Latin Quarter Album & Tour Launch

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Catherine Burke @ Latin Quarter Folk Club 12 FebI’m at the Bournemouth Folk Club for Latin Quarter’s warm up gig for their Ocean Head / Latin Quarter Reunited tour, before they depart for Hamburg for their German leg. Catherine Burke opens with five of her cheeky numbers from her new album. Her songs are witty and humourous, and she is very expressive here, on her own patch, without the rest of her band as she had at the launch; very much unlike she can be in the music pubs in town, too.

Latin Quarter take to the stage to rapturous applause, many people here have travelled long distance, going by the facebook messages. They start with a couple of older numbers I don’t know, before explaining and launching into Legalise It (The Making Of Al Capone) – along with a Korean interjection from someone in the audience which causes amusement.

Latin Quarter Album & Tour Launch @ Folk club 12 FebLatin Quarter had their big time in the 80’s, though they continued with varying lineups and labels for some time. The 80’s style is still reflected in the instruments used (Yamaha DX 7 anyone?), though the music being produced on these vintage classics is bang up to date. A melodica also features. Mick Jones writes some catchy yet incisive lyrics, as reflected in 4th song Even Superman.

After another I don’t know, Miss Teen USA is introduced, inspired by this youtube video of Miss South Carolina asked why so many people in the US can’t place America on a World map. Here Steve Skaith plugs in his phone to play the intro of the song from the youtube video, which the band then pick up on as per on the album. A little clue to the music – no electric guitars or drums on stage, all the additional sounds are produced on Steve Jefferies’ wonderful array of synths and keyboards, the main reason to my comments about the 80’s sound.

We are led into a remix of Radio Africa, which they say isn’t their greatest song, Steve Skaith jests he didn’t think he’d still be playing it after 30 years. To be honest I had no idea I’d be hearing this live, 30+ years since being introduced to it courtesy of Peter Powell on Radio 1 (I can still remember his back announcement of it now, something along the lines that Radio Africa was the most beautiful and impacting song he’d heard all year)

The set continues, interlacing Ocean Head songs with numbers from the extensive back catalogue. Special mentions here for Blameless, an oldie about Judy Garland, and a reggae tribute Pyramid Label, with the prospect of it all going wrong as they joke – I hear Steve Jefferies utters the classic line “good enough for Jazz “. They encore with Church On Fire, yet another I don’t know, yet its incredibly busy, Yona and Steve S sharing some complex counter round lyrics, Greg’s bass lines really tricksy, and Steve J overlaying complex chords and harmonies.  A great sounding end for a great night.

Catherine Burke Album Launch Party

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Catherine Burke & Band @ Catherine Burke Album Launch Party 29 JanI’m at the Bournemouth Folk Club again for this celebration party for Catherine Burke‘s album launch, and Catherine has roped in a few friends to help out with the musical entertainment. Krista Green opens with her usual mix of great acoustic songs, followed by Ant Lewis doing some Dusty Cuts and Our Blinkered Eyes material, followed by Ele O’Kerwin (billed as 13 year old brilliance, she is 13 so no photo published) performing some amazingly touching keyboard numbers.

After the customary break and raffle to keep the folk club going, the main event of Catherine Burke and her band take the stage to gig the new album. I’ve obviously heard her quite a few times live this past week as she’s plugged tonight’s gig round town. Most of the songs are with full band – string bass, banjo & fiddle, a couple of songs are just Catherine on her acoustic guitar. These latter are the soulful songs, the fuller band tunes tend to be more full on in nature; all songs are pretty much autobiographical being inspired by moments and people in her life.

As expected by the instrument choice, and for those that know Catherine’s music preferences, many of the songs have a bluegrass sound and rhythm, and she rattles the lyrics out fast and furious, yet absolutely crystal clear. There’s also a lot of banter about why the songs are written, and some comments read as innuendo by some in the audience, even innocently intended as they are…there’s plenty of on stage shenanigans too, for example one song was only heard by the band this afternoo, yet one wouldn’t know to hear it, a toggle between E and A minor, Jimmy’s Song.

Krista Green @ Catherine Burke Album Launch Party 29 JanAnt Lewis @ Catherine Burke Album Launch Party 29 Jan

Folk Club – Rex Preston & Miranda Sykes

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Rex Preston & Miranda Sykes @ Folk Club 26 JanI’ve been invited to the Bournemouth Folk Club tonight by one of the promoters, Catherine Burke, as two people she recommended would be right up my street are playing, in Rex Preston & Miranda Sykes. They are an epitomal example of the amazing acts at the folk club – see the folk club website for their upcoming gigs. – Rex is a former local chap (so qualifies for the blog in his own right)

Rex sings harmonies and plays exquisite mandolin work, with very delicate finger picking; he also switches to a bouzouki for some songs. Miranda plays double bass, and has an amazing voice, clear and carrying; a guitar and ukelele are also available to her.

What is impressive about their performance is not only the good tunes, some of their own, plus songs of artists they’ve played with such as Imogen Heap, and other well known tunes (like I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free , otherwise known as the BBC Film 2012 theme). They also move about the stage – its quite engaging to see Miranda move away from the mic to join Rex for an instrumental, as this requires lugging the double bass around to do so.

Kimari Raven & Kat Hattersley @ Kimari Bday 26 Jan

Catherine Burke @ Kimari Bday 26 Jan

Tony Two Dogs @ Kimari Bday 26 Jan

Then on to O’Neills for a more usual night – it’s Kimari Raven‘s birthday and she’s playing as I arrive with Kat accompanying. Tony Two Dogs and Catherine Burke also play while I’m present, before I head home (dropping in on Veetacore in the Cellar Bar, who have stopped by the time I arrive) after another busy night of good music.