Call me Russ L

That Chap Chapman

Posted in Music by Russ L on 7 February, 2012

As part of one of my periodic attempts to get back into writing about stuff regularly, I’m just going to steam straight in and blather on about Friday’s gig. When I leave these things, they tend to get left. That’s the way it tends to happen.

It was Friday the third of Feb, and the promoters were The Lunar Society. Not, obviously, the historical association of industrial/scientific wallahs – this Lunar Society consists of the same people as (or possibly an overlapping group of people to) those who run The Moseley Folk Festival and The Mostly Jazz Festival (which this year has been re-named The Mostly Jazz, Funk And Soul Festival). They also put on ordinary gigs as Moseley Folk Presents in addition to the ones they put on as The Lunar Society, and then their Folk For Free series. They’re also going to have a third festival this year, too, called (of course) The Lunar Festival*. Did you follow all of that? I assume that there’s a good reason for it to be so confusing, but I don’t know what it is.

This was at The Station in Kings Heath, and it was the first time they’d used it. Due to some sort of communication nause-up betwixt venue and promoter (perhaps the landlord had put them down as “Moseley Folk” in his address book but then ended up looking for “Lunar Society”. Or maybe some other name entirely that they use and I just haven’t heard yet. At this point it’s hard to imagine that there aren’t several more) it was oversold and thus a touch on what we might describe as the cosy side. I’m never particularly keen on that but it wasn’t really too bad. I’ve certainly been to far worse gigs for crowding in the past (sadly). I quite like the function room through the back, anyway, with the real fire and whatnot. There were also changes to the original running plans – it was initially said that Michael Chapman (it was his gig, by the way. Did I not mention that?) would be doing two shorter sets with a nice little interval in the middle and starting earlier, which sounded like it would have finished in time for the buses like gigs used to do in the olden days. That was banjaxed, but happily I had a lift home from Stevie Too Bad, who – we should never forget – is a genuine good’un.

I arrived halfway through Eliza Shaddad’s opening set. I quite liked her – her own songs didn’t sound all that remarkable on first listen, but (even though her background is from all over the place) (although what do I mean by ‘even though’ there? That’s probably a very silly thing to say) she has an absolutely lovely English Rose style folk voice. This vocal innocence was slightly at odds with filth (filth I say, hurrumph etc) of “Long John Blues”, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Micky C, meanwhile, is an absolute monstah of a guitarist. I’m sure we all know this by now. He sounds like fifty playing at once etc etc etc when doing his ever-so-slightly-off-piste folksy blues. Myself, I’m not bothered about technique in the abstract or about how difficult any given thing is to play, but the sounds that he makes are amazing (and it’s fun to watch the fingers fly, too). A chilling (pun not really intended) and intense “Winter In Memphis” was probably the set highlight, but I also really enjoyed a fun little bounce through “Soulful Lady” and his between-song blarney was always amusing. Excellent stuff in general, though. My more Chapman-experienced comrade was moved to remark that this was the best gig of his that he’d seen.

There you are, then: lots about the circumstances around the gig and a teensy bit about the turns. What else do you expect from this blog, though? Y’all, as the learned Jones Jr was prone to note, musta forgot.

* Details about this Lunar Festival seem to be fairly scarce at the moment, but according to this it’s going to A) be from the 1st till the 4th of June; B) be held somewhere around Henley-In-Arden (which, I am told, is extremely posh); C) only have a small number of tickets for sale; and D) be a full-on camping affair. Nuts to camping, but a day ticket might well be worth getting (depending on how the line-up shakes out – it was announced from onstage on Friday that Micky Chappo would be playing there, but there isn’t any info about anyone else yet).