Tag Archives: adpontes

The Neon Knight Bows Out

The much-admired Woking, Surrey music producer and sound engineer MARTIN BIRCH died on 9 August 2020.

Martin “the farmer” Birch was closely associated with British rock acts such as Deep Purple, Rainbow, Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath,, and especially Iron Maiden.

BIRCH a.k.a. “the headmaster” is considered to have been (along with Tom Allom) a pioneering Metal producer.

Beck ola
Birch gained his first recognition for his work on The Faces 1970 album “The First Step” (producer/engineer.)

He produced ten Iron Maiden albums, from Killers (1981) through to Fear of the Dark (1992).

His “Piece of Mind” by Iron Maiden (1983) is often cited as the best produced metal record of all time.

He began his career as an audio engineer with Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple, and went on to produce and engineer eleven albums for Deep Purple. In fact, he gained his first recognition for his work on The Faces 1970 album “The First Step” (producer/engineer.)

He began at the old De Lane Lea Studios in London where Deep Purple’s Fireball (1971) was recorded (he worked as an engineer on the project) and later worked at the Battery Studios in Willesden, London (aka Zomba) where he worked on Killers, Iron Maiden (1981) among many other projects.

As a musician, Birch played rhythm guitar on Adam Faith’s “I Survive” (1974) , and he provided backing vocals for Roger Glover’s “Elements” (1978) and tape techniques for Maiden’s “Somewhere In Time” in 1986. He earned writing & arrangement credits for several recordings including: Maiden’s “Live After Death” (1985) and Whitesnake’s “Don’t Break My Heart Again” (1981).

Iron Maiden’s first album to feature vocalist Bruce DickinsonThe Number of the Beast” ( recorded in 1982, at Battery Studios) is often described, by rock ‘n’ metal cognoscenti, as “Metal’s Sergeant Pepper”. During the recording,      Birch was involved in a collision with a mini-bus transporting a group of nuns. According to legend, after the crash he was presented with a repair bill for £666!

Since his semi-retirement in 1992, and after producing Maiden’s Fear of the Dark, Birch had been mainly working on preparing box sets and re-releases.

Engineer & Producer Martin Birch
Engineer & Producer Martin Birch

Selected discography

1969 – Beck-Ola, Jeff Beck (engineer)
1970 – In Rock, Deep Purple (engineer)
1972 – Argus, Wishbone Ash (engineer)
1973 – Penguin, Fleetwood Mac (producer, engineer, mixing)
1975 – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (co-producer, engineer, mixing)
1980 – Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath (producer, engineer)
1982 – Saints & Sinners, Whitesnake (producer, engineer, mixing)
1982 – Assault Attack, Michael Schenker Group (producer, engineer)
1983 – Piece of Mind, Iron Maiden (producer)
1984 – Powerslave, Iron Maiden (producer, engineer, mixing)
1992 – Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden (producer, engineer, mixing)

SPIKEDRIVERS + FRAN MCGILLIVRAY — Saints & Sinners, Staines

What could be better — in this season of giving — than to receive a generous two-for-one deal? That was the gift they gave us at Staines Riverside Club this week when we saw the fabulous SPIKEDRIVERS play alongside the sensational FRAN MCGILLIVRAY BAND (with Mike Burke) in a special show of “Saints and Sinners”.

Ben Tyzack
Ben Tyzack – offers a “big stew-up of sounds…”

We aim to bring you our interpretations of blues and gospel...” Ben Tyzack of the Spikedrivers told the appreciative audience right at the start. “A big stew-up of sounds, if you like.

And it’s true, the gumbo of sounds that these talented musicians brought to the good people of Staines was a “holy trinity” of spirituals, sharp blues and zesty rock ‘n’ roll.

Beginning with the traditional gospel number “Gospel Plow (Hold On)” that was made notable by Odetta in 1961, the outfit brought smooth combings of guitar, delicious choral melodies, double bass lines (double, as in two of them!) and ripples of elegant rhythm.

