Roddy Woomble, Kris Drever, John Mccusker, Heidi Talbot And Boo Hewerdine Live At The Westgarth Sc In Middlesbrough On Friday 11th December 2009

Queer as Folk?” What do you think of when I say Folk? The back room of a pub. Men with big beards, playing strange looking instruments, wearing Arran sweaters, sat down, whilst singing songs about their long lost love back in County Kerry. Drinking Guiness and Whisky with one finger stuck in their ear??? Hey nonny, nonny!!! I hear you shout. But folk is good. It’s the new punk!!! Really???  Last night I ventured out to the Kids are solid gold’s Christmas bash at the Westgarth in sunny Middlesbrough. Except it wasn’t sunny it was bloody freezing. On show was Kris Drever, ( Roddy Woomble ( and John McCusker. ( They have just released a fantastic new album called “Before the ruin”. Helping them out was Heidi Talbot and Boo Hewerdine (he of The Bible fame). Well, was it a folk night? The Westgarth is a small club and the front of the audience were all sat down at tables with nice little candles on them. Guiness and Whisky were available for sale. All musicians were sat down. Were there any strange instruments on show? A Ukulele, now that’s not something you normally see at a gig, is it? Roddy is the only one with a beard. But some beard it is too. He doesn’t look old enough to shave let alone grow something that a family of woodpeckers could happily call home. There were no Arran sweaters on show but the feel was definitely folky. I imagined I hated folk and couldn’t believe I would like any of this. But when I checked my record collection on Saturday morning I found a number of albums by Martin Stephenson and Bob Dylan. And the complete works of Billy Bragg. 3 artists who could quite easily be called folk. So, I do like it. And after last night I guess a whole lot more people in Middlesbrough like it too. Below is a picture of the full line up; from left to right: John McCusker (playing a stange instrument. A Ukulele, I think), Heidi Talbot (beautifully pregnant and proud), Roddy Woomble (family of woodpeckers not in view), Kris Drever and Boo Hewerdine. The night started with a short set from Heidi Talbot. She was helped out by all the others and a great set it was too. In between song banter recalled tales of would-be Italian lovers and shepherds finding naked girls in streams!! She has an amazing voice and is well worth checking out. ( Next was the main attraction of the night. I have to admit that my main reason for coming was to see Roddy Woomble. I love Idlewild and think his voice is one of the most under-rated in modern music. I also admit I enjoyed his songs more than the others on the night. This is probably due to familiarity of his voice because when I have played the album afterwards I have begun to fully appreciate the other vocals. Songs such as Silver and Gold, Into the Blue, The Poorest Company and Moments last forever are melancholic yet uplifting at the same time. The album is a great listen but it is in the live arena that these songs are best appreciated. I spoke to Roddy and the boys at the end and told them a bit about the Northern Line and gave them some t-shirts. We discussed the merits of rhubarb as a Northern dish and I waved them on their way. If they stumble into a town near you go and see them. You don’t need a beard, a sweater or a thirst for Guiness. An open mind will do nicely. The album is released on Navigation Records and is out now. ( That was the last gig of 2009 for the Kids but they have plenty planned for 2010. Keep a check on and keep your fingers crossed for the return of Fanfarlo.

By peter on December 13, 2009

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1 Comment » RSS Comment Feed

  1. Biggest ukulele in history there i think.
    its a mandolin.

    Comment by paul — December 21, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

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