Car Seat Headrest at the Roundhouse, Nils Lofgren at the Barbican, May 2018

Two excellent concerts In London over the last week and a half. First up was Car Seat Headrest at the Roundhouse on 23 May; then Nils Lofgren in the rarified surroundings of the Barbican on 28 May. In between that, of course, Kath and I were up in Edinburgh for the Leith festival, which I wrote about the other day.

I’ve saw Car Seat Headrest a couple of times in 2017, first at Gorilla in Manchester, then on the Garden Stage at End of the Road. Brilliant both times, with “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” the best anthem around. Leader of the band is Will Toledo. He’s made a shedload of albums over the years, although he’s not that old yet – 26. 2016’s “Teens of Denial” is the one that really gave the band some profile. There were so many great songs on that, including “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”, “Destroyed by Hippy Powers”, “Fill in the Blank” and “1937 State Park”. Laden with punching riffs, miserable but witty lyrics, and some killer choruses.

I managed to persuade a few of my friends to come along on Wednesday: Dave, Jon E and Jon G. At least no-one has to worry about confusing our names! And I think they were impressed – by the depth and variety of the sounds, as well as those riffs. Only about half of the set was familiar to me, as a fair bit of it came from a recent re-release of an album called “Twin Fantasy”. I read about that then forgot ever to listen to it. The set opened with a Lou Reed cover (thank you Setlist FM!) called “Waves of Fear” then ploughed into a lively piece from that new / old album called “Bodys” (sic). There was some serious moshing going on at the front and in the middle of the crowd. The most I’ve seen at the Roundhouse. We were in the seats above, gazing down at the melee. But it showed how this band have taken off with the twenty-somethings.  Highlights for me were an awesome “Hippie Powers” and then, of course, “Drunk Drivers”. Positively euphoric that one, as we reached the killer whales! “Cute Thing”, from “Twin Fantasy” packed a real punch too.

There was another cover, just before “Drunk Drivers”, which got our group very excited: “Crossed Eyed and Painless”. One of the great Talking Heads songs, from “Remain in Light”. An interesting one for the band to cover, being a slice of afro-funk – not the usual Car Seat Headrest fare. But Will Toledo is clearly not a man to stand still – there is a lot going on in that head of his.

The band also played a four song encore – unusual these days (unless you are Bruce Springsteen and never want to stop). Three from “Twin Fantasy”, including the 13 minute epic “Beach Life-In-Death” at the end. My photo above is deceptive too, because Will hardly touched the guitar all night, except to play one where he thought the band weren’t getting it right. Clearly Car Seat Headrest is his project and it is going to be done his way.

This is a band, and a character, really worth looking out for in the coming years. They are back in London in November, at Brixton Academy. Guaranteed sell-out.

Nils Lofgren has been on the road for 50 years and has been playing in Bruce Springsteen’s band for 34 years, after he stepped in for Steve van Zandt on the “Born in the USA” tour in the mid 80s. He is an amazing guitar player and has a beautiful, mellifluous voice, which doesn’t seem to have lost any of its tone, despite his advancing years. We saw Nils at the Union Chapel in 2015. That was a great show, and if anything, this one was even better. As then, he was accompanied just by Greg Verlotta, on keyboards, guitar, trumpet – anything necessary really! Nils mostly played a variety of acoustic guitars, fed through the electronics so he could play the solos and create all sorts of effects. It was a real masterclass in subtle, inventive guitar playing. He delved right back to his early days, playing a few Grin songs and a smattering of favourites from his debut solo album, including “Rock’n’Roll Crook”, a re-worked “Keith Don’t Go” and a lovely version of Carole King’s “Goin’ Back”, with Nils on keyboards. “I Came to Dance” had Nils donning his tap shoes, though we don’t get the tambourine flips these days – he’s had two hip replacements! Another real highlight for me was his intricate guitar over a looped riff during “Girl in Motion”. Stunning.

And then, as part of the encore, he sang the Bruce-penned sing made famous by Patti Smith, “Because the Night”. The anthem of the night.

Yeah, a wonderful concert; and you put that together with Car Seat Headrest, and add in Steena Tweeddale and Dream Wife in Leith, what a feast of amazing music in a fortnight! What a privilege.

Next up, later today, The National and The War on Drugs at All Points East in Victoria Park, Hackney. Better get on that Central Line!

