Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita braid tales of Wales and Senegal

Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita (photo: Josh-Pulman) ‘The harp and the kora appear to us like old instruments, designed for quieter sparser times’, instruments which ‘can seem out of place in this cacophonous world’, writes Andy Morgan in the sleeve-notes to Clychau Dibon, the album that took the folk-roots world by storm last year.  In … Continue reading Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita braid tales of Wales and Senegal

Turtle doves, architecture, music and fountains of wine

The turtle dove mourns the husband she has lost from Richard de Fournival’s ‘Bestiaire D’amour’ (1250) I don’t think I’ve ever seen (or heard) a turtle dove, a bird once common in the south of England but now increasingly rare and on the critical list of British species for familiar reasons – mechanised farming meaning there’s not enough … Continue reading Turtle doves, architecture, music and fountains of wine

Steve Earle: outlaw blues and ‘chick songs’

Steve Earle at The Auditorium in Liverpool Echo Arena (photo by Dave Munn, Liverpool Echo) For once, said Steve Earle during his performance on Wednesday night at Liverpool’s newest venue, The Auditorium, he had been able to spend two days ‘walking around town, taking the Beatles tour’.  ‘This town is so gorgeous’, he continued. ‘There’s … Continue reading Steve Earle: outlaw blues and ‘chick songs’

Richard Thompson at Gawsworth Hall: Mock Tudor? No, the real thing

I Can’t Wake Up To Save My Life On Wednesday I drove across Cheshire, through the fields and lanes of my childhood, to Gawsworth Hall, a Tudor half-timbered manor-house just south of Macclesfield. There, on the lawn below the rose garden, a stage and covered seating had been erected – an idyllic setting on a warm summer’s evening for a … Continue reading Richard Thompson at Gawsworth Hall: Mock Tudor? No, the real thing

Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Liverpool Arena: age cannot wither them

Grizzled and jowled beneath the trademark black fedora and wearing a baggy t-shirt emblazoned with ‘EARTH’, last night at Liverpool Arena Neil Young was on a mission.  To save the world, no less. Young came on stage at around 8:45 with Crazy Horse – here comprising long-time collaborator in epic noise Frank ‘Poncho’ Sampedro (white-haired, tubby, wearing even … Continue reading Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Liverpool Arena: age cannot wither them

Michael Nyman’s Hillsborough Memorial

The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Youth Choir perform Nyman’s Hillsborough memorial in the Anglican Cathedral On Saturday we joined the crowds pouring into Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on a beautiful summer’s evening for the public première of Michael Nyman’s Hillsborough Memorial Symphony performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Youth Choir.  It was an intensely moving experience which transcended … Continue reading Michael Nyman’s Hillsborough Memorial