Fran McGillivray
Fran – nuanced vocal work

Other songs, such as a smooth Marvin Gaye-ish soul version of the traditional gospel number “Up Above My Head” (rendered with an added soupçon of funk) resonated with the feeling of sweet victory over sin…

But alongside such sacred songs were more obviously turbid numbers, like “Got My Mojo Working” with its reference to Louisiana Hoodoo.

This song danced with the devil as much as the fast and urgent interpretation of the “Cross Road Blues” (Robert Johnson, 1936) that came later in the show. Here, there were glorious backing vocals, guitar howls that ripped through the night air, and an edgy feeling of hustle & bustle that would not have been out of place at Sun Studios around 1952 .

We were told that many spirituals were written in code: for example, “Wade in the Water” probably helped fugitive slaves by warning them that the dogs had been released. Or that the Jordan River would correlate with the Potomac — “once you’d crossed the “Nation’s River” you would find yourself in the promised land.” So, the evening was instructive as well as being highly enjoyable.

Fran’s nuanced vocal work reminded us of Elkie Brooks (in her Vinegar Joe days), while Mike’s expressive finger-work was skillful and inventive, Ben’s voice was firm and vigorous and Constance’s voice was silver-toned and soothing. All the while, the imaginative percussion was a joy.

The two-bands-in-one of the “Saints and Sinners” combo produced a charming iridescence and brought a sincere commitment to authenticity. This was an equanimous concert, delivered by confident and cool-headed music professionals who brought honeyed rhythmic cadences, easy-street rock ‘n’ roll highlights and dignified call-and-response verses that simply slid off the tongue.

Another exceptional night of superlative music at the Staines Riverside Club.

For lovers of the Staples Singers

Ben Tyzack: guitar, vocals & harmonica
Maurice Mcelroy : drums, vocals & percussion
Constance Redgrave: bass guitar, vocals & percussion
Fran McGillivray: bass, vocals
Mike Burke: guitar, vocals

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/franmcgillivrayband/

https://www.facebook.com/spikedriversuk/

Words: @neilmach 2019 ©

KINDRED SPIRIT — Elemental

The West London UK based five-piece band KINDRED SPIRIT — headed up by talented song-smith and singer/guitarist Elaine Samuels — have two excellent, classically trained lead players in their Folk Rock/Prog Rock line-up. Their wizard of the perfect fifths is Martin Ash (violin and viola) while their magical floutist is Catherine Cooper (flute and saxophone.) The band was formed in the late 1990s by Elaine, and now has Mike Hislop (bass) alongside Aleem Saleh or Les Binks (the Legendary Judas Priest percussionist) on drums.

We have been fans of this band for a long while (certainly, since the days of Annie Parker, Gavin Jones and Alan Barwise) and we have been enjoying their polished & meticulously presented songs since before their happy (and well deserved) recognition on the UK “Prog crcuit”. We are especially pleased to be able to review their 2019 album: “Elemental.”

Kindred Spirit Elemental Album Cover
This “protest album” has a boiling, flaming, fuming, globe on the cover…

Rain-forests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover only 6% and experts calculate the last remaining rain-forests will have been exhausted in 40 years. Thus, this “protest album” has a boiling, flaming, fuming, globe on the cover (also identifying, maybe, the different elemental properties of each individual band member) … and starts with “No Smoke Without Fire” and a somber ch-chang from acoustic guitar. The smouldering flute seethes fermented smoke into the melancholic blue atmosphere until an angelic vocal harmony arrives, perhaps to lift us from the fire and into an eternal firmament.

This song metamorphoses around a motif that’s very probably Ray Thomas inspired — it might almost have been found on In Search of the Lost Chord it’s that nostalgic — and into something far more radical and Jefferson Airplanish. Are we to blame for this scorching world? Do we care, while we rest in our nylons, the electric lights ablaze, with central heating exploding in our faces, while we hear the words : “Did you start the fire? Were you the one?” Ending deforestation is the probably the best opportunity we have to stabilize our damned climate, save wildlife species and protect our planet. But are you playing your part? * *

Elaine Samuels Kindred Spirit Photo Neil Mach
Elaine’s voice is benevolent & crystalline…

The softly pattering rhythms on “Pandora’s Box” — with its serpentine coils of flute and descending stepping-stones of chorus — are merciful, but instructive. Elaine’s voice is benevolent and crystalline. The legend says that Pandora (the figure of Eve, she, the first human woman) opened a jar containing disease, death and evil. When she realized what she had done, she attempted to close the container, but it was too late… everything bad had spread into the world, except one thing: hope.

