2 October – There’s always something different about seeing a band in their home town so seeing Richard Hawley at Sheffield City Hall is a treat. He’s touring in support of his Mercury Prize winning album Standing At The Sky’s Edge so it’s no surprise that he plays 7 of its 9 tracks. Although trumpeted as a seismic shift in style for Hawley in reality the real change is the addition of a more expansive guitar sound, incorporating a mix of very sixties psychedelic and raga effects. Wisely live this is mixed with his trademark ballads. No one goes home disappointed!
Support Lisa Hannigan is worth catching if you get the chance.
17 October –ahab are an unknown quantity to me but they’re promoted by Hee Haw Sessions so that’s enough of a recommendation to go along to the Brudenell Social Club. They’re four singer/songwriters and a drummer who have an americana/Eagles style sound (but are much better than that sounds). They have a very good CD out entitled Live in London and most of their set is drawn from that. They play the more intimate Games Room which suits their style and I’ll be going to see them again.
Give them a listen on Spotify but try not to confuse them with the German funeral doom metal band of the same name.
20 October – I’ve always considered Supergrass to be the great underrated band of Britpop so I was disappointed when they decided to call it a day in 2010. Gaz Coombes now has his first solo album Gaz Coombes Presents Here Come The Bombs out and plays 10 of its 11 tracks tonight at the newly refurbished Brudenell. The set is rounded out with covers of The Beat’s Mirror In The Bathroom and Gang Of Four’s Damaged Goods and solo acoustic version of Supergrass songs Moving and Sitting Up Straight. I’m sure that Gaz would love to be an experimenter but his songwriting and voice lend themselves to great pop songs and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
Set List: Bombs; Hot Fruit; Sub Divider; Whore; Universal Cinema; Sleeping Giant; Mirror In The Bathroom; Simulator; White Noise; Fanfare; Break the Silence
Encore: Moving; Sitting Up Straight; Damaged Goods
This month also saw two visits to the Morley Literature Festival, firstly to see Peter Hook talk about his new book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division and then to see Stuart Maconie read from his latest, Hope and Glory: A People’s History of Modern Britain. Two entertaining and amusing evenings.