Capercaillie at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, 29.11.13

It had been a while since I last saw Capercaillie play. That was at Chichester Festival Theatre about three or four years ago. So when Charlie, their fiddle player, said he had got me a couple of tickets for the London gig on this 30th anniversary tour, it was like an extra birthday present for me. In the end, things changed and I went on my own, but that was fine and I was able to make use of the spare seat later. Continue reading

Twenty Years of Mary Jane

Those of you who know me well know that I’ve always been a hardcore folkie. I’ve always been a hardcore rocker, too, and a worshipper of the Bowie God. This love of music has taken me to various places and I was invited some years ago to write for a traditional music website called RootsReview. The website no longer exists – I seem to recall politics got involved somewhere along the line and the owner of the website didn’t have the stomach for arguing so often about petty issues – but we had begun to acquire something of a reputation and may even have been a rival for fRoots, had we continued on that path.

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Emily Smith at the Ropetackle Arts Centre

Tonight I went to see Emily Smith play at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham. I hadn’t seen Emily and her husband Jamie McClennan play for some time, because she’s not often in my neck of the woods, and she’s even less often here when I’m in a position to go and see her. So when I knew she was going to be just down the road, I went along.

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Capercaillie at Chichester Festival Theatre, 13.02.11

It was something of a relief to go to Chichester yesterday, as I was in serious need of a break from work. Ariana came down from Cambridge to Brighton and the three of us went to Chichester in the evening to meet my parents at the Festival Theatre. This had been planned for some months and it had been about three years since I had last seen Capercaillie, also at the Festival Theatre. Continue reading

Approaching spring

As we near the middle of February, it’s clear that spring is on its way. If you ignore the sometimes bitter cold and take a look around, you might see a few snowdrops (as I did this morning when I took a short cut through the Pavilion Gardens) or some daffodils trying their hardest to push through. After what was apparently the coldest December on record, it’s nice to see some evidence of Mother Nature turning her wheel and bringing us all closer to the warmth once more. Continue reading