The intro of “Beyond The Ninth Wave” is reminiscent of Uriah Heep‘s “Lady In Black” but then becomes much more intricate in nature, with a voice that ranges from soubrette to half soprano. The composition is hypnotic, fluid and sinuously sweet. And then the entire thing evolves into an expressive dance.

Over-population and “industrial greed” are issues close to Elaine’s heart. So, “Don’t Have More Than Two” is a significant moment on this album: and this is where Martin’s violin is allowed a reign of free-fire to make circles, snakes and spirals, before an insistent chorus breaks out. This chorus is given extra gravitas by Molly Larder and Skye with Bethany, Keira and Grace and other friends of the band.

Martin Ash Kindred Spirit Photo Neil Mach
Martin’s violin is allowed a reign of free-fire to make circles, snakes and spirals…

Daemons” is ever-fermenting and promiscuously potent and the most properly prog-rock track in substance. Although, possibly, the highest mark of the album is the percussive: “Red Red Rose” with a melancholic, melodic edge that corresponds to the band’s former haunting composition, “Run Red” — though the new track comes with wind-milling fiddle-play and consistent voices that hint of the price of devilry and the coming purification.

Elemental” is an ingenious and advanced folk-rock album with several well-favored songs and a lot of creative and wonderfully accomplished musical ornaments. Written for a species that is about to be lost in the fires.

Is it too late to save our planet? Play your part. **

Album launch: Saturday 2nd November ALL HALLOWS CHURCH HALL, Twickenham
Link: www.kindredspirtband.co.uk

Words & Pictures: Neil Mach

** Small scale deforestation was practiced by society for tens of thousands of years, and before the beginnings of civilization. With the advent of agriculture, larger areas were deforested, and fire has been the main tool for clearing land for crops for at least 7,000 years. In other words, the scorching of the earth has been going on for as long as man has existed. While the politics behind deforestation and land clearance is complicated (subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation) wildfire arson, “reckless burning” and habitat fragmentation for profit is always unacceptable HOW TO HELP? Support organizations fighting deforestation, use recycled products, reduce your meat consumption, raise awareness, and please plant a tree.

KEITH ELFORD & THE WEEKEND KINGS — Land of the Living

KEITH ELFORD AND THE WEEKEND KINGS has become the name of a project to create an album of guitarist & singer-songwriter Keith’s original songs.

Doug Lip
7 of 10 original songs that Keith wrote with his pal, the much missed local guitar-hero Doug Lipinski (Doug Lip)…

The album, “Land of the Living” launched on 28th June 2019 features 7 of 10 original songs that Keith wrote with his pal and the much missed local guitar-hero Doug Lipinski (Doug Lip) who passed away unexpectedly in 2016.

The band also includes all members of his band, Thunderhead (Russell Ayres, John Hiles, Stuart Sollors) plus Simon Davies and Stuart Picton, with the participation of Major Baldini and Mick Rogers.

The album is produced by Major Baldini and Simon Davies.

We had a listen:

The album begins with the thumping basser “Mojo Back” and perhaps a cynical acknowledgment of the stumbles and pitfalls of making music. Although the blues tone and riffwork on this number are quite simple, there is an acid guitar that cuts through the piece to bring a portion of world-weary skepticism.

KEITH ELFORD AND THE WEEKEND KINGS
KEITH ELFORD AND THE WEEKEND KINGS – dark energy and smoky genius…

Everybody’s Doing It” is a rock and roll jangler with a touch of darkness around the generous edges, although it also incorporates a lot of enthusiasm. This has a West Coast feel, like something from the Steve Miller band of the 70s.