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Sportsthoughts (162) – Those Premier League predictions 2017-18. The outcome!

Another season over, though we still have the prospect of the World Cup (English expectations low, although manager Gareth Southgate has made an impressive start in the job). So it’s time to look back at those Premier League predictions and see how they worked out. The table is in order of the predictions, with the outcome in brackets.

1 – Man City (1)

2 – Man Utd (2)

3 – Arsenal (6)

4 – Chelsea (5)

5 – Spurs (3)

6 – Liverpool (4)

7 – Everton (8)

8 – West Ham (13)

9 – Leicester (9)

10 – Newcastle (10)

11 – Southampton (17)

12 – Bournemouth (12)

13 – Crystal Palace (11)

14 – West Brom (20)

15 – Stoke (19)

16 – Watford (14)

17 – Brighton (15)

18 – Burnley (7)

19 – Swansea (18)

20 – Huddersfield (16)

So, I got the top two in the right order, but I can’t claim any great insight there. The sheer quality of the City team, bolstered by some key signings and with Pep Guardiola getting into the swing of Premier League life, made their victory the least surprising for a long time. De Bruyne and Silva, ably assisted by Sterling and Sane, were sensational for large parts of the season. Aguero, though past his best, still knew where the goal was, and new goal keeper Ederson made a huge difference to the confidence in defence. City are always good to watch – Pep has them playing the Barcelona way, adapted, of course, for the more frantic Premier League. Only Liverpool really worked them out. The 4-3 league game at Anfield was a season highlight, and of course Liverpool ended City’s Champions League dream. And the way that Liverpool did it was characteristic of their whole season: go for the jugular.

There is no doubt that Liverpool in full flow going forward rivalled City for the accolade of most entertaining football. Their front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane were exhilarating to watch. And no-one more so than Mohamed Salah. When he joined Liverpool from Roma we knew he was a decent player, a speedy winger. But the goal-scoring machine of this season? I’m not sure even manager Jurgen Klopp foresaw that. He seems to have all the skills: great speed, incredible balance and strength, which allows him to jink through a tight defence, and a ruthless eye for goal. Similar to Messi in a way; time will tell whether that comparison will stand the test of time. Liverpool’s recent defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions league final certainly wasn’t helped by Salah’s injury in the first half (step forward Sergio Ramos, cynical/brutal defender par excellence) although keeper Karius’s two tragicomic blunders administered the killer blow. That was Liverpool’s weakness all season: shakiness in defence. Buying Virgil van Dijk in January steadied things somewhat; but they will need further reinforcements to the back line if they want to challenge seriously for the Premier League title.

Winners of the grumpy and ungrateful stakes must be Man Utd. They came a comfortable second in the league, a considerable improvement on the previous season. But they did it often with dull, crabby football. Mourinho football, these days. In an era when attacking, pressing football is the height of fashion, Mourinho continues to plan for negating the opposition rather than making the best of the talents at his disposal. Or so the outcome would seem. The fans seem pretty disgruntled about it all, but will they ever be satisfied? They didn’t like Moyes, they didn’t like van Gaal, and now they don’t like Mourinho. Who would they like?

Spurs came third and had another decent season. Their football is good to watch too. But there’s a feeling of nervousness about the fact that they haven’t won anything yet. Will they hold on to Harry Kane after the World Cup; will they hold on to Dele Alli; will they hold on to their highly-rated manager, Mauricio Pochettino? They are in their new stadium next season. They coped well with Wembley; will they be able to do the same back in Tottenham? Questions, questions.

But not as many questions as face Arsenal. Sixth. Another season of huge underachievement. And now, finally, Arsene Wenger has retired. I think it’s the right decision for him, and for Arsenal. He is a great man and one of the best managers the Premier League has ever seen. But he and the team had stagnated, by their own high standards, for many years. The new manager is Unai Emery. When that was announced I wasn’t that excited, despite his success with PSG and Sevilla. My son, Kieran, a big Arsenal fan, admitted he was underwhelmed. But potentially it is a good appointment, and we should remember that Wenger was Arsene Who when he started. Won the double in his first season, which answered that one! So benefit of the doubt. But the club will have to back the manager with serious money if they want to get back to challenging for the title.

