Tag Archive: tamsin quin


59832831_2835369863156182_5602576901085331456_nA couple of weeks back those awfully nice people at Songs of Praise put on a bit of a blinder of a show. Ex- Case Hardin main man Pete Gow was the headline draw aided and abetted by a band garnered from the great and good of the Clubhouse Record’s roster and a 5-piece string section. In a church! On a Saturday Night! With a bar!

Now, I would have thought that this would be seen as being something a bit special but apparently not. Despite features in The Adver, Ocelot, Swindonian, SOMR and the like, it failed to pull many at all. It was up against some stiff competition with The Radioactive Zombie Mutant Bikers From Hell in town to play loose approximations of tired classic rock songs and Fred Spode offering his take on Joe Bonamassa numbers – so, covers of covers of covers. And what is it with Joe Bonamassa? Apart from blues aficionados, no one had heard of him 5 years ago and now he is touted as some sort of minor diety by cover bands!

Anyway, I digress. So basically you weren’t there, and I have the maths to prove the probability of this sweeping statement. And because you weren’t there you not only missed a glorious set from the aforementioned Clubhouse posse, you missed a elegant and eloquent opening set from Tamsin Quin, helped by Jamie R Hawkins, no slouch as a singer-songwriter himself. It looked a lot like this….

There were plenty of “gutted I missed it,” comments and Instagram hearts after the fact, which is either lovely or annoying depending on your viewpoint, and of course, the lesson learned is that shows like this don’t happen often and when they do they need to be supported. “I’ll catch the next one” doesn’t work if the promoter decides that there is no point doing the next one.

I was just going to post the video and leave it at that, but I do get annoyed at what I perceive as apathy for shows which really bring something new and add a new dimension to an already struggling live circuit. Rant over, I’m off to eat cheese and listen to Mazzy Star, enjoy your Sunday.

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image.pngIt feels almost like getting the full set. I’ve recently had music in from both Tamsin Quin and Phil Cooper and as this little pop-folk triptych seem to swirl around in various matched and mixed combinations popping up on each others records or playing in each others bands, it seem entirely right that I have something in from Jamie too.

It’s always hard to make heartfelt music sound sincere, many artists, presumably with the best intentions, fail because they end up resorting to cliche or schmaltz or just suffer from not having a deft enough step to navigate such difficult territory. Jamie has always wandered such pathways with ease. A combination of clean-limbed but clever guitar work and a masterful choice of words deliver the perfect tones of raw honesty that such songs require,  and Thank You, Friend, like many of his songs, drips with exactly the right sentiment. You can fake many things in music, and indeed life, but sincerity is not one of them.

Blending pop accessibility with folk earnestness, intimacy with a universally relatable message, a hint of retreating darkness in a brightening future, a clever mix of dexterous playing with resonant weight,  Thank You, Friend is Jamie doing what he seems to do so  honestly, so exquisitely well, so charmingly and somehow, so effortlessly.

70352532_10156836773674412_6272372326432505856_nI used to write a weekly music column. I used to be someone. I could have been a contender. Look at me, Ma! I’m on top of the world! Ahh well, fuckem! I hope that the Swindon Advertiser’s policy of appealing to a “younger crowd” via a more “online platform” is working out.

Still, I thought in the interest of drumming up a bit of excitement for some really cool bands I have had the pleasure to work with over the years, I would drop a few names about as, in all likelihood, they won’t get much of a mention anywhere else, not being grunge tribute bands or husband and wife acoustic pop cover duos.

There is a connective point for all of this and that point comes in the shape of a splendid chap called Tim Emery, a man of high sartorial taste and low-slung basses (as pictured) and who I first got to know as the four-stringer with the most excellent Case Hardin.’ Though right from our first conversation it was clear that our respective musical histories were intertwined through various odd musical acquaintances, strange sleazy bands and even sleazier venues. Case Hardin’ have, sadly, called it a day but front man Pete Gow brings his solo show to Christ Church, yes, an actual flippin’ church, aided and abetted by a Clubhouse Records assembled band plus the Siren Strings, for a night of dulcet alt-country crooning and gorgeous classical sweeps on 28th September. If you need a dose of the charming Tamsin Quin (and who never needed that) then that is also the place to be.

The aforementioned Mr E is, as far as I know, not part of that set up but you can find him at The Beehive on Friday 20th with CCRR…or Creedence Clearwater Revival Revival. No guesses who they pay tribute to but fans of The Snakes should note that there are a lot of familiar faces to be found lurking within this wonderful gang.

Emery-watchers will also be able to get a double helping of our crepe-shoed hero striking some poses and throwing some shapes with Last Great Dreamers. Back up to full strength after a recent three-piece excursion, this bunch of Dickensian clad, power-popping, trash-rockers open Fatboy’s Cancer Charity at Level 3 on Friday 4th October as well as popping up again on the Saturday for an acoustic set in The Rolleston. And just look at the company they will be keeping….

So the question is do we call this EmFest or Timapolloza? Or maybe not bother. The votes are in….it’s a resounding not bother.

