NEWS & VIEWS
2018 - MY LIVE MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS
30/12/18What a fab year this has been for me on the live music front with amazingly 3 gigs making my all time top 10, namely The Rolling Stones rocking the The Ricoh with a set list to die for (one off the bucket list for sure), the wonderful Wildwood Kin at The Zephyr Lounge with their gorgeous vocal harmonies and songwriting prowess (so thrilled they are at Cropredy next year) and most recently a magical, pyro filled night at the Birmingham Arena with the mighty Nightwish, the latter and the Stones no photo pass but you can’t have it all I suppose!
Other fabulous gigs locally for me this year included corking Assembly shows by Dr. Feelgood (always a magical night when Mr Walwyn brings the doctor for a local visit), Magnum, Fish, Hazel O’ Connnor, Canned Heat and last but not least the Black Star Riders where it was such a thrill for the 2nd time ever to be in the photo pit just a foot or so away from the amazing guitarist Scott Gorham, must say support band Myke Gray were fab as well and what a power-packed performance from their guest vocalist Kim Jennett.
At the Zephyr Lounge it was a welcome return for local blues maestro Laurence Jones and a full on New Jersey evening by The Bon Jovi Experience while a little further afield it was a cracking double bill with Europe and King King at the O2 Institute.
Local festival highlights for me included another quality Napton Festival a couple of visits to the Warwick Folk Festival which included two beautiful sets by Kitty Macfarlane and my second visit to the festival everyone should go to once in their life Cropredy, the latter including outstanding sets by legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Kate Rusby with her exquisite vocals and once again my beloved Fish (with his live music retirement on the distant horizon every time I see him in action is precious and this was also the last time I would see him performing music from the iconic Marillion album ‘Clutching At Straws’).
Many local artists impressed me on the live front this year including two female vocalists with stunning voices who both get better each time I see them perform Matilda Pratt and Taylor-Louise, and rocking sets by Mara Falls and dirtyjACkDC.
Steve Walwyn’s “An Evening With” at The Catalan Restaurant in Warwick was full of amazing stories from his musical life as well as a cracking blues set with local musical friends.
Lastly but certainly not least a very special night for me celebrating my 11 years of gig photography with an exhibition and sale at The Oak House Club in Leamington Spa which thanks to many of you raised over £800 for good causes and I felt honoured and thrilled to have live sets by Kristy Gallacher and Steve Walwyn (with guests Sam Powell and Martin Cure) on the night.
Cutting down a little on the live music coverage from next year but sure a few gigs will entice me back into the fray.
Have a rocking 2019 and keep looking at HML and my web site as I plane to start archiving my gig photos 2008-2018 and show the best of the unpublished along with hopefully a bit of new stuff.