Tag Archive: grant sharkey


imageI guess I was probably better equipped than many for this lock down. As a writer I sit in the spare room all day hammering long words and half-baked opinions together using only a keyboard and a vat of coffee anyway. In fact it was only when Aldi ran out of decent brie and loo roll that I realised anything much was happening. So I did what any normal person would do, bought a goat, took out a subscription to the Daily Mail and carried on.

Work has been tough. As a mainly music and arts writer, reviewing new releases, promoting tours, writing press releases and generally waxing lyrical about upcoming live events, I have watched a whole swathe of my income drop off a cliff. But needs must and all that, so I searched around and found a stack of other writing to keep me occupied and, more importantly, bills paid. I might not be able to tell you much about what’s happening in the music world at the moment…although I would hazard a guess at bugger all…but I know a lot more about the tourist industry in Montenegro than I did a few weeks ago.

It’s all about being flexible I guess, or as my good friend Grant Sharkey says “Stay Safe and Be Adabtable”…and he’s spent many a post-gig night sleeping in a smart car with an upright bass, so I trust his word. And being adaptable means also finding something else for this blog to be about since their are no gigs to talk about, after all I’m hardly going to have anything worthwhile to say about that slew of online acoustic videos where middle managers on £60,000 a year play terrible renditions of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah whilst asking people to donate to their cover bands cause. No, no, no.

So maybe this is going to be a repository for my thoughts during these strange times. Let’s see.

And on a final note, if you do have to go out then my advice is to make the most of it and walk down the middle of an empty road pretending to be Charlton Heston in The Omega Man/Will Smith in I Am Legend…delete as applicable to your age….it’s sort of empowering.

9280Apparently there is some sort of soccer tournament on (right, that’s another local demographic alienated) but whilst a few of the regular musical haunts have given themselves over to big screen TV coverage and people shouting “go on my son” …I assume, I’m not an expert, there is still plenty of live music to catch around and about.

One of the more interesting musical visitors to these parts can be found at The Tuppenny tonight. Grant Sharkey is on a one man mission to record and release forty albums in twenty years and he is out and about playing songs from album number eleven, Thoughts and Prayers. He not only does strange things to an upright bass but threads social commentary, environmentalism, avant-garde view points, wit, wisdom, warmth and humour through his songs. Support is from Kitchen Sink Dramas who come from a very similar place and I don’t mean Southampton.

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13407096_10153662274891463_6649436038957675124_n.jpgIn a world which seems ever more divided along political lines, knowingly supporting cash over climate issues, payola over peace and where a small very small sector of society pull the strings and calls the shots, wouldn’t it be good to have someone come along and make sense of it all. Not some dry political hack or firebrand orator but maybe a guy with a bass guitar, a hat and a bag of songs which point fingers, neatly satirises and gently ridicules the state of the world. It might not fix the problems but it sounds like a fun night out to me. Oh look, Grant Sharkey is at The Tuppenny tonight, what a co-incidence!

Meanwhile down at The Beehive, that excellent fellow Tim Manning is hosting his Acoustic Buzz night, a session dedicated to all things rootsy and this time around Boss Caine headlines the night, imagine Tom Waits singing Ryan Adams …if they had both had the good fortune to grow up in Yorkshire that is. Chris Webb is also on the bill, a finger-style folkie par excellence and your host will kick the night off with his song-blends of country and folk.

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10644504_849034398474545_1266507282074302395_nIt might seem that the world has gone to hell in a hand basket this week, or worse…Hull, but at least you have a whole raft of great, original live music to console yourselves with. And as always Thursday does the perfect job of easing you into the weekend with more than its fair share of the gigs.

 

Thursday

Josh Kumra @ The Victoria

It’s great to see Josh back with a hometown show. It’s been an interesting journey for him from accessible Americana-indie influenced local shows to managing to get a foot in the bigger leagues, releasing an album and even finding himself sat at the top of the charts with a co-written song. With all that behind him it is easy to see why his stock has risen so much since those early days when I used to see him playing in the back room of pubs to a handful of people. His songs are great and his voice is surprisingly mature so it is bound to be a great show.

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13346778_10153427066772127_7056879790797654139_nObviously I am writing this in advance of the US election result but I’m sure by now there has been a tsunami of debate, opinion and analysis not to mention disappointment/anger/relief (delete as applicable) banded around. One man who has a fantastic way of taking political themes, wrapping them up in bundles of thought provoking satire and delivering them as song-bites can be found at Baila Coffee and Vinyl.

Having set himself the task of making 40 records over 20 years, armed only with his trusty upright bass, Grant Sharkey (pictured) brings a bag of social commentary, wit, wisdom, his eighth album and his secret bread recipe to Swindon. It is very likely he will have an opinion or two about the presidential election too. Support comes from the always-excellent Emily Jane Sheppard.

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12654486_10153972441136757_7705425637639042490_nAnother busy week ahead for our music venues so I will get straight on with things, stopping only to mention that this is my 300th gig guide for the paper. Ballpark figures make that about 250, 000 words (if you include the extra reviews I throw in) a high percentage of them the likes of “ethereal,” “effervescent,” “fruition” and “plethora,” …blimey, no wonder I get called pretentious!

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Mid Week Satire

12227592_1258927860800398_1515064127337039482_nTonights at The Roaring Donkey, Songs of Praise is pleased to bring back the wonderful Grant Sharkey. Music, satire, poignancy and silliness all sit side by side in a set that is as much a stand-up comedy routine as it is a musical show. Fun will be poked, noses tweaked, politics unravelled, boundaries pushed and stories woven in a night of riotous music and humour. If you want a show that thinks outside the box, then this is it.
https://www.facebook.com/events/846902582090336/

12038392_1227413100618541_8740772053181650829_nThis Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey, Songs of Praise is pleased to bring back the wonderful Grant Sharkey. Music, satire, poignancy and silliness all sit side by side in a set that is as much a stand-up comedy routine as it is a musical show. Fun will be poked, noses tweaked, politics unravelled, boundaries pushed and stories woven in a night of riotous music and humour. If you want a show that thinks outside the box, then this is it.

Event Page Here