My worst prediction of the season was Burnley to be relegated. I couldn’t see that they had strengthened the squad much. But Sean Dyche has built a solid, disciplined team with a strong defence. They came seventh. So well done Burnley. I always like a team that plays in claret and blue…

I thought Huddersfield would go down too. Rock bottom, I expected. Wrong. A great manager, David Wagner. A spirited team – and crowd – which eked out enough points just about to survive. They beat Man Utd at home and held on for draws at Chelsea and City late on in the season. It’s a well-managed club: when they came up the Chairman promised Wagner he wouldn’t be sacked if they went down.  That must have given the manager the confidence to take a few more risks. It paid off.

What a contrast with one of the teams which went down – West Brom. I had them down for a boring mid-table defensive plod under Tony Pulis – his speciality. Anti-football. In common with Sam Allardyce, who rescued Everton from early season plight and took them to an easy eighth. Reward? Sacked, for his awful football. Pulis went quite early, after a run of defeats. They got in Alan Pardew, also a bit old school, though of a more attacking mind. That didn’t work, and he was sacked, too, before the end of the season. A true Baggies man, Darren Moore, once a craggy centre back at the club, took over. He revived them, but it was too late. Clearly a totally mismanaged club.

Stoke went down too. Another surprise, really. They seemed to have become perennial mid-table survivors. Not a lovable team. And for Arsenal fans, a very hateable team, after the Ryan Shawcross tackle that almost ended Aaron Ramsey’s career a few years ago. Yeah, good riddance to them too. The other relegated side was Swansea. They only had themselves to blame. Sold their best two players and didn’t effectively replace them. They had flurries when they looked OK, especially after they changed managers, but it didn’t last. I can see them getting back next season, with some judicious investment of the parachute money.

I got a few predictions right: Leicester, Bournemouth and Newcastle. All flirted with relegation at some point. All but the top seven did. It’s a league of nervous wrecks – hence the number of managers sacked during the season. There is so much money on offer and no-one wants to lose it.

The great escape was Crystal Palace. They lost their first four games with Frank de Boer, sacked him and brought in Roy Hodgson, last seen taking England to defeat against Iceland in the Euros. He lost his first three, but then they turned it around and ended up a very creditable 11th. Well done, Roy!

Watford… whatever.

The south coast teams both survived. Southampton looked doomed for a while – another surprise. They just survived. But if they keep on selling their best players, it will catch up on them. Brighton I thought might just stay up, as they were a good footballing team; and so it proved.

Which leaves the happy Hammers. Or should I say really very unhappy Hammers? It was a terrible season. My best of the rest prediction rivalled Burnley’s forecast doom for my worst. Slaven Bilic had to go mid-way. David Moyes came in and instilled enough spirit and discipline to get the results that took us eventually to 13th place. But it was desperate at times. I think my low point was watching the team lose 3-0 at home to Brighton. An absolute shocker. The only ray of light was the form of Marco Arnautovic once Moyes gave him a bit of confidence. He’s a moody player, but he has got everything as a striker when he puts his mind to it: pace, power, skill. I hope we hold on to him – he has become the fans’ hero, partly because he wears his heart on his sleeve. The successor to Paulo di Canio. Hopefully not as destructive in the dressing room.

Anyway, Moyes’ short term contract has not been renewed and we have Manuel Pellegrini. He’s a classy manager – took Man City to the title. Yes, he had the money, but you have to be able to manage the egos, get the team playing the right way. I feel like he’ll bring a bit of dignity to the club which has been sadly lacking. So, a moment for optimism. But not for the first time. And it usually ends in disappointment! But, maybe this time…?

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The Hidden Doors festival, Leith: Gwenno, Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood) and Dream Wife

My wife Kath and I went up to Edinburgh on Thursday just gone, mainly to go to a festival in Leith, Edinburgh’s sea port, amongst other things. The festival is called Hidden Doors, and it’s on from Friday 25 May to 3 June. It takes in music, visual art, theatre, film, spoken word and dance. Its centre of gravity is the old Leith theatre, which I think may have fallen into disuse, but has now been reclaimed for the arts.  It’s a great space. Inside it seems to me as big as Shepherd’s Bush Empire, so it’s ideal for the kind of bands I like to see: up-and-coming, and still passionate about what they do. Still feeling new.

In this case the main reason we came up from London was to see Stina Tweeddale from Honeyblood perform a solo set – just her and her electric guitar. I’ve waxed lyrical about Honeyblood on this blog enough times before, so I won’t do so now; except I knew their songs, which are all written by Stina, as far as I know, would lend themselves well to interpretation and a stripped down sound. And so it proved.

