Another excellent evening at The Palmeira, courtesy of the ever-tasteful Brightmelmstone Promotions: the Rockingbirds did their Brit Americana thing to very good effect.
I was never at the Hope and Anchor or the Nashville in the seventies but last night felt I could have been. There was a definite Brinsley Schwarz pubrock air to this, er, pub rock. Ace pedal steel player Patrick Arbuthnot was even sporting a denim jacket with a sheepskin collar.
Old numbers I knew, like 'Jonathan Jonathan' (a heartfelt tribute to Mr Richman) and 'Time Drives A Truck', nestled up to pleasant newer ones. I have to report that Gram Parsons' 'Return Of The Grievous Angel' was the strongest song of the night - but then it would be in most people's sets. The Rockingbirds' strengths are in their excellent guitarists, cohesion and overall warmth, rather than knock-out writing and singing. They're a lot of fun and well worth seeing.
Meanwhile, some notable records to recommend to you.
I'm still waiting for my CD copy of Wussy's Attica! and will say more when it arrives. But if it's possible to wear out a download, I may well do before then. Glorious stuff. I've also been re-listening to their second album, Left For Dead, courtesy of a very well-produced vinyl reissue, pressed in limited numbers for Record Store Day in the US. You'll have to get Shake It Records to post it to you from Cincinatti, but it's worth it...
I'm similarly listening to an advance MP3 of Two Wings' A Wake, which is due out at the end of the month and sounding very good. I'm looking forward to seeing them play in Brighton on the 27th, and to having a fullsize version of what looks like another lovely piece of cover art from Hanna Tuulikki.
They're competing for listening time with others that I've already mentioned: Ryley Walker's All Kinds Of You, The Hold Steady's Teeth Dreams and Powder Blue's Dream In Black.
Let me add one more to the list: Thus Owls' third release (and first on vinyl) Turning Rocks. They're less out there than when I first encountered them at The Great Escape in 2011, but still distinctive and intriguing. It is a great shame that they appear to have dropped the colon from their name, but then again that has made the first sentence of this paragraph easier to read... Here's a taster