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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

There And Back Again

Yesterday, I left home in Newcastle and travelled for five hours by coach to Nottingham. For one night. The purpose? To see Nottingham's finest new band play live in their first gig in their hometown for almost five years. Was it worth it?


Picture the scene - a hot humid night, a multitude of cold drinks, a gloriously eclectic cafe-bar called Pepper Rocks in a little cul-de-sac in the middle of The Lace Quarter of Nottingham, a plethora of uber-talented musicality, and a very enthusiastic audience. In a nutshell, this music-lover's idea of heaven.

The first act to really grab my attention were Virginia Moon...beautiful bluesy/jazz /folk, with guitar &vocals to die for, and harmonies that will make you cry.  Don't take my word for it; find them here,  - have a listen and decide for yourself. The appreciative crowd certainly enjoyed them. I suspect we'll be hearing a lot more from this duo...

The Satsuma Elephants were next, but more of that in moment. The act following them, Georgie How was also superb, and another one to watch out for, we'll certainly be hearing more from her, she's got an incredible voice, and I loved her.

Then came the reason I was there... the appearance of Satsuma Elephants. Wearing my very own Satsuma Elephants t-shirt (and having forgotten to take the spares I had had made I was the sole wearer of said item of apparel) I managed to get a prime viewing spot and waited with anticipation for Matt and Chris to begin. I was not disappointed. From the very first riff and drumbeats of '707' the room erupted into an explosion of rhythm and blew away any notion anyone may have had that this was going to be another folksy-type act, bringing those inside who had been sitting outside, making for a very decent-sized crowd.
Matt's vocals soared, Chris's drumbeats pounded, and the combination stirred the crowd into dancing mode. 'I Went On Holiday', 'Always In The Way', 'Creep Into The Night' and a guest appearance of Mr James Batchelor aka Jimmy B-Boy aka Reggiimental on the hauntingly beautiful 'Let Everything Go' (my personal favourite) ensured the audience were not kept wanting.
I have to say I sang along with every single word, turning around to watch the crowd's reaction to my two favourite people - the whole audience were looking suitably impressed, which pleases me immensely. The penultimate song was a new one to me; a country/blues vibe, slightly unexpected but an undiscovered treasure. 'A Hard Road Of Hope' is pure Matt Henshaw...soaring vocals and a crying guitar - what more could one ask for.
All too soon it was the final song, 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' - a hellishly good floor-stomper which went down very well, culminating in the loudest and most appreciative applause of the evening. Bearing in mind these two have only been playing together again since January, the sheer quality and talent of this duo shines through powerfully. They blew the place away.
I overheard a comment last night, one I meant to tell Matt about before I left, then promptly forgot when he presented me with my own satsuma elephant. It was this - "Bloody brilliant, they'll be big very soon.."
I heartily concur, my wise and learned friend. They will. And it's just what they deserve.

Thanks Matt, Chris, Charlie, Kirsty and Jimmy for the hugs, the music, the stickers, the satsumas and the company - it was an excellent night! Love you! See you again very soon... (and Charlie - I'm already sorting the tattoos lol)

So. Was it worth the ten hours of coach travel? YES!!!!

Would I do it all again? HELL YES !!!!

Am I doing it all again? WHAT DO YOU THINK!!!! ... :-D

Godiva. Coventry. 5-7th July. (my birthday weekend celebration)

And, possibly, Y-Not, Matlock, Derbyshire. 3rd August (if I can swing the time off work...)

See you there.