Search This Blog

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Gigs – James Yorkston and the Big Eyes Family Players – Night & Day Café

Star rating – 7/10

The Night and Day Café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is a very relaxed place to listen to bands, and James Yorkston is a very relaxed kind of guy, playing gentle folk music. If you add the preponderance of beards in the audience, and a few beer bellies and lots of flat sandals besides – you are probably getting the picture of what this gig was like.

So beards aside, Yorkston (who you will be glad to hear is clean shaven) has taken time out from his usual band, the Athletes, to join forces with the Big Eyes Family Players to produce an album of very British folk songs, which is largely what they were showcasing here. Ok so I do tend to wince when the recorders come out (except at a school concert obviously), as they did on occasion here, but, that aside, it was a very enjoyable, pleasing sound. Also the female singer of the ensemble Mary Hampton, who had an earlier support slot too on the same bill, has a voice that is sometimes a little shrill to accompany the dulcet soft tones of Yorkston.

So then beards, recorders and shrill voices aside, the music was lovely. Very folk, and very British. And Yorkston has a lovely relaxed, easy rapport with the audience. He helpfully informed them when he was moving into the encore section of the evening, without anyone actually leaving the stage, and did a few beautiful solo numbers here. Obviously a labour of love then, and it did make me want to find out a bit more about his other recordings – but not to go and buy some flat sandals. Me and my stilettos are very happy together thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment