|Curse of Lono (with Bo Lucas)|
Throughout that wretched period I remember saying, often, to myself (and probably on here too) that as soon as this nightmare was all over I'd make up for lost time. I knew that pubs and venues alike had struggled to keep their heads above water - with no money in their tills for the best part of two years it needed everyone to get back out there and, basically, drink like a Viking. Whilst at the same time going to see every band that was playing in their town. As it turned out, I certainly did try to flash the cash in as many pubs as I possibly could and also pulled in a fair few gigs; I was doing my bit for the economy. Still am. And not just in my town. As well as Nottingham I also did my bit for the tourist industry and saw bands as far afield as Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Totnes. That's right, a rock and roll gazetteer.
If you've been dipping in and out of this blog during the last 12 months you would have seen that I flagged many of these up. Curse of Lono in a little upstairs room above a pub in Sheffield; Crowded House in a Manchester amphitheatre; The Unthanks at Nottingham's beautifully appointed Albert Hall; The Slackers at Leeds Brudenell; Stuart Pearce supporting the Nightingales at The Bodega in town; John Power at the same venue a few weeks later; The Hanging Stars at The Running Horse. And, of course, Ian Prowse and Amsterdam all over the country! I talked a lot about how Ian's Does This Train Stop on Merseyside? moves me to tears every time he plays it as do a couple of newer songs on his last album One Hand on the Starry Plough. He's probably one of our greatest songwriters that relatively few people know. I really hope that changes.
And before you ask, no, I'm not going to rank these gigs. They were all special. And they all moved me in ways I can't begin to describe. If you read my Crowded House piece for instance then you'd know. So I've been blessed this year for gigs. And blessed by the people I went to some of these gigs with; you know who you are...
I'll sign off with Lucas & King. They supported Curse of Lono and were absolutely mesmerising. We were spoiled that night - Bo Lucas is also part of Curse of Lono's touring band.
Lucas & King - Dancing to no Music (2022)