Diamond Media Productions

My Gig Reviews of 2001

(last updated: 28th October 2001)


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Latest GIG Reviews:
Thu 1st Nov saw Nanci Griffith return to London's Royal Albert Hall. I didn't manage to make it this time around, but I've heard one or two good comments!
Wed 24thOct was the date to catch the legendary Tom Paxton at The Spitz. Despite world events, he has made it over to the UK, and has toured here every year in the last 30. Whilst in Britain, he was informed that The ASCAP Foundation is to award him a "Lifetime Achievement Award for Folk Music" award in February 2002. Well deserved.
Also on Wed 24thOct, Gillian Welch played the Union Chapel to promote her new album, "Time (the Revelator)" (Acony).
Tue 23rd Oct saw a super gig at The Borderline. Jeff Finlin made his third visit there and was in fine form, with a set that featured much of his "Original Fin" album, now released in the UK on Gravity. Backing him on guitar was Will Kimbrough, who in the earlier set had Finlin as his backing guitarist. Will's album "This" has been picked up by Gravity from Waxy Silver, and he was brilliant. We last saw him when he accompanied Rodney Crowell at his Dingwall's gig, back in May.
Tue 23rd Oct Dave Davies was at Dingwalls.
Sat 20th & Sun 21st Oct saw the excellent Turin Brakes play a couple of nights at The Shepherd's Bush Empire. Check out their album "The Optimist".
Thu 18th,Oct. Brian Setzer was at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
Wed 17th,Oct. Ryan Adams played the Shepherds Bush Empire, and it was the hottest ticket in town. My spies tell me he was great, and he performed a lot of material from his super new album "Gold" (Lost Highway). Many of us who were unable to make it, had to make do with the three songs he performed on "Later With Jools Holland" (BBC-2)
Mon 15th to Wed 17th Oct. Dale Watson played three nights at the Borderline.
Sun 14th Oct saw Nick Lowe at The London Palladium.
Sat 13th had Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes back in London at The Astoria.
Thu 11th the wonderful Thea Gilmore was at The Spitz.
Thu 4th was the date to catch Dolly Varden at The Borderline.
Wed 3rd Tom Russell and Andrew Hardin were also at The Borderline.
Tue 2nd Toni Caitlin played the 12-Bar in Denmark Street. Sadly Kimberley Dahme & Cindy Kalmenson cancelled, following the New York tragedy, but I've had great reports on Toni.
Mon 1st Oct Kevin Montgomery returned to the 12-Bar Club in Denmark Street
Sat 29th, The Vigilantes of Love were back at The Borderline.
Fri 28th Sept., Josh Rouse made an appearance at The Borderline
Thu. 27th Sept Oh Susannah played The Borderline.
Wed 26th Sept. Loudon Wainwright III made his only UK appearance at The Bloomsbury Theatre.
Fri 21st saw Grand Drive play The Borderline, promoting their excellent "True Love & High Adventure" (RCA Victor)
13th Sept. Ed Harcourt was at London's ULU.
Wed 12th The Mike Plume Band + Sorrentinos were at The Borderline.
Tue. 11th Sept, Gary Allan played the Borderline on to promote his new album "All Right Guy".
Sat 1st Sept Kevin Welch made a welcome return to The Borderline.
Tue 28th Aug saw Chip Taylor play London's Kashmir Club, in support of his new album "Black & Blue America" (Train Wreck).
Sat. 25th Aug Bap Kennedy was at The Verge, Kentish Town.
Thu. 16th Aug. The Godfather of Soul, himself, James Brown made a rare UK appearance at the Ocean in Hackney.
Also on Thu. 16th Aug Sparklehorse, whose new album "It's A Wonderful Life" (Capitol) is recommended, played the Mean Fiddler.
Wed 15th Aug The lovely Eileen Rose was at Dingwalls ..
Thu 9th Aug was when Memphis' Big Star played the Mean Fiddler. They're fronted by the legendary Alex Chilton, the lead vocalist of the Box Tops, in the Sixties.
Sat 4th Aug was the date for The Incredible String Band, at the Bloomsbury Theatre, in London.
Mon. 30th July Suzanne Vega played the Shepherds Bush Empire.
Fri. 27th The excellent Turin Brakes were at London's Astoria.
Weds. 25th Country Joe McDonald, was over in the UK, and played The Borderline.