Friday 25 May was the first night of the festival, and music was the main feature. There were four artists: Gwenno, Stina, Dream Wife and Nadine Shah. I didn’t know Gwenno beforehand, but all the others were excellent as far as I was concerned. In the event we didn’t see Nadine Shah, as she was on quite late, and we were pretty pooped after a long day; but first three I will take in turn.

Gwenno was advertised as being a singer of Welsh and Cornish songs, so I assumed it would be a folkie sound. In fact she and her band played an electronic, dancey sound a lot of the time, although the singer, whose first name is Gwenno, did sing Welsh and Cornish tales. It took quite a prog turn at times. I liked it and will certainly check her music out.

Then it was Stina. The main reason for being there. She crept on and started to sing. The opener was “Bud” from the first Honeyblood album, of the same name. Songs from that first album dominated the set. Stina had flagged that up because she had said on Facebook and Twitter that she wanted to revisit some of her less played songs. And she invited suggestions. I suggested a few and some got played: “Bud”, “No Big Deal” and my equal favourite song of all “Hey Stellar”. That alone was enough to make the concert a success for me! But, yeah, it was great. Nine songs in the forty minutes she had. Each one really good, and well received by a decent crowd. I thought she was a little bit tense – maybe being without Cat, the drummer, there? And describing herself as Lonerblood was said with some meaning. But Honeyblood’s music is embued with a lot of complex feeling amid all the rock’n’roll. And pared down, that feeling was going to come out. I was glad I came.

And for those of you who would like to hear the music, here’s a Spotify playlist of the Honeyblood versions of the songs Stina played, in sequence.

Next up, and last for us was Dream Wife. I saw them at the Scala with my mate Jon G in November last year. They were great. And they were even better tonight. I guess you would describe the music as a mix of punk, pop and indie. They sing about things they care about; but the thing that makes them so entertaining is the sheer dynamism of the performance. The music really rocks, and singer Rakel Mjoll is an incredibly lively and charismatic performer. They really got the crowd going. You just can’t not like this band, live. I’ve yet to explore their first album, but downloaded it tonight. They have to get bigger. This is a band that puts a smile on your face.

I was sorry to miss Nadine Shah. She is good. I have her first album and saw her at Latitude in 2015, when she was excellent.  But we had just run out of steam and needed to get back to the city centre. Another time, no doubt.

So, yeah, if you are an Edinburgh local and read this, get down to Hidden Doors! It all finishes, musically, with Young Fathers, which should be awesome!

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The Hanwell Hootie 2018

Saturday 12 May. Hanwell Hootie 2018 already! This is the music festival in West London where a lot of the local pubs open their doors to a variety of bands, some local, some quite young, others much-travelled and well-established. It seems to get bigger and better every year; it was helped last year by the establishment of two outdoor venues at Sandy Park and the Viaduct Meadows. And the weather was dry. This year it bucketed down until about 9 o’clock, which meant there weren’t so many people outdoors, and all the pubs were rammed again.

The programme of bands looked really interesting – there were so many I fancied seeing; and, of course, it meant choices had to be made. I went with Jon G and a few his friends: Chris, Richard and Andy. Kath decided the weather didn’t justify subjecting herself to a variety of mostly punky sounds, which is what Jon and I were favouring.

We started at the Viaduct meadow at 4.15, to see Rews make a triumphant return after playing an excellent set last year in one of the pubs. The tent was full. Jon and his mates stood at the back; I went round the side and got pretty much to the front, but right by the speakers! My ear was ringing for a while afterwards. Rews are Shauna Tohill on vocals and guitar and Collette Williams on drums and backing vocals. They make a great rock’n’roll noise, with plenty of catchy riffs and choruses. And they play like they are absolutely loving it. They got an afternoon crowd going, and did it with smiles on their faces. Highlights, as always, included “Shake Shake” and “Miss You in the Dark”, but the whole set was a lot of fun. Catch them if you can.

