Tuesday 8th October 2013 - RM Hubbert and Friends at the Adelphi
By Michelle Dee
'Start with 'A' minor and then anything after that,' he says with a wry smile. What to expect? Expect the unexpected. A cliché maybe, but of course it is all improvised, so he really doesn't know himself.
The old Adelphi speakers awaken with a dull crash and a series of oddball digitized sounds meld and merge.
The creator stands behind a trestle table of electronic instrumentation and gadgetry, that gives Phill Wilson his credentials for being MyOneManBand.
Tonight he is sounding like a mechanical Mogwai with European eclecticism.
Under laid piano melodies and portentous chimes augur sonic motifs that emerge, live a little, then fade only to re-emerge transformed anew later. The sound plateau's on a busy escarpment of dance beats recalling the more cerebral Orbital outings.
Always the showman but never showing off, the tempered laser beam outro with retro-synthpop air, leaves the crowd wanting more.
It's a rousing opener from the enterprising Lindsey Simpson, 98 cans and a bottle of rum. It always brings a smile to this, lets face it, aging writer, when young musicians sing about getting old
and feeling disconnected with the world. There he is on stage, this young blues man singing an old blues tale; a commentary on commercialism and the encroaching modern life of My Western Blues.
Ode to Daisy is a love story with a difference. Aren't they all? It's more country than blues and when the cherubic Simpson, hair a mass of blonde curls, sings the line 'my rock n roll diva... my yellow fever' you are left in no doubt what took precedent in his world.
Well known on the open mic and acoustic circuit in the city (Off The Road, Buskers Ball) the obligatory cover is Fleetwood Mac's Looking Out for Love - a big song
which needs a big voice and for the most Lindsey pulls it off with gusto.
Despite his earlier misgivings about getting old Lindsey remains youthful accessible exuberant and fun.
His finish on Whiskey Blues has the trademark riffing and slide, with which the younger Lindsey first found his place. And now, as I did tonight, punters can drink in a
bit of that attitude with a very crisp still cider that goes by the name Lindsey Simpson Slide Blues Cider. And a very fine drop it is too.
Homemade, handmade EPs, quirky photo shoots show venues and a love for festivals a handful of name changes it can only be The Dyr Sister formerly
Salbo Baggins nee Twice Beauty Queen of Czech Republic.
She is the violist with the unique vocal style that sits, somewhere between the comfort of the nursery and the magic of the forest. The Racoon and the Rice Paper comes replete with looped vocalising for elfin lyricism to perch.
Unlike Phill from earlier, Sally creates the sounds from scratch, live on
stage for all to see, which adds intrigue and tension to the performance.
'For this song I'm going to play my viola like a guitar' the ruby haired Sally announces. Sally sings possibly the best lyric ever written, during a song that recalls her
globetrotting exploits 'Looked like someone had a fight with a bowl of spaghetti, not a map of Mexico City'.
There are percussive rhythms, tapped out on Tupperware, for a new numberThe Unknown Soldier, the dirge-like bowing on the viola leaves the audience in sombre, reflective mood.
I look on and watch the captivated audience.
I sit and wait and watch for the slow dawning on faces as they slowly realise which dance classic this enchantingly creative artist has deconstructed. If, as has been said, the
city wants #Quirky at the heart of the City of Culture bid, they should look no further than The Dyr Sister.
This week announcing a highly-prized, Union Chapel show in London this December: The Dyr Sister is a truly special artist with unique appeal, approach and style.
I must admit to not having heard of RM Hubbert - or Hubby as he is known to friends - but anyone who has Scottish Album of the Year on their CV,
has got to be worth a listen.
Hooked by the opening refrain, I'm already imagining how I'm going to enjoy adding Hubby to my collection. 'Who's this?', friends will say as I
select his album and press play. 'Hubby?', I will say with knowledgeable air, 'He's a mountain of a man from Glasgow who plays Spanish guitar
with poetry and precision, unlike anyone I've seen or heard since.'
