Kris Kristofferson – Manchester, 31 July 2010

August 24, 2010

Kris Kristofferson is a legend and tonight he’s playing The Bridgewater Hall. As a songwriter he’s written some classics; Help Me Make It Through The Night, Me And Bobby McGee, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again) and For The Good Times. And the audience love him so why do I leave feeling disappointed?

Well, I enjoyed the classics as well as anyone but the rest of the evening is strangely lacking. The show is one paced and, frankly, in my view the voice has gone! At 74 and after almost a lifetime in music and films Kris must have a fund of stories second to none, so why not share them and inject some pace?

All in all, a disappointment.

The Handsome Family – Leeds, 28 July 2010

August 24, 2010

The Handsome Family are a band I’ve always thought I should like so when they play at The Hyde Picture House, promoted by the excellent Hee-Haw Sessions, I decide to take the plunge.

We’re promised a number of short films by Guy Madden as the ‘support’. Somehow someone manages to put the wrong film on and we have to sit through an interminable work that is stopped half way through so that we can actually see The Handsome Family. My only comment is that I won’t be rushing to a cinema anytime soon to see any more of Mr Madden’s work.

Brett and Rennie Sparks are playing as a duo tonight. Brett plays guitar and conjures up rhythms from a laptop while Rennie variously plays bass and banjo. I wish I’d been familiar with their songs but two stood out, Weightless Again and The Giant Of Illinois. After the show I bought their new CD, Scattered, a collection of outtakes and tracks recorded for compilations, which I heartily recommend if only for their version of Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.

I’ll certainly try to catch them when they return to Leeds.