Next up was an all-woman local punk band called The Tuts. They were playing in a pub called the Prince of Wales. It was packed by the time we got there, half an hour before the show. It was hot. We stood up the end of the pub where it was a bit more airy and watched the Middlesborough/Villa Championship play off semi. When the band started we moved closer, but couldn’t see them at all. So we moved back and listened while watching the football. Chris decided to push to the front. He came out at the end waxing lyrical. From where we were they sounded pretty good – very much in the 70s punk mould, with a pop sensibility. I could have sworn that I heard the riff to T.Rex’s “Solid Gold Easy Action” at one point! Chris said that the singer was a bit like Poly Styrene, which is a pretty good recommendation. Will have to find out more.

Then it was over to the Grosvenor, which is an excellent pub at any time. Good range of beers. It is a bit more spacious than the Prince of Wales, and wasn’t so stifling. We got there in good time for a young band called My First Moustache. They are all old school friends of Jon’s son, Louis. There were quite a few of them – three guitars, bass and drums, keyboards. Very clearly led, though, by singer and guitarist Ffion Murphy, in retro Arsenal shirt. They started with some speedy choppy riffing and Ffion’s echoey vocals (a bit low in the mix) and I thought Duds must be an inspiration. But then they went into a long ambling passage of music, with some interesting soloing from Ffion, and I thought, hey, this lot have really got something going here. And so it went on throughout the show. One minute high speed punk; the next, something that could have been off Roxy Music’s first two albums, when Eno was manipulating the synthesisers. Intriguing and really engaging sounds. I thought they were seriously good. If they can team up with a decent producer, they could make some pretty amazing music. And I don’t just say that because they were Louis’ mates. They were seriously good. Excitingly different. They got a fantastic reception (admittedly from quite a few friends and relatives!) and came back for an encore when they played a weird Spanish punk thing, which was like nothing else they’d done and a lot of fun. Great stuff.

We had a real buzz about us after that, even as we trudged through the rain to the Kings Arms, on Hanwell Broadway, to see Hollowstar. This was a choice of Chris’s, and veered from our template for the evening. They had a more traditional rock sound – in fact it was straight from the early 70s. Think Free, Deep Purple, Budgie even. Now this was the music I loved before punk blew most things away in 1976-77, and I still have a soft spot for it, especially Free and Bad Company. But I found the sound a bit too formulaic on the night, even though the band were very good and got a rousing reception from a capacity crowd. I withdrew to the bar to avoid the jostling and just enjoyed it, in a rather non-commital way. There was no surprise when they did a cover of Free’s “Wishing Well” – and they did that great song justice. So, if you still love a good bit of 70s blues-rock, check out Hollowstar. They won’t let you down.

The tempo was upped for the next band, Fizzy Blood, from Leeds, in the Viaduct Meadow. It had stopped raining, but was pretty damp. We got there in time to catch the end of the previous set, by Desert Mountain Tribe, described in the Hootie blurb as alternative rock, a heavy trance sound, psychedelic. Well, the last track sounded pretty good, and soared as the guitars got going. Think I might have enjoyed them, so more exploring to do. As for Fizzy Blood, well they just rocked hard. In your face, hard core riffing, shouty punk, aggressive and incredibly energetic. It was brilliant! A comparable band, who are doing well at the moment, is Idles – certainly in terms of the sound. This is music made for moshing, and there was a bit of that. We all tried to avoid this rather mad-looking hulk as he started bouncing around, but it was all good natured. An energising show. I checked a bit of Fizzy Blood on Spotify today. Inevitably it’s not quite as raucous as when played live. But I’d happily go to see them again.

At 10.30 and quite a few beers through the evening, that was enough for me. Jon and Chris went back to the Price of Wales to see a punk band called Blackwaters, whose photo looked like they could be like another up-and-coming band, Shame. Put I was all punked out after Fizzy Blood, and got home just in time to see the voting for the Eurovision song contest. What a contrast!

Give me the Hanwell Hootie any day. A great event, and a huge credit to all the organisers, venues, sponsors and bands. It has become an essential part of the London music scene, and is a celebration of an area which, squeezed in between Ealing and Southall, is normally in the shadow of both. But it has always been a home of good music, and is the base of Marshall amps. That is pedigree.

My highlight was undoubtedly My First Moustache, but Rews and Fizzy Blood were also, in their different ways, both uplifting expressions of the spirit of rock’n’roll.

Rock on, Hootie!

