This is the third time I’ve seen Richard Hawley and he continues to impress.
Tonight’s opening act is the Smoke Fairies. They are Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire, who both play guitar and sing, supported by a violinist and drummer. Their music is an interesting mix of folk/blues and bluegrass. Give them a listen at their myspace site. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
Richard Hawley’s set is drawn largely from his new album Truelove’s Gutter, which I recommend you purchase as soon as possible, with two songs from Coles Corner and one apiece from Lady’s Bridge and Lowedges. This is a brave decision, given that many present will have come to hear the singles and other tracks they are familiar with, but it explains why Hawley will continue to make music and have a loyal following – he’s not prepared to coast. His band is superb, and this is the first time, to the best of my recollection, that I have ever been to a gig where someone played the saw!
If you’d like to hear Hawley and his band there is a live CD of their show at the Devils Arse Cave near Castleton, available here. It’s a fine show from December 2008.
Finally, a word of warning to anyone attending the Grand Opera House. While in most respects a fine venue, you’d better have either a strong or empty bladder as the toilet facilities leave something to be desired in terms of numbers!