The gorgeous husband and wife duo Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou are currently doing an 'Up The Club' tour of traditional social clubs, and, much to my excitement as someone who loved The Smiths in the 80's, one of their first stops was Salford Lad's Club. They are charming, generous and quirky; arriving as they do in their well loved camper van, and singing beautiful indie/folk songs together.
They are also a bit of an advert for doing it yourself, having just recorded their third album, La Ferme De Fontenaille, on a 4-track cassette recorder in a barn in rural France, and released it on their own label. And some of their loveliest songs come from this very collection. Gypsy Child is the beautiful, bittersweet story of a one night stand, and really shows off Hannah-Lou's wonderful distinctive vocals. Their voices meld together on the heartbreaking For A Minute There - the lyrics in stark contrast to their happy and breezy manner together on stage.
And the tracks from their back catalogue were also a treat. Making It Count is a toe tapping delight, and the encore of This Is England, which just happens to be my favourite song of theirs, rounded the evening off brilliantly. It's a pleasure to see artists sticking to their principles and clearly enjoying their craft. Trevor spoke of his love of boxing and snooker - so the great iconic venue was particularly apt.
They had talented support acts too - in the shape of Manchester's own Canadiana son Gabriel Minnikin. And it was a special treat to see him performing alongside Chris Hillman on the pedal steel. The support act on the rest of the tour is Pepe Belmonte. He was new to me but a really great folk singer with a new CD out now called The Hermit's Waltz. His best song was a new one which not on the album though I think called Carnation Road. Just lovely - like Cat Sevens at his best with bells on. More please...
So an all round excellent pre Christmas treat.