Tues. 24th saw Slaid Cleaves' play The Borderline. He was supported by Stewboss, ahead of his appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Sun 22nd July: My good friend Bruce Johnston, who together with Mike Love now front The Beach Boys played 'The Route of Kings' venue in London's Hyde Park, with Status Quo. (Incidentally, I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Quo's manager, David Walker. I'd known him for many years, from the days we went to Spurs away matches together, and later when he managed the Sweet, and then Quo. My last contact with him, was a brief chat, backstage, at the 'Route of Kings' gig) This was The Beach Boys' first trip to England since the passing of Carl Wilson. The last time they were here, Brian Wilson joined his brother and the rest of the band, to back Quo at the recording of an "In Concert" video, and it was one heck of a night in Brixton !
This time around, the large open-air crowd were treated to a high-powered performance, with Mike & Bruce sharing the lead-vocal duties with band members Adrian Baker, Chris Farmer and John Cowsill (yes, of "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" fame).
We were privileged to over an hour of non-stop Beach Boys hits, with the most touching moment being Bruce's dedication of "God Only Knows" to the late Carl Wilson, the song's original lead-vocalist.
It's impossible for me to review Quo, as I was 'hanging' backstage with the Johnston family, during their set! I can say they were pretty loud!
Wed. 18th July Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin's original band) came to The Borderline.
Mon. 16th They Might Be Giants returned to London to play the Shepherd's Bush Empire.
Thu. 12th July, Eileen Rose got to play Dingwalls, in a show postponed from 6th June.
Mon. 9th July saw an outdoor concert at London's Somerset House, featuring Lambchop.
Sun. 8th July saw the Robert Cray Band at Shepherd's Bush Empire. His new album "Shoulda Been Home" (Rykodisc) is pretty good.
Fri. 6th July Richard Hawley was performing at the Borders store in London's Oxford Street, as part of an "Uncut" night.
Fri. 29th June An all-star cast gathered at the Hammersmith Apollo, in a Gala Tribute to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
Tue. 26th Doyle Bramhall II, fresh from recently supporting Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, was at The Borderline on June, promoting his recent album "Welcome" (RCA).
Sun. 24th Laura Cantrell was at The Borderline. Her album "Not the Tremblin' Kind" (Spit & Polish) is highly recommended.
Sat. 16th Neil Young & Crazy Horse headlined The Fleadh, in Finsbury Park, with many other top names.
Mon 11th was the date for Little Feat, at the Ocean in Hackney.
Fri. 15th : Southside Johnny & The Asbury Dukes played London's Mean Fiddler at 165 Charing Cross Road.
Tue. 12th & Wed 13th The Willard Grant Conspiracy were back in London, with two nights at The Borderline, and very good they were too.
And on Tue. 12th Alanis Morrisette made her only UK appearance at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sun. 10th June: saw The Pernice Brothers play Dingwalls. Their new album "The World Won't End" is out on Southpaw. Click here to read my review.
Sat. 9th June: The Eagles kicked off their four nights at London's Earls Court, and it was a stupendous show. I have to say that the advantage of seeing The Eagles in 2001, as opposed to the mid-Seventies, is the fantastic wealth of repertoire they were able to call upon, plus the technological advances in sound and lighting of 25 years.
From the opening four-part- àcapella harmony of "Seven Bridges Road", Don Henley, Glen Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit ran through just about every Eagles hit, every solo hit, and much more. The sound was superb, and they were augmented by four additional musicians (including guitarist Steuart Smith, who shared the leads with Walsh) plus a 4-man brass section.
There were too many highlights to list, but special mention must be made of "Hotel California", "Lyin' Eyes", "Boys of Summer", "Life's Been Good", and "Love Will Keep Us Alive" - who's co-composer Paul Carrack was in the audience. An unforgettable night!
Sat. 9th June: Mary Chapin Carpenter played the Hammersmith Apollo, with support from Shawn Colvin. For obvious reasons (see above) I was unable to attend ! Click on her name (above) to go to my Chapin page.
Tues. 29th May: Grand Drive, were in fine form at Dingwalls. Their album "True Love and High Adventure", Nick Stewart and I have been featuring on the Capt. America radio show, have now signed to BMG, and that album, together with their earlier release "Road Music" is just re-released on RCA Victor.
Wed. 23rd May: Rodney Crowell made a hero's return to London. He was at Dingwalls, in support of his new album "The Houston Kid" (Sugar Hill), and he gave a barn-storming performance to an SRO crowd. If you were there, you'll know how good he was - and if you weren't, just kick yourself ! Check out my Review of the album.