Mr Charming” is perhaps one of the most successful songs on the album. Certainly, it contains dark energy and smoky genius. The ginger root ‘n’ cookie-glue voice is remonstrative and persuasive, while the convincing twists of guitar add drama and compulsion. This reminds us of the sad grandeur of Tom Petty’s compositions.

Keith Elford
Keith Elford – “Afghanistan” is based upon the real-life experiences of his stepson…

English rock guitarist Mick Rogers (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) plays the guitar on “Afghanistan” a song that’s based upon the real-life experiences of Keith’s stepson James’ first tour.

With its hearty and cheerful choral introduction, this is like a good bar song that’s overheard as you pass a tavern, but in reality it is a study about the futility of a war that can’t be won and, ultimately, the denunciation of unfathomable junkets.

Guitars froth and boil and the percussion is punctilious. This swings like a Bagram incense burner in an exedra. But when the smoulder dies away — it leaves a bitter taste.

It may not be surprising that there are consignment songs on this album that sound reconciled. So, aptly, “Dust and Water” spirals  earthbound and is suitably melancholic. The voice is poignant and dark as walnut smoke. There is a persuasive guitar solo and finesse  achieved in the detailed composition. This song symbolizes the mortality and elevation of this fine album.

Thank you to Keith and pals for their continued stewardship of Doug’s memory — this is an album to be proud of and it deserves a place alongside your collection that probably already includes discs from: The Traveling Wilburys, The Cars and Jackson Browne.

Land of the Living by Keith Elford and the Weekend Kings is OUT NOW

Link: https://www.facebook.com/KeithElfordWeekendKings/

METROPOLIS BLUE Launch

Last night, in the precious and incomparable BOILEROOM music venue in Guildford, Surrey a brand new record label was launched in style. The famous Metropolis Studios have joined the The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) to launch an exclusive record label named METROPOLIS BLUE. It is a project led by ACM students for ACM students, with guidance from industry professionals with experience in ACM and Metropolis

LKJ – a deep and bold song style & sharp confidence…

By joining ACM’s unrivaled creative industry education with the world-class status of Metropolis, ACM students will gain the exclusive experience that they need to get ahead in this competitive industry.

Chairman of ACM and Owner of Metropolis Studios Kainne Clements said: “We promised more industry-based learning and connected opportunity than any other provider and I am both excited and proud to deliver on this by launching the new record label, specific to ACM, powered by Metropolis.

And Richard Connell CEO at Metropolis Studios said: “Metropolis is renowned for sonic excellence, customer service and placing the artist at the centre of everything. We don’t just represent what the industry does, we are what the industry is doing, here and now, and I see it as a privilege to share this with the emerging talent that are the ACM students, from day 1.

The launch-night on Monday 4th March 2019 was enthusiastically attended — not solely because the first few punters through the door were promised free headphones (if they decided to join a long line) — but largely because of the incredible musical talent on offer.

Bethany – energetic…

After a wholehearted introduction from Neon Islands front-man Carlos de los Santos we heard from the amazingly talented indie singer/songwriter Leoni Jane Kennedy [LKJ] — the ACM Freddie Mercury Scholarship Recipient of 2018 — whose combinations of folk, pop, power balladry and blues united with her deep and bold song style and sharp confidence reminded us of Jefferson Starship era Grace Slick.

If you can imagine a finger-picking Melissa Etheridge, young and passionate, playing songs of desire and deception, you will be close to understanding the phenomenal talent of LKJ.

We also enjoyed Bethany Davey – whose “No Time To Lose” [shared below] is an energetic RnB number with work-rhythm patterns and massive wobbles slung around its waist… suggesting this is destined for dance-floor’s around Europe. File alongside Kele Le Roc.

Big queue for headphones…
Congratulations to all the recording artists who venture onto this exciting new student-inspired label. Wishing everyone success and achievement!

The event was sponsored by Monster.

