LWM Indulgence

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LWM promo posterLady Winwoods Maggot tonight are at Sound Circus, for what has been promised to be a mixture of old and new alike, and I’ve decided to forgo my usual running around to enjoy an indulgent evening of LWM as promised to myself at the start of the year.

LWM Sound Circus 1The guys are up to a five piece with the guest addition David Lambert on 2nd mandolin to Chris, vocals and announcements – the latter in the manner that only the Lambert can : “This song was supposed to be about apathy, but when they wrote it they couldn’t be bothered”. It’s really good to see him on a stage again, as bass Tony puts it, he’d “picked up a habit of bungee jumping from his loft, without attaching the bouncy bit”.

The first set is all from Bowling Over The Bovine, their 2001 album: Chupra Cabra being a particular favourite of mine, and the rest of the gig crowd as well, judging by the shouts and holllers throughout and at the end. Fallen Angels is also present, the track that saw them through to the judges round in the very first (2004) X factor, unfortunately that was it for them 😦

LWM Sound Circus 2Doing a whole album (since I don’t have Bowling Over The Bovine in my collection) means not all the tracks are familiar to me, since they’re not gigged much and not readily available everywhere. That doesn’t detract from the quality, every single one is well polished and rehearsed , with the suitable maggoty nuttiness thrown in. For example, Moose goes down an absolute storm, and its fun listening to this one live again.

They promise that for the last track this is a special one off performance, unlikely to ever be repeated, of Get Off the Gas Stove Granny You’re Too Old To Ride The Range

After the short break we’re back into the very latest album, Buffalohead. I’ve just reviewed this for Listed magazine (and got a chance to share this news with manager/promoter/lighting tech/general dogsbody Cassie), suffice to say the live set is all the album delivers, juiced to the nines; there’s something awesome about a thumping system and a moshing crowd that you don’t get from a private listen on a stereo.

LWM Sound Circus 3As expected by the new nature of the album, the live set isn’t much removed, just more furiously energised, with added anecdotes and banter. O Keefes Slide and Billy Tango are suitably usual LWM, with Pictures Of You and Is That It adding a smoother element between them. Having said that Kev’s drums in the end break of Billy Tango are something else

Astonishingly, they are being asked finish by 11, so the last few songs are skipped – I would have loved to see how they might have managed the Kazoo Overture live 😉

Title track Buffalohead is hard solid rock, if it can be called that when the lead guitar is a banjo! The shortened set means my current favourite Crystalline is dropped, as is Overjoyed, the last one on the set list (as the last “proper serious” song on the album)

LWM Crowd Sound CircusThey finish instead with a cover of Crazy Horses, maddening up the Sound Circus to the tremendous encore of I Fought The Law (And The Law Won) – which are obviously a couple of lead Mark’s favourites.  All in all, despite the abysmally cut short set, a pleasurable experience to hear an evening of Lady Winwoods Maggot.

Friday Runaround

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Start off in Sound Circus, a new venue for me since I don’t normally pick gigs up here on my radar. Those nice chaps from Voodoo Vegas gave me the low down, yet I turn up in time enough to miss the first two acts at this Christmas Monsters of Rock bash (No Turbo No Love and Western Sand), and instead wait for Voodoo Vegas to set up.

They are in full Christmas effect – well Lawrence (vox) and Meryl (guitar) are by wearing Santa hats for their opener So Unkind – lost by 2nd song Tied Up. At least the tinsel remains on the mic stands – well until it goes crowd surfing! 

During their fourth song I shoot off across town to 1812 to catch Monkey Puzzle – I’ve heard a lot about these guys and for good reason – the place is kicking and heaving (seemingly more than as usual for 1812) with young and young-at-heart trendies enjoying the sounds.

There are dancers – proper dancers – doing their thing in front of the band, and everywhere around people are getting down and bopping to the amazing funk / soul fusion emanating from this 7 piece outfit. I’m not familiar with many of the tunes; I don’t need to be since every one of them entices punters to groove and gyrate along to the percussive beats and keyboard glissandos.

During their break lead singer Elena introduces me to Sarah, who’s plugging a new event Ghetto Fabulouse at the Winchester on 19 December. They might have bands in the future; Sarah was I think hoping to engage Monkey Puzzle for one of the nights.

Again I take my leave to drop in on the Winchester and Smokin Aces however a glitch in my programming means I’ve chosen the wrong night for live music at both venues.

Nothing for it then but to wind up the night in usual fashion at the Cellar Bar to catch Alex Roberts’ final set. The last time I saw Alex live was at The Crumplehorn Inn in Polperro, Cornwall. Boy this is (understandably) a different gig.  The crowd are up for some lively blues, Alex’Alex Roberts Live in Cellar Bar stomp box driving the beats turning the crowd into a pulsating mob. Even Harry, owner, is getting on down to Alex – really good to see

Of course, like a wally I’ve forgotten my new phone can easily transfer photos, I’ve only remembered in time for Alex’ gig, so here he is, as usually depicted with his amazing-sounding slide guitar.

Another thing I like about Alex – very little phases him when on stage. A nice heckle is dealt with, and even breaking a string in his last song means he simply switches track, changing to an even better sounding 12-string and kicking things into a frenzy.

This is the first time in a long time I’ve heard the shouts for a third encore (which he graciously delivers) – and the crowd still want more! To calls of “we won’t let you leave” and “you’re here ’til next Tuesday” Alex Roberts delivers the goods – all the time every time. Awesome.