Tues. 22nd May: Steve Forbert accompanied by Gary Solomon was at Dingwalls, and on the same bill was Stacey Earle, accompanied by her husband Mark Stuart.
Tue. 15th May: I found myself in good company, at The Back Door Club at The Torrington, High Road, North Finchley to catch Kevin Montgomery along with Doug Pettibone and Robert Reynolds and Paul Deakin of the Mavericks. Now known collectively as Paint, they were supported by Trish Murphy.
It was a fantastic gig, and for more details, click here.
Mon,Tue. 14th & 15th May: The Handsome Family brought their own style of alt-country to London's Borderline, for two nights. Their last album "In The Air" is available on Loose Recordings On the 14th, they were supported by Eileen Rose, and on the 15th the support came from Hawksley Workman.
Wed. 9th May: Jim White was at Dingwalls. His album "No Such Place" (Luaka Bop) has justifyably been receiving some favourable reviews.
Sun. 6th & Mon 7th May: Ryan Adams played the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. The ex-Whiskeytown lead-singer has an excellent album currently: "Heartbreaker" (Cooking Vinyl).
Tues. 1st May: The wonderful alt-country band Slobberbone returned to play The Borderline, "Everything you Thought Was Right Was Wrong" (New West).
Sat. 28th April: We finally caught the excellent Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent tour, at The Standard, in London's Walthamstow. A great time was had by one and all. They performed all the old favourites from The Zombies, Argent, Colin's solo material and the haunting "Old & Wise", which he performed when with The Alan Parsons Project. And of course, they did a few from the new album "Out of the Shadows" (Redhouse).
Mon. 23rd: The lovely Shea Seger was at Dingwalls on, performing songs from her superb "May Street Project" (RCA).
Sat 21st: Tom Ovans has a stupendous album "Still In This World" just out on Evangeline. He was at the Borderline , along with the Good Sons, fronted by Michael Weston-King on. Their new album is "Happiness" (Floating World). Only wish I could have made it there.
Thu. 19th April: The Cosmic Roughriders played Dingwalls, and they're a band who have been causing quite a stir with their retro-psychedelic / kitsch offering "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine" (Poptones). You've probably have heard alot of "Baby You're So Free" on Radio 2, recently, where it was Ken Bruce's Record-of-the-Week!
Wed. 18th April: Amy Rigby looked and sounded great at The Borderline. A good crowd heard her promote her excellent album "The Sugar Tree" (Koch). Topping the bill was John Wesley Harding, who used the occasion to launch the long-awaited album "The Confessions of St. Ace" (Edel/Mammoth).
Wed. 11th April: The excellent Calexico played to a large and enthusiastic crowd at London's new Ocean in Hackney, most of whom, it seemed, owned their brilliant "Hot Rail" album (City Slang) .
Supporting them was the superb Neko Case, who used them for backing (!) and performed a number of new songs, one or two of my faves like "Twist The Knife", plus a stunning rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Running Out Of Fools".
Calexico, with two trumpeters, vibraphone and pedal-steel guitar in their line up, performed an ethereal set, and also cooked on numbers like "The Ballad of Cable Hoag". That was one of the songs they also performed on BBC-2's Later With Jools Holland on Fri. 13th Apr., when they were helped out by Neko Case. They also showcased their single "Crystal Frontier" and received rapturous applause from Jools' studio audience.
Wed. 11th April: Yes, that same night, the wonderful Dido played the first of two nights at the Shepherds Bush Empire, performing songs from her album "No Angel" (Cheeky/Arista). Unable to be at two venues at once, Gareth Morgan used his father's ticket and reported back that she was brilliant, and it was a great gig. Nuff said!
Tue. 10th April: Gretchen Peters made a welcome return to London, where at Dingwalls, she completed her 2nd UK tour. She was in great form, and for a full review, click here to go to my Gretchen page.
Wed. 4th April: Toronto-based Oh Susanna (aka Suzie Ungerleider) kicked off her UK and Ireland tour, at The Borderline in London. She did a number of radio appearances, to promote her album "Sleepy Little Sailor" (Square Dog), which is less-country to the previous outing "Johnstown"
Sat. 10th March: Eric Heatherley played The Borderline, with his full band. He burst onto the scene in the latter half of 2000 with a great re-working of the Statler Brothers' "Flowers On The Wall", and now "Wrong Five O'Clock", also from his debut album "Swimming In Champagne" (Mercury Nashville), looks like becoming a big hit, too. I had been playing it quite a bit on my Ritz 1035 shows.