Some logistics and links…

FRIDAY 4th OCTOBER 2019

DOORS OPEN 6.45pm

LAST GREAT DREAMERS 7.30 – 8.15
Tax The Heat 8.30 -9.30
Rock Goddess 10.00 – 11.15pm

SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER 2019

ROLLESTON STAGE DURING AFTERNOON
Alicia Griffin 1.45pm – 2.15pm
The Lawless 2.30 pm – 3.00pm
Dangerous Kitchen 3.15pm – 3.45pm
Wolfpeake 4.00pm -4.45pm
Last Great Dreamers 5.00pm – 5.45pm
DOORS OPEN 6.00pm

MAIN STAGE
SPACE ELEVATOR – 7.00pm to 7.40pm
HOLLOWSTAR – 7.55pm to 8.40pm
Bad Touch – 9.00 to 9.45 pm
The Quireboys – This Is Rock And Roll – 10.00 pm to 11.15 pm

And finally, and just to mess up the chronology of this article even further…hey, rock and roll isn’t about following the rules, Level III is also the place to be this Saturday (21st) for Steve Tilling’s much talked about proggy/alt-rock/stripy trewed Circu5. They are joined by I Am The Manic Whale and another band with a Swindon connection, Let’s Swim, Get Swimming. Bands do have some strange names these days…he says eyeing his Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band album in the corner of the office.

Well, there you are, hopefully I’ll see some of you around for a pint and possibly an intense discussion about which is actually the best Waterboys’ album.

Nothing ever happens in this town yaknow?

 

68605259_1745210538955896_7744477048650858496_nIt’s always fascinating to track an artist’s evolution over a number of years and Tamsin Quin is someone who has followed a wonderful path as a musician, artist and performer. To be honest, it’s always been in her, even in the early days a certain charm and charisma, humour and confidence was obvious and the songs where always there, but like any journey it takes a while to bed in, get comfortable and develop that meaningful stride. Scandal is the sound of Tamsin Quin being…well, just more Tamsin Quin and its glorious.

Her songs have always featured the universal subjects of relationships, of love, loss and longing but have also always done so in a very mature way. Not for her the histrionics and drama that the pop world is filled with nor the cliche and bravado of the rock world, for though her music is best described as roots pop, it is the roots element which she leans toward lyrically. The music is accessible, pop aware and easy on the ear but lyrically she taps into older, more mature ways of discussing those subjects and Scandal is the perfect example of this old folk-wise head on young pop shoulders.

Just the sweet and spacious acoustic guitar to rest her voice on, her vocals are both soothing and   alluring in equal measure, like a whisper in the ear from someone close, reassurance with just the right amount of excitement. And even the language she choses takes her a step above a lot of the competition, mythologising the everyday world into a place filled with outlaws, tyrants and villains, vagabonds and scoundrels. But it is the spaciousness that really seals the deal, those gaps where the notes are allowed to fade away into the distance, the breathing spaces between the words all building atmosphere and anticipation. Perhaps if, as they say,  less is more, then more less should make for much more more…or something, I’m not great with adages.

16641049_1044192879057669_1824159206035831504_nThe shock news this week is that of the sudden cancellation of all currently scheduled music at The Castle in Old Town due to a change of management at the venue. Audrey has always been a strong supporter of the local music circuit booking popular local cover bands, touring out of towners, well-loved original acts, strange cultish combos, tributes, soloists and everything in between and her departure leaves a big hole in the musical map of the town. So here is a heartfelt thanks for all her efforts over the years and I wish her the best of fortune in whatever the next chapter brings. 

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14449011_673379056164128_4679448363774001003_nThis week we head into the Christmas party zone, and thankfully it isn’t tinselled up to the max but more takes the form of some choice musical gatherings to celebrate and see the year out with.

At The Victoria, Songs of Praise, has their last big show for a while as they head towards a year of much reduced bookings. Before that happens though they have lined up a great night of old school rock, sleazy grooves and boogie beats to put this year’s activities to bed.

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14468193_10153789195910025_4105194703030807599_oIt’s nice to see another week where Swindon continues to embrace original and often out of town bands, if nothing else it gives me nothing to moan about as the length of this introduction attests to.

Thursday

Flight Brigade, George Wilding Band and TriAmi @ The Victoria

If some of the recent big names have hailed from a slightly earlier time, Flight Brigade (pictured) is a band bang on the moment. Festival favourites, beloved by bloggers and journalists and adored by the more adventurous side of the national radio posse and tonight you get to see why. If the idea of a folk heartbeat wrapped in layers of indie cool, rock drive and pop sensibility and then delivered with energy and style doesn’t get your blood pumping then you may as well give up on music and go back to your Stephanie Meyer novels and your collection of vintage manhole covers as it doesn’t get much better than this.

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13116233_1147335191965449_4162624693147308179_oI’m happy to see that the autumn dance card of bigger, out of town acts is continuing with some pace. Tonight, Songs of Praise bring you the first of four gigs they have scheduled around town, beginning at The Victoria for some highly accessible alt-rock fusion.

Flight Brigade sit in the same place as the likes of Imagine Dragons or early Arcade Fire, blending lush indie soundscapes with radio friendly melody, elements of folk sit at its core but get wrapped in swathes of energy, passion and panache. Also on the bill is George Wilding who continues his journey from nostalgia tinged troubadour to forward thinking textured pop icon and TriAmi, a fantastic folktronic trio who have the ability to say more in the atmospheric spaces within their songs than most bands can with actual chords and words.

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