This week is awash with gigs. After three in a row, I have got two nights off for good behaviour before heading out to see Simone Felice play in a church on Thursday. I'll report back on that later.
On Saturday we went down to the 12 Bar Club to see punk-poet Patrik Fitzgerald, as the evidence below makes clear. It was the first time I've seen him play live for the best part of thirty years, and his style and subject matter hasn't really changed. Which is a good thing.
Last night I was at the South Bank to see Tift Merritt and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein promoting their new album. I was a bit in two minds beforehand. I have been a big fan of Tift's since she started out, but classical music has never really done it for me. But while there were a couple of moments where I found my attention wandering, it was only a couple. Overall they seem to have found a way of merging their styles and influences that works very well.
But with all due respect to Patrik, Tift and Simone, the stand-out gig was on Sunday at the Electric Social in Brixton when True Identity launched their new EP, "Coming Home".
Individually True Identity are Joanne, Rowena and Pam (who am I honoured to call a friend); collectively they are a top-class reggae harmony act. Having supported any number of big names over the years, a record of their own is long overdue.
The EP is not commercially available yet. I'll post details here when it is, but in the meantime you can check them out at Reverbnation. The only track there that is on the EP (in a new, improved mix)is "Fav'rite Room". That and the title track - both originals - are instant classics in my view.
Other tracks on the record include "Up Close And Personal", a medley of these three tunes.
"Natural High" - Bloodstone
"Silhouettes" - Dennis Brown
"Dancing Mood" - Delroy Wilson
Joanne is normally the lead singer, but the other two takes turns occasionally. One of the highlights of their set on Sunday was when Pam stepped up to the mike for a fine version of this old standard from the 1980s.
"One Dance" - Audrey Hall
Special mention should also go to The Blackstones, whose all too short PA on Sunday night was the perfect warm up for the main attraction. Their version of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" was particularly good, although nothing tops the original.