Thu 8th March: The incredible Jimmie Dale Gilmore, together with Slaid Cleaves, and The Cash Brothers were at The Garage, Highbury and Islington. Jimmie's latest album, "One Endless Night" (Rounder) is arguably his best to date. Slaid's "Broke Down" (Philo) was one of the best of 2000, and The Cash Brothers' new album "How Was Tomorrow" has a UK release in April.
Wed 7th March: Dave Alvin played the Borderline, supported by the Mike Plume Band.
Mon 5th March: The talented Buddy Mondlock made a welcome return, and played The Borderline on, in support of his album "Poetic Justice"  (EMI Canada).
Sat. 3rd March: Kim Richey was in great form at The Borderline, performing some new songs, as well as some old favourites. I, once again, met up with her when she came in to do a live session at Ritz 1035, on Thu. 22nd Feb. Click here to go to my Kim Richey page. Kim is one of the first artists signed to Mercury's new Lost Highway imprint - a label that will showcase great talented singer/songwriters. She came onto my Captain America Radio show to preview and perform one of the songs from that album, on Fri. 17th Aug. 2001.
On Weds. 21st Feb, the Borderline was the venue for "An evening with Jeff Finlin and the Idle Jets". Pat Buchanan of the Idle Jets and Jeff made a lot of friends when they were in the UK, accompanying Kevin Montgomery in August, and this was another excellent night's entertainment. Jeff's "Original Fin" album was one of the gems of 2000.
On Tues. 13th Feb Ashley Jay played The Borderline. (the day after my birthday !), and her self-titled album is available in the UK on Swordmaker. The Arlenes were also on the bill.
On Thu. 8th Feb, two acts who have just had albums released on the Munich label appeared at The Borderline. Johnny Dowd, whose "Temporary Shelter" and The Baptist Generals whose "Dog" albums have both had airplay on Ritz 1035's Captain America Radio show, both showcased their new albums.
On Weds. 7th Feb, the highly-acclaimed Grandaddy played The Forum in London, and their "Software Slump" (V2) album was one of the highlights of 2000.
Thurs 1st Feb saw Chris Mills returning to play in London. This time he was at the Borderline. On his last trip he came into Ritz 1035 to play a live session to promote his "Kiss It Goodbye" album on Loose Recordings. Also on the bill was Jess Klein and Hawksley Workman. Jess played a live session on Ritz 1035 at around 11am that morning, a track of which I repeated on my Captain America show, that night.
On Wed. 31st Jan, The excellent Laura Cantrell was at Dingwalls. Her album "Not The Trembling Kind" (Spit & Polish) is another I'm pleased to recommend.
On Tues. 30th Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, played the Borderline. I must say, I particularly enjoyed their 1998 album "Bayou Ruler" (Rounder).
On the 29th, Eileen Rose returned to continue her short Monday-night residency at the Borderline, and her album "Shine Like It Does" is available on Rough Trade. She was supported by the excellent Jess Klein, whose album "Draw Them Near" (Ryko) is highly recommended.
On Sat. 27th January, Suzzy Roche and her sister Maggie played the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on London's South Bank. They were joined on stage for a couple of songs by Curtis Stigers, and for more than a couple of songs, by assorted members of the audience (not me!). One-third of the excellent Roches,,Suzzy's second solo album, "Songs From An Unmarried Housewife" is released on Red House.
On Fri. 26th, the excellent Neal Casal was in London, at The Mean Fiddler.
On Weds. 24th, The Webb Brothers (sons of Jimmy) played Dingwalls, Camden Lock. Their album "Maroon" out on Mews 5, is very good.
Tues. 16th was the date to catch The Countrypolitans (from Texas), and they were supported by Carrie Newcomer. Her album, "The Age of Possibility" is out on Philo, and it's pretty good.
On Thu. 11th Jan, there was some fine Bluegrass pickin' from Alison Brown at The Borderline. Her excellent album "Fair Weather" is released in the UK on her own Compass label, and picked up a Grammy, for Best Country Instrumental Performance, for the track "Leaving Cottondale".
Reviews for 2000 continue by clicking: here