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Friday 15 July 2022

Bring Back The Birch

Last Friday evening I was crammed into a tiny piano bar near Smithfield market with 50-60 others to witness the return to live action after the lockdowns of Diane Birch. 

Diane's debut album "Bible Belt" was a big favourite here in the Goggins household when it first came out way back in 2009, and I have done my best to follow her career since. This was the first time I have seen her live though. 

The first half of the set was just Diane on the piano playing some of her older material. As good as that was, the show went up a gear when she was joined by her guitarist Paul Stacey to treat us to a selection of songs from her upcoming album (which he also produced). For one reason or another the album has been upcoming for a few years now - most of the tracks were recorded pre-pandemic - but it is allegedly imminent.

I really like the new songs which have what I would describe - badly - as having a sort of Laura Nyro meets Stevie Nicks feel. Some of them like "Boys On Canvas" and "Wind Machine" have already been released in digital only form over the last couple of years and I would encourage you to check them out. 

Before that, though, here is one from "Bible Belt" and the title track of her 2013 album "Speak A Little Louder". And because I'm in a good mood you are also getting a track from 1981 that features on vocals my other favourite musical Birch, Gina (Raincoats et al). You lucky people.

"Fire Escape" - Diane Birch

"Speak A Little Louder" - Diane Birch

"An Old Man's Dream" - The Red Crayola with Art & Language

Here's Diane a few years back covering The Sisters of Mercy - as you do - followed by a video directed by Gina.