'Oh...', they will say, then pause, as the rolling flamenco sounds flow into the room. A three-quarter acoustic resting on one leg, beating
out a rhythm on the rose, Hubby cradles his instrument like a babe in arms, plucking out memories and musical gems from it's loosely strung body.
Hugging the microphone close he sings and tells stories. 'This one is for Ali Roberts who revived my spirit with murder ballads and whiskey.'
It's False Bride, the final track from the SAY award-winning, 4 stars across the board, Thirteen Lost & Found.
Hubby shares a ditty about a rather special curry containing the line 'clouds of kisses floating around the mooth.' Every song tells a story
and every track has a tale to accompany it and the song Buckstasy is no different; the story, song and sentiment meeting with equal cheer.
Musicality flows from his fingertips, cuss words spew from his lips. The voracious nature in which he regales his tales is without question,
however they mightn't all be true.
A self-confessed chronic depressive for the past twenty years, his recent outpourings have brought about a change in
his relationship with the music that had kept him sane all these years. The song Tongue-Tied and Tone Deaf recalls those darker times.
Hubby whispers into the mic,'blackdog that follows you...' reflecting on the power music has over him. Another rambling
tale, sets the scene in fuzzy vivid detail, about a B-list celeb...and it's another song about depression, called Bolt.
And there are eight or nine lining the bar and a healthy crowd in tonight, hanging on every note.
'It's a weird, brutal therapy,' he explains, solemn, honest and direct.
Dark eyes, bearded face, the kind of guy you'd
like to go for a few jars with: he's just invited the whole of the Adelphi to Troon, where he now lives in his big house by the golf course.
Now that symbiosis has changed and the much-favoured artist is learning to appreciate every part of life, whether it is
the potential for chance meetings, appreciating an artwork, the sight of a swordfish who lacks spatial awareness, or his
preferred pastime, romping in the countryside with his beloved dog D-Bone.
Hubby and best friend appear on the cover of Thirteen Lost & Found, artfully recreated by Simon Wilson, as robot dog and owner.
Just like life it's not all pleasing poetry there are hard edges that challenge and scour the soul. And then there's
something of that sound I've been hearing for the past few weeks. The thing that sold me on coming tonight : half spoken,
half sung the finger picking that builds apace forming rolling crescendos on the Aidan Moffatt/Alex Kapranos collaboration Car Song.
Now, as the last few notes play out, pint glasses are placed with reverence and care as a final flourish erupts into elegy.
Without doubt one of the best Adelphi billings in some time, RM Hubbert has a new album out now called Breaks & Bone
(also known as Last of the Ampersand Trilogy) on the Chemikal Underground label.
Music Reviews - The Alarm at The New Adelphi - Thursday 5th May 2011 By Melanie Fullard
We arrived at the Adelphi and we were most upset - we couldn't get in the
car park. A huge black tour bus had taken up the back spaces. Were Motley Crew
here, or summat? Well, it is the new Adelphi; the beer mats have been changed
and there's a new door on the bog, so I suppose...
The support were a band called The Last Republic. They were a Welsh band, a bit
Music Reviews - Riff Raff Enthrall Audience at Legendary Adelphi - Friday 27th May 2011 By Michelle Dee
After Hurray for the Riff Raff signed to Loose Music at the beginning of 2011, it was only going to be a matter of time before the American Folk band played their first U.K. tour.
It has been a busy schedule with nine U.K. dates in all and numerous press engagements, interviews and radio air play. It seems Alynda and Huey, fellow New Yorkers,
built up quite a rapport when he interviewed the band on his BBC 6Music show.
Music Reviews - Friday 12th February 2011 - The Talks, Jokerz and Hold Your Own at Lamp By Jonathan Cain
On 12th February 2011 I once again embarked upon the noble quest to the Lamp in Hull. This journey was to once again witness the awe striking performance of one of Hull's greatest bands.
I am of course talking about The Talks, just like on the 30th October 2010 I entered the Lamp with curious eyes still astounded that such a small pub had a pool table never mind a stage.
