Friday 24th April, 2020
A trio of livestreams. I was worried there would be a clash, but it worked out. Yes, many of the livestreams are being put up on youtube or are available to watch again (and some are pre-recorded anyhow), but, there is something special about watching them live. It makes it feel more like a real gig and less like a facsimile.
Nitin Sawhney’s set was part of PRS Lckdwn, a 24 hour live music event to raise funds for the PRS emergency relief fund. Musicians have lost an enormous chunk of income and if we can afford to support them, we should. We need music, art and entertainment now more than ever and it cannot be made for free.
Nitin is someone I’ve wanted to see live for a while, his music is such fusion and joy. Besides Anna Phoebe is in the band and she is the most dynamic and exciting violinist I’ve seen. This 20 minute set didn’t disappoint. I hope, really hope, that one day I’ll be able to get out to see and hear the real thing live. Until then, this wonderful combination of guitar, violin and two voices will have to do. It was calming and uplifting and I wish it had been longer.
James Walsh is playing live on Instagram every Friday night, what a treat right? Tonight’s highlights included Tell Me Its Not Over and Boy In Waiting, which I’ve not heard for ages and was aces. There were some excellent covers too, including Ring Of Fire and there was also a new tune, written this week, which I liked the sound of. See you all there next week?
Bill Ryder Jones. Bill. Oh Bill. Lovely, lovely Bill. He was just as shambolic and brilliant as ever. I fell in love with Bill’s voice the first time I heard him live, when I had no idea who he was. The fragility, vulnerability and beauty with which he sings just gets me every time. There is a very special quality to his voice, a tone, a magic something that melts me. He is one heck of a guitarist and is also very funny and sweet. He gives good hug, too, I mean not as good as Guy Garvey, but you know, it’ll do. Christ, its been seven weeks since I had a hug with anyone other than my stroppy teenage son and who the heck knows when I’ll next feel close to another adult again.
Don’t Be Scared I Love You made me cry, it always makes me cry when I hear Bill play it live. That line “with six words and one kiss” is lyrical perfection. God Only Knows sounded fantastic, and the rock organ, well, I didn’t expect to hear a Procol Harum cover this evening! That’s the thing about Bill live, and live in lockdown as well it seems, you never know what you are going to get. Other than that gorgeous voice, of course.
Thank you to all the artists I saw and heard tonight, it is a vital lifeline for me. Live music is one of the few things that makes my life worthwhile and to be without gigs for months, possibly years, has been breaking my heart. Being able to tune in live and hear you play eases that pain. I am not alone when I am listening to music. Music is my family and my home. All of you, in some shape of form, have helped to fill the void. That is why I made a donation (small, sorry) to the PRS and will be buying Bill’s music on Bandcamp ASAP. James, I already own everything Starsailor ever released in every format (including test pressings, promo copies and DJ copies) so I don’t feel too bad about watching you for free. Hope that’s alright.
To anyone reading this that loves music and has a little bit of spare cash, maybe go and buy some music on bandcamp or order CD’s or vinyl from an independent record shop, or direct from an artists website. Or donate to the PRS fund. Music has given me so much, it is only fair to give a little back.