Main Image: Presenter Carlos de los Santos of Neon Islands

Photos by @neilmach 2019 ©

Link: https://www.facebook.com/metropolisblue/

Notes: Since its opening in 1995, ACM has represented every corner of the creative industries. Metropolis Blue will act not only as a springboard for ACM students’ careers as artists, producers, managers, and entrepreneurs, but will also teach them the vital skills they need to make informed decisions about their futures.

You have been sent this post because you have chosen to follow AD PONTES the music blog. You may UNFOLLOW at any time

HAIRSPRAY — The Magna Carta Arts Centre

The successful Broadway musical HAIRSPRAY — with music by Marc Shaiman, the lyrics of Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan — came to the Magna Carta Arts Centre this week.

It was presented by The Performance Academy. The dance school that was established more than 35 years ago as the Lynne Davis dance school. In 2001, Lynne’s daughter, Annelly [James] took over the school and it became officially known as “The Performance Academy.” The show was directed by the talented local actor TJ Lloyd with lighting by Andy James, sound by Dave Gates and stage management by Nigel Martin.

We saw the show at the exceptional Magna Carta theater on Thursday.

The story follows the curvy teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream to dance on The Corny Collins Show, and is based on the true history of the “Buddy Deane Show” broadcast by WJZ-TV Baltimore, and taken off-air mid-season due to problems relating to integrating black and white dancers. The theatrical show addresses issues of size and racism, as well as focusing on the love-life of adolescents and living in the big city in the 1960s.

Liezel Abrahams played the upbeat, pollyannaish principal female Tracey with style and gusto. The drag-role of mother Edna was played by George Hedges in the show we saw, and we thought George perfectly captured the part’s self-effacing and diffident nature. Callum Reynolds as the optimistic joke-store Dad/Husband was also noteworthy.

With an ensemble of more than forty talented showsters, often all on stage at the same time, this presentation was a hugely exciting event from start to finish. The cast handled the numbers with aplomb, style and spirit.

impressive drama, extravagant costumes, enthusiastic dances & sincere vocal performances…

Villainess Velma (played by Neve Crossley) and daughter Amber (played by the Cilla-esque Fay Etson on Thursday) had some of the most ambitious songs to perform … but they pulled them off successfully. Aaron Hutton — wearing his Dad’s drapes & drainpipes as Corny Collins and Daniel Hann (Link Larkin) played the dapper male heart-throbs.

Worthy of special mention were: the the mega-talented and much-in-demand Helen Roper (who played by Penny Pingleton in the show we saw on Thursday with dynamic and zippy energy.) We were also captivated by the prepossessing Kola-Olukotan girls: Aliyyah (Motormouth) Ameerah (a member of the singing group “The Dynamites” alongside Leah Warmington and Katerina Saragoudas) and little dancer  Aishah (ensemble).

The show was full of impressive drama, extravagant costumes, enthusiastic dances and sincere vocal performances.

The Magna Carta Hairspray Show was exhilarating from start to finish with enthusiastic support from all … and let’s not forget: You can’t stop the beat once it starts!

Tickets are still available for Hairspray The Broadway Musical at the Magna Carta Arts Centre Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd February (inc matinée on Sat.)

ACM Skunk Anansie Scholarship 2018

The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) together with the iconic band SKUNK ANANSIE has announced that NICOLE CANNONIER is the exclusive winner of their 2018 Scholarship.

Since Skin has just received the Music Week Women In Music Award for Inspirational Artist,it is fitting that she transmits her legacy to Nicole, who now begins her own musical journey into the industry via the reputable ACM.

Nicole Cannonier – “I felt to overwhelmed…”

Nicole said: “I didn’t expect to win the Scholarship, I just thought I’d enter it. When I found out that I’d won it was like oh my gosh – I felt to overwhelmed – I didn’t expect it, it was a good feeling. I just feel so grateful.

Worth £27,000, the Skunk Anansie Scholarship is exclusively ran by ACM as part of its £130,000 Scholarship programme.

Awarded based on talent, passion, dedication and commitment to building a long-lasting and sustainable career in the creative industries, Skunk Anansie chose Nicole because of the pure drive displayed in her application.