Music Reviews - Justin Currie at The Picturedrome, Holmfirth - Saturday 22nd January 2011 By Melanie Fullard
Holmfirth, Last of the Summer Wine country. 1.51 mins with traffic. One of the most unlikely places for a gig.
The Picturedrome has a small intimate feel with good stage views and approximately 500 capacity, some seated.
It's now 9.pm. Justin has decided to go it alone these days and enters the stage with an acoustic guitar and a keyboard in situ. It's good to see him again. He opens with Always The Last To KnowRead more...
Music Reviews - Beneath The Eyes Of Eternity at Pozition - Wednesday 24th November 2010 By Jonathan Cain Photographs by Jim Hawking
As I've said before I'm a ska fan. I do like to dip my fingers in the metaphorical music pie, who doesn't? But if I'm being honest, I've never been a fan of hardcore music or what is commonly known as 'Screamo'. However there are those few bands in this scene that make me think, 'wow'.
It happened the other day at a venue called Pozition which held their fabled 'rock night', playing host
Music Reviews - Signe Tollefsen, The Woodwards and Adam Donen at The Adelphi - Tuesday 2nd November 2010 By Michael Overfield
On Tuesday 2nd November 2010 at the Adelphi Club, a gig was organised which celebrated the launch of three new albums created by three very different music artists. The nights line up was as follows; Adam Donen, The Woodwards and Signe Tollefsen.
Adam Donen's performance was bewitching. The tracks sung from his soon to be released album Immortality were remarkable. As his lyrics melted into the notes of his he spoke personally to the crowd
Music Reviews - The Talks at Lamp - Saturday 30th October 2010 By Jonathan Cain Photos by Mandy Whittles
I pride myself on being a ska fan, from the original 1950's, to Two Tone, to Third Wave I am ska fan through and through. When I was sixteen I saw my first ever gig Reel Big Fishand swore to myself, that I will never again see a gig that will be in the same league as that performance. Well today, 30th October, that vow was broken.
I enter a small venue by the name of Lamp, a small tight looking pub covered from wall to wall in Halloween decorations,
Music Reviews - I Like Trains Album Launch at The Deep support from Sam Airey - Thursday 14th October 2010 By Jonathan Cain
In my opinion the best thing we do as humans is create music. It has the power to make you laugh, make you dance and even stir emotions that no one can describe.
Each person's interpretation of music is different: it can make you happy, it can make you sad, it can make you remember a time that you long forgot and make you want to burst with feelings.
Music Reviews - The Manic Street Preachers at Hull City Hall - Tuesday October 5th 2010 By Melanie Fullard
It always amazes me what a great venue, Hull City hall actually is. It stands up to the likes of Shepherd's Bush Empire, any day.
There's a full house and the band enter to Echo and the Bunnymen-nice choice.
In comes the band. James Dean Bradfield looks older, more weathered somehow? The same feeling you get after not seeing your brother for a year. He looks different but when he opens his mouth,
Music Reviews - Late Night Fiction, Windum Earl, Blacklight Pioneer and The Belle Collective at The Adelphi - Thursday 14th October 2010 By Dick Spring
You know when you see a billing that gets you hopelessly excited with anticipation, yet can often end up being an anti climax, or worse still, a disappointment? Well, scratch that thought. There was no such feeling tonight as a healthily busy Adelphi was testament to.
Opening up the show was a shortened set by The Belle Collective, who have been quietly and steadily building a reputation locally with gypsy folk inspired pop,
Music Reviews - Jesse Malin at Fibbers, York Thursday 24th June 2010 By Steve Rudd
Two years since he last visited the grand old city of York, New Yorker Jesse launched into his set with reckless abandon, hitting out with a volley of brand new material, before harking back to the olden days with tunes such as Queen of The Underworld (lifted from his debut release, The Fine Art of Self-Destruction) and Black Haired Girl (one of the finest cuts on his sensational Glitter in The Gutter LP).
Backed by The St. Mark's Social,