May 2011

July 1, 2011

4 May – Laura Cantrell is someone who is difficult to categorise, and I don’t like to do that anyway, but if pushed I’d say she was a country singer. I saw her in November 2003 opening for the awesome Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys and, to be honest, I don’t remember much about that 30 minute or so set. I did try to see her during a trip to SXSW in Austin in 2005 but the queue was far too long.

Now she’s touring to support her new album, Kitty Wells’ Dresses, The Songs of The Queen Of Country Music, so I persuade the GLW to make the short trip to Sheffield’s Memorial Hall to see her.

Laura knows how to pick a cover version and, not surprisingly as her new album features nine songs (of ten) made famous by Kitty Wells,  she plays several amongst her own compositions. She opens with Trains & Boats & Planes, the song that first attracted the GLW’s attention. Among the other cover songs she plays are It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels and I Gave My Wedding Dress Away as well as some of her own compositions, such as Not The Trembling Kind, from across her career.

I hope it’s not another 11 years before I see her again.

26 May – Wilko Johnson is a force of nature. I’ve had no desire to see him since he left Dr Feelgood in 1977  as I always felt that somehow I would be disappointed. So I was a little surprised when my mate Stephen told me he’d bought me a ticket to see Wilko at the Leeds Irish Centre with him but I bit the bullet and went along.

Playing as a trio with Norman Watt-Roy on bass and Dylan Howe on drums I have to ask myself why have I denied myself this fantastic entertainment for so long? A mix of classic Wilko penned Feelgood songs: Sneaking Suspicion; Roxette; Back In The Night and She Does It Right, as well as solo tracks such as Dr Dupree and classics like Chuck Berry’s Bye Bye Johnny.

I won’t be depriving myself of this kind of entertainment in the future!