Skin said: “For me, Nicole’s video really stood out because especially in this industry nowadays, you have to have everything – all of it put together, very good visuals and a musical viewpoint of your whole career. For me what stood out was how fresh and contemporary she was and I thought she was a really good representation of what I think is really cool in the music industry right now. The styling of the video was great, the lighting, the imagery, and the angles.”

Known for its unique approach to education in the creative industries, ACM promotes a “learn by doing” ethos with valuable links to real-world industry professionals and impressive state-of-the-art facilities.

ACM is thrilled that Nicole will be joining its London campus to study vocals at degree level, and hope to be able to support her as she embarks on her career in the creative industries.

Ace, Director of Creative Industry Development at ACM and guitarist in Skunk Anansie said: “I’m really excited to start working with Nicole at ACM, her application was outstanding – it’s great to see such passion, dedication and talent! Our Scholarship is now in its third year and it’s fantastic to partner with ACM on this to give back to the next generation of the creative industries and champion new talent. We are also super proud of Skin for winning the Music Week, Women In Music award for Inspirational Artist – I know she is going to be such a good role model not only to Nicole but all of our student body at ACM.

Link: https://www.acm.ac.uk/

FREDDIE MERCURY SCHOLARSHIP 2018

Each year, as part of a £130,000 program, ACM is pleased to award the exclusive FREDDIE MERCURY SCHOLARSHIP to a talented student, allowing him or her to study in a funded undergraduate course at one of its three campuses, Guildford, London or Birmingham.

This year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship winner… Picture Credit: Lizzie Cooley

Both the ACM and the Queen are proud to announce LEONI KENNEDY as the winner of the iconic 2018 award. Leoni said: “I’ve recently found out that I am this year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship winner and to me it means the world, it makes me feel appreciated and that I can actually do what I want to do for the rest of my life”.

A panel of ACM tutors chooses a shortlist before the last ones are shown to Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor ( a Patron of ACM) and Queen guitarist Brian May. After much discussion, this year’s winner was chosen as Leoni Kennedy for her beautiful rendering and remarkable artistry that both Roger and Brian felt was a perfect fit .

Kieron Pepper, Director of Artistic Development and Creative Production of ACM, said: “After sifting through an incredible amount of outstanding talent, passion and evidence of drive and dedication, I’m pleased to say that the winner of this year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship is Leoni Kennedy – a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and budding producer. She very clearly has her sights set on creating some amazing work as an artist and as a professional. I’m looking forward very much to working with her, and introducing her to the talent in the ACM student network.”

To celebrate the three years of this reputable award, and the anniversary of Queen’s classic “The Show Must Go On” (October 14), last year’s winner Daisy Phillips and this year’s winner Leoni Kennedy recorded a version at Metropolis Studios [also a campus of ACM]. The informal cover features the two girls on guitar & vocals accompanied by ACM Student Harry Leo on the piano.

As a result of this fantastic version of the Queen’s song, Leoni, Daisy and Harry have been invited to celebrate the release of the Queen’s movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by performing their cover in association with YouTube at a busking event. Check the video below.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/acmuk/

 

You have been sent this post because you have chosen to follow AD PONTES the blog about Music and Going Out in Staines. You may UNFOLLOW at any time.

ACM SUMMER LIVE 2018

ACM Summer Live is back…

Taking place over four days, ACM Summer Live will showcase all the phenomenal talent that ACM has to offer, including shows from the most exciting emerging musical talent in the country…

With a strong learning by doing ethos at the core of its values, ACM is pleased to offer the immersive learning experience of Summer Live to its students. From the Technical Services students responsible for the stage, sound and production, to the artists, songwriters, bands and producers performing — all ACM students are encouraged to participate in Summer Live and learn in the environment of the famous Electric Theatre in Guildford, Surrey.

And compared by presenters from the local radio station Eagle Radio, this event will celebrate the work done by ACM students, in all disciplines.

