thought that it was an awful idea.
As much as I liked the remaining band members, I just didn't ever think they'd be able to pull it off.
I have to
Music Reviews - Saturday 21st March 09 - Jody McKenna And Friends At Adelphi Club By Michelle Dee
Jody has just headlined a fine musical programme watched by a spirited crowd numbering fifty or so. Tonight was to be reggae artist, Finley Quaye's second gig at the Adelphi club but he has
cancelled last minute and left Jody somewhat in the lurch. However, his friends and supporters
rallied to put together a varied programme, featuring some of the artists that I'm sure will benefit
Music Reviews - Thursday 26th March 09 - Daisy Riots And GST Cardinals At Kick Out The Jams Nags Head Hull
By Michelle Dee
I hear you went to Kick Out the Jams at the Nags Head on Newland Avenue how was it?
It was good; loads of people there. Saw Marv and Rachel, Alfie, Carlos and Uncle Dave, Flo, Maddy, Laura and Brum too ... Brum bought me an NBA, he is a good egg.
So who was playing, were they any good?
It was GST Cardinals with a bunch of new songs and a new band member called Ryan.
Music Reviews - Saturday 7th March 09 - The Kings Of Lyon At The New Tower Nightclub, Hull
By Michelle Dee
After the success of The Beards (2nd HDM Talent Trail 07) and multiple successes with The Riffs (Global Icon TV Winners!, Channel 4's 4unsigned, Radio 1's One Music, Tune Tribe, UK Undiscovered Radio and Live and Unsigned UK) Newly formed Kings Of Lyon KOL tribute band were ready to rock the Saturday night Hull crowd.
Described as..."the most astounding, vibrant tribute to the Kings Of Leon, playing the best music
Music Reviews - Tuesday 24th February Silent Revolution Magazine Presents New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack Plus Special Guest Joolz Denby With Support from 5-7-5 At Adelphi Club By Michelle Dee
Tonight's event by dissident fanzine Silent Revolution run by local artist and
is another example of a
artistic venture that remains unsupported, unfunded and ignored by the established
creative sector in the city.
Adelphi Club on De Grey Street provides the perfect setting to host this auspicious convergence of
spoken word and live music, seeing that the club and Proprietor Paul JacksonRead more...
Music Reviews - Saturday 6th December 08 - Love Music Hate Racism at Hull City Hall By Michelle Dee
Saturday was going to be a busy day. I had offered my services to Arts Development Worker Stewart Baxter the driving force and helmsman behind the
Hull LMHR event at the City Hall. Through hard work he had gathered support from many different groups including the local City Council to stage the LMHR event in the town centre.
Music Reviews - Friday 28th November 08 - Flossie Malavialle and Dave Dave & Zoe Bottomley at Moonbeams, The Bell Hotel, Driffield By Steve Rudd
For the final Moonbeams of 2008, Leila Slater - the organizer and promoter of the
Acoustic nights - had pulled out all the stops to ensure it was an unforgettable
night of superb music.
First up, a local lad called Jeremy wowed the crowd with two delicately finger-picked
numbers which were both rapturously received. Having previously performed at this
summer's Kelk-FestRead more...
Music Reviews - Saturday 29th November 08 - Scouting for Girls at Bridlington Spa By Caitlin Middleton
There's a cinematic countdown and blinding strobe lights as Roy and co. take to the stage assuming god-like
status to the sea of screaming teenyboppers. After two long hours, a somewhat confused Sam Beeton and
relatively generic The Days and Scouting for Girls are finally on stage warbling on about
being James Bond.
Music Reviews - Tuesday 25th November 08 - DVA Studios Showcase featuring Timmy D, Frank Johnson, Alex Stork, Jamie Gray, Telenovela, Great Northern Hotel, Day In The City At Sharkeys George Street By Michelle Dee
Last night Dave Abbot of DVA Studios held his second showcase of artists
he has been working with supporting and recording in his home studio.
