Search This Blog

Friday 24 March 2023


I've been to three gigs over the last couple of weeks, one of them good, the other two excellent. There's one more still to come before the end of the month but we'll deal with that one separately.

The run started at the church down the end of my road where we were treated to a set by self-styled 'guitar convincer' Gwenifer Raymond

Gwenifer convinced her guitar to make some great noises and I would  happily see her again, but to be honest the support act will probably live longer in the memory - a stylishly dressed trans accordionist who used the instrument to make a slow droning sound while intoning the lyrics to "Boys Boys Boys" by Sabrina over the top of it.

Next up was the great Lonnie Holley at Cafe Oto in Dalston. I've seen him before - coincidentally at the church down the end of my road - when it was just him on his own. This time round he was backed by drums and trombone duo Nelson Patton and they helped lift it up to a whole new level.

Lonnie has a new album out, "Oh Me Oh My", but he didn't play anything from that. Instead we got a semi-improvised set, which is how he tends to do things - evidently he decides on the broad themes he wants to sing about, agrees with Nelson Patton which rhythm or tune they will use as a starting point and then off they go. 

The result was really rather magical. He is a very compelling performer and the experience was like listening to a gospel preacher (but one that sings about spaceships).  

Last, but definitely not least, was the magnificent Gina Birch at Oslo in Hackney. She is touring her new album - the first under her own name - "I Play My Bass Loud", with the admirable assistance of Jenny Green and Marie Marlei (aka The Unreasonables). 

The album is fantastic and will definitely be somewhere in my 'best of' list come the end of the year, but many of the songs sounded even better live. The energy and conviction with which Gina and the band played them was transforming.  Particular highlights included the title track, "Digging Down" and instant garage band standard "Wish I Was You".

You should go and see all of these folks if they come your way and you should buy the new albums too. We'll round things off with something from their respective back catalogues - in Gina's case from her old band - and the original of the distinctive cover version I mentioned earlier.

"Sometimes There's Blood" - Gwenifer Raymond

"There Was Always Water" - Lonnie Holley

"No One's Little Girl" - The Raincoats


  1. What a fantastic trio of gigs, Ernie. After a false start in Feb, I've yet to see any live bands so far in 2023. Tomorrow Clan K is off to see Dave Gorman. I don't think he can carry a tune, but Lady K thinks Powerpoint is hilarious so this should be right up her street.

  2. Three new ones there for me to check out Ernie