Kieron Pepper, Head of Artist Development and Creative Output and Drummer for The Prodigy (1997-2007) said:

I’m incredibly proud to work alongside the talented student bands and artists to put on our annual Summer Live showcase. I honestly believe that they are the future of the music industry and I can’t wait for the amazing performances that will be happening at The Electric Theatre between 17th and 20th of July.

ACM acts across the four days of festivities include: Bruch, Dwara, Conan Mac, Biloxxi, Luna, Hadron Sounds Orchestra, Eva-Lina, King Kuda, Neon Islands, Chinchilla, ESP, ACM Synth Jam, Nikoda, Rodsuit, Pablo, Loxdown, Casey Lake, The Straights, People In Museums, Hunting Maiko, Sunfall, Gatvol, Shortround, Bloodrush, Dom Robson Toll, Alex Parsi, Dennis Penny Toure, Beatroot, Laeli, Bethany Davey, Nàynë, Another Round, Sophie Celeste, Dark Revelations, Simple Fiction, Bethia, Equilibrium, Tara Flanagan, Ricky Gabriel, Soul Workshop, Becky Barnett, Emma Rosso, Jessica Newson, Leadmetoland, Maisy Joan, Tom Gortler, James Collins, Electron Choir, Claudia Kate, Mica Jane, Number 38, Indigo Kids, Mountfield, Betsa, Downtown Roundabout, Cheri Lyn, Central Avenue.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/acmuk/

 

KINDRED SPIRIT— Live at Twickenham

Through their inter-woven folk/rock prog-rock compositions, Elaine Samuels and KINDRED SPIRIT explore the magic of our existence.

We saw their spring show this week at the new community facility in the heart of Twickenham, in the excellent 320-seat theatre at Brewery Wharf — known as The Exchange.

Elaine Samuels and Kindred Spirit – “explore the magic of our existence” Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

Under a bright star-pentagram, an ancient sign of cyclic transformation, the show started with the driving energy of a new number.

Pandora’s Box” had dragon-skin rhythms from Aleem Saleh on drums, enchanted voices from both Elaine and Catherine, threaded stringwork from the talented Martin Ash on violin  and spiral water-snakes of pure enchantment from Catherine Dimmock on flute.

Their “Beast” cycle came in the first half of the concert. With “Run Red” perhaps the most melancholic part of the set-piece. Cloudy with violin mists, this lyrical “feminist historical anthem…” was performed with great majesty and artfulness.

Yearning sax from Catherine… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

Elaine explained that the song was inspired by a challenge given by a fan.

He dared her to write a song influenced by Alan Moore’s American Gothic story “The Cursed.”

The final part of the song-cycle was the Dylanesque and haunting “Wolves at the Gate.”

As well as the amazing song ‘Kindred Spirit’ with its gentle meanders, we also enjoyed the mysticism of ‘Children of the Stars’ a song that explored our shared journey across the universe, with yearning sax from Catherine.

We were also treated to a second apocalyptic new number [from their forthcoming fan-funded album.)

Titled “Red Rose” it began with a tribal drum then slowly built into a fiddle-dee-ree urban jig of wonderful proportions. The number was truly cinematic in scope.

The highpoint of the Twickenham show was, for us, the third new song from the much anticipated album. Titled “Daemons” this was the first time it had been played in public.

A a fiddle-dee-ree urban jig of wonderful proportions… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©

A prowling pace was set-up by drummer Aleem with loitering moodiness from Mike Hislop on bass.

Then began the ever-fermenting and promiscuously potent concoction of sounds.

With a frenzy of fire from Martin’s violin strings and lots of lucid provocation from Catherine… this was possibly the only true “prog rock” number of the night. Boy, what a stunner!

Kindred Spirit gave us seductive treasures, moments of complete serenity, and songs of constant wonder. A great show. We can’t wait for the next album.

Words & Images: @neilmach 2018 ©

Link: https://www.facebook.com/KindredSpiritBand

Kindred Spirit gave us seductive treasures, moments of complete serenity, and songs of constant wonder… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2018 ©