Dave set up DVA in order to support new musicians give them access to a studio do
early demo recordings in order to give them something solid to market themselves with.
Look out for a DVA Sampler CD from DVA Studios featuring some of the
musicians from tonight's showcase event.
Music Reviews - Sunday 16th November 08 - Guillemots at The Plug, Sheffield By James Marsters
The venue was small, the crowd was quiet and the songs were surprisingly new but that didn't
stop The Guillemots from rocking out Plug in Sheffield on a freezing cold Sunday night.
Opening with a new song may seem like a daring thing to do to a rather sedate crowd but it
definitely set the tone for the rest of the night. Playing many fresh tracks interspersed
amongst several from their first album,
Music Reviews - Tuesday 11th November 2008 ... HYRMC01 at The Sesh. By Michelle Dee
The live music in the evening of HYRMC 01 came from a high spirited GST Cardinals
and possibly the hardest working band in the city right now namely The Cliques.
Also on the swollen bill down at the Sesh hosted by DJ Mak were singer songwriter
Jody McKenna, Jesus Stole My Girlfriend and The Gang.
Jody opened proceedings with some highly listenable
Music Reviews - Thursday 23rd October 08 - Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip With Supports Kid Carpet And Mr. Beasley By Michelle Dee Scroobius Pip Photographs by James Rogers Others by Michelle Dee
An hour after interviewing Mr Scroobius Pip (coming soon on thisisUll.com) I was
ready for the live stuff, Mr. Beasley with Bob doing some wicked things with beats and Sarah snaking
and shimmering on the stage, her sonorous voice so entrancing. Some people say that the childlike
quality or tone defers from the enjoyment, but I'm a fan for sure.
Shame they opened the set with Right as Rain the new single released digitally
Music Reviews - Friday July 25th 08 - Thisisull Live with Alison Angus The Clauberg Opera Santa's Buggerboyz. By Michelle Dee
In July we had a thisisull live gig but as yet no report on what happened. So here it is...
Alison Angus were first up promoting new tracks from their Satis E.P.
Unusually the two
piece band set their kit up on the floor of the Adelphi in front of the stage, this was
due to the fact the headliners had all but filled the stage with their equipment.
They played their unconventional style of hard edged sculpted metal escapism, with drums,
Music Reviews - Thursday 7th August 08 - Glen Williams and the Ullbillies at The Square Spring Bank Hull By Michelle Dee
The Square although still much in its infancy, has been a venue for Spoken Word,
lounge style Alt Piano and other assorted DJ and Alt music nights including the
upcoming Tegleg Records Night 9th October. Tonight however The Square played host
to an altogether different sound, the critically acclaimed Country and Bluegrass
artist Glenn WilliamsRead more...
Music Reviews - Friday 29th August ThisisUll Live Featuring The Last People On Earth,
The Bad Apples and Matt Thompson by Michelle Dee Bad Apples Photos by Dean Wilkinson, others by Michelle and Cilla
Quite simply the best band I've ever booked. The Bad Apples, just a hard working rockabilly group from Grimsby. Tonight is to be our last thisisull live show. After sixteen gigs down the Adelphi with different bands every month we are calling it a day with the live nights.
Thanks to everyone who has played for us, who has paid their three quid at the door,
who has mentioned our nights on a website or forum.
Music Reviews - Thursday 4th September 08 - So So Modern, Santa's Buggerboyz and Mountain Goat Frenzy at The Adelphi By Michelle Dee
It's Thursday. It's Adelphi and the return of New Zealanders So So Modern. To start with,
Mountain Goat Frenzy are tasked with getting the night off to a good start.
The prop driven four piece are made up of Joseph 'Danger' Avery on synth, keys and percussion,
Richie 'Rich' Bettridge vocals and keys, Math 'Mattics' Molson, guitar, vocals and A!A!A!ex Gower
on drums and cowbell.