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lovelondonscenes 144 – The London Eye from the Tattershall Castle

Like the proverbial London bus, you wait for ages for a lovelondonscenes – I’m sure you’ve been getting desperate – and then two turn up at once. This one is from Thursday evening. Taken through a window at the Tattershall Castle, a floating pub on The Thames alongside Victoria Embankment. Popular with the tourists, but also locals. It’s big, has a nice outside top deck and plenty of bars. And spectacular views, especially at night.

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lovelondonscenes 143 – Notting Hill Gate station

Ended up here by accident here a couple of weeks ago. Heading to Victoria on the District Line. They changed the destination to Edgware Road, but I was too engrossed in my book and music to notice! Until I looked up…

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Catherine McGrath at Bush Hall, Gengahr at Koko: 2/3 May 2018

I went to a couple of concerts last week. Two of my favourite artists of recent years; both making their way, and getting better all the time. First, on Wednesday 2 May, was Catherine McGrath at Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush. Second, on Thursday 3 May, it was the turn of Gengahr at Koko, Camden. Bush Hall sold out; Koko close to it.

I’ve seen Catherine McGrath a few times since coming across her at Latitude last year. The most recent was her first headline show in London, at Camden Assembly in March this year. Bush Hall was a step up on that. And I’d say that this was the most confident I’ve seen her, and the band. Success begets success. Her debut album is due at the end of July, and there’s a promotional tour in September. That could be the real breakthrough moment – she certainly has the songs, the voice, the persona. One of the highlights of Wednesday’s show was the new single “Wild”. It’s a song that she was singing back in Latitude, but it has now been beefed up with Taylor Swift-style pop sheen. And she has now dropped the preamble – the story of the bloke who took her to a Coldplay and spent all his time texting his ex-girlfriend. It’s all there in the song anyway. Her introductions have always been endearing, but there were far fewer on Tuesday. The only two that survived were for “Cinderella”, her first Nashville song, and one of her loveliest tunes; and “Ellsworth”, a cover of a song by the country band Rascall Flatts. It’s a beautiful ballad, and one of the songs that got her into country music back in Northern Ireland. I found it the most moving moment of the concert on Tuesday.

She played all the top songs. “Just in Case” and “Starting from Now” were the openers. Hell Would Have to Freeze Over” was introduced with a smile as a “classic” (it is!), and the set closed with the celebratory and defiant “Talk of this Town”. She has reached the point now when she can ask the audience to sing the chorus – she is developing a real fanbase, and it is youthful. This augurs well for her future success.

Catherine was was fulsome in her thanks to the audience for this being a sell-out show. She is still pinching herself about her success. But this, I think, is just he beginning. She is going to be big.

Gengahr have just released their second album, “Where Wildness Grows”. I made their debut album, “A Dream Outside”, my top album of 2015. It was the best indie guitar album I’d heard since The Strokes’ first two albums in the early 2000s. And “Where Wildness Grows” may be even better.  It has a layered, incredibly melodic sound, with those bursts of wild guitar from John Victor, which work so brilliantly live. And of course, there are Felix Bushe’s distinctive falsetto vocals, which add a fragility to the melodies; and, with some of the guitar, give the music a psychedelic feel at times. The outstanding tune, on the first few listens, is “Carrion”, and live, it was awesome, the set closer. Pulsing beats and some magnificent guitar.

The concert on Wednesday had a great mix of both albums – they almost alternated between the two. I liked that: they weren’t just promoting the new album. And the band played with a real elan. They know they have made a superb second album, and are proud to be playing it. The crowd were really enthusiastic: again I sensed that they are developing a strong and dedicated following. Mostly people in their twenties, I’d say. I did feel rather in a minority age-wise, but was happy to be so.

So many highlights, but standouts included: “I’ll be Waiting”, “Mallory” and “Before Sunrise” from the new album, and “Heroine”, “She’s a Witch” (of course – still the singalong song) and a lovely “Lonely as a Shark” in the encore from the first – before the mighty “Carrion”.  There was also an interesting take on “Dark Star” from “A Dream Outside”. An instrumental normally, Felix now added vocals, and it worked well. A kind of breather, amid the euphoria. My only disappointment was that they didn’t play “Powder”, which has always been my favourite song. The best guitar wig-out of all. But you can’t have everything. This was a powerful, uplifting show. Gengahr are a very, very good band. And “Where Wildness Grows” will be vying for No 1 slot in my 2018 albums of the year.

So two very different concerts, but one thing in common: they have great futures ahead of them. They must!

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