|Name above the door
Catching a late afternoon train out of Nottingham means there's plenty of time to find the venue (tick), find pub(s) near venue - Spoons and Head of Steam (tick and tick) - have a couple and still get there in good time (tick). No repeat of Amsterdam.
|Thomas Walsh is Pugwash
Anyway, that was back in 2010 and I did say to Mondo the next day how I'd love to see them again when I was a little less, ahem, relaxed.
So when I saw that Pugwash were opening for Nick Heyward on his latest trek around the country I snaffled a pair of tickets faster than the devil on horseback.
When Thomas Walsh walked onto the tiny stage he all but filled it - I wrote a while back that Thomas Walsh is bigger than the Beatles. After a few words of introduction in his broad Dubln brogue he launched straight into Perfect Summer from the shimmering Siverlake album recorded earlier this year in LA. His songs are perfectly formed three minute pop nuggets made to be heard by the whole world: one day they will be, but just for tonight, Sheffield were given their very own private performance. Highlights too many to mention, but Mason on the Boundary (from Duckworth Lewis) and Nice to be Nice meant that I could have gone home a happy man, even if I hadn't have stuck around for the night's star turn.
|Nick Heyward is my brother**
Heyward's pedigree meant that he could come out of the traps with two Top Ten Hits (Love Plus One/Take That Situation) and still have plenty of gas left in the tank. Complete with a rather fetching smoking jacket, and an equally loud five piece band (six if you count the man himself), he treated the crowd (though gathering may be a more accurate term) to a masterclass in how to string together a bunch of hits (and a few near misses too), tie them up in a bow and deliver each and every one like his life depended on it.
Standout songs*? If I had to trade one for my grandmother it would be Kite. And He Doesn't Love You Like I do; OK, both grandmothers then.
* Nick has been dropping the Beatles' Dr. Robert into his set for as long as I can remember, and last night was no exception. Here he is in 1993 performing it on Danny Baker's late night Saturday TV show with the Railtown Bottlers, Danny's house band (look out for a very young Mark Kermode on standup bass).
Nick Heyward - Dr. Robert
In other news, Nick said that his daughter (who resides in Shefield, apparently) was in the audience. So, techNickally, that would make her my niece then?