Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid

The Little Unsaid played an intimate gig in front of a select audience on Friday night, in the packed cafe area of the Foxlowe. The cafe was adapted into a performance venue for the night.

Touring in support of their ‘Selected Works’ album (Reveal Records 2018), the band are described as being ‘musically inventive and lyrically astute – creating tension between extremes (harmony and discord, sadness and joy, the technological and the organic) – an artist of considerable range’, Album of The Month, by FolkRadio.co.uk

Reveal Records is the home of Lau, Joan As Police Woman, Eddi Reader and more.

Fronted by songwriter John Elliott, The Little Unsaid are a band with an original sound and international outlook. The band have spent the last year touring Europe, leaving audiences emotionally rapt with a live show that’s been described as ‘a thumping depth of passion’.

Their sound is all their own but echoes the intensity and melancholic overtones of greats such as Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, using light and shade in their music and lyrics, and quiet and loud passages, to great effect.

2017’s critically-acclaimed Imagined Hymns & Chaingang Mantras album was recorded with Radiohead engineer and film score producer Graeme Stewart. The Little Unsaid embrace elements of rock, folk, electronica, jazz and alt-pop. One of the UK’s must-see rising live acts and recent winners of the Steve Reid award for Innovation.

‘Entrancing… songwriting of a real rich quality, all held together by an intensity of approach, by a focus on the emotional weight music can carry’ – Clash

‘Extraordinary music. This is an amazing act’ – Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

‘A brave and often brilliant collection’ – R2 Magazine (on Selected Works)

With support on the night from Indie/Alternative singer-songwriter Venn Goodwin.

Venn Goodwin

Venn Goodwin

The Little Unsaid - photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid – photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid - photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid – photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid - photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid – photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid - photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid – photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid - photo by Giles Metcalfe

The Little Unsaid – photo by Giles Metcalfe

Thanks go out to the volunteers who adapted the cafe space into the venue for the gig and put everything back again afterwards, and to Ivan for taking care of the Sound.

John Bramwell

Singer-songwriter John Bramwell, supported by Dave Fidler, played a unique and captivating largely acoustic solo set at the Foxlowe on Friday the 9th of November, 2018, accompanied by multi-instrumentalists Alan Lowles and Dave Fidler.

Despite the Autumn storm that was raging outside – you could hear the wind howling and rain battering down outside during the quieter moments of his set – around 50 or so hardy, enthusiastic and highly partisan fans braved the weather and turned out to watch an evening of songs “inspired by the spirit of liberty, independence, adventure and solitude that John has enjoyed on the road, as well as the diverse emotions that escape and travel can bring about – from sadness to exhilaration”, with vocalised sound effects, audience participation and often hilarious asides, interpolations and interactions with members of the audience and his entourage between songs.

Biographical Information

John Bramwell is one of the UK’s most unique and talented singer-songwriters.

Performing as a musician for over 30 years, John started out as the front man of a four-piece band called “The Ignition” that toured in the 1980’s. Following that he became a solo performer and Granada Television presenter, Johnny Dangerously.

Bramwell formed ‘The Mouth’ in the 1990’s with friend and musician Bryan Glancy and later worked booking bands at the longstanding and legendary Manchester venue ‘Night and Day’. It was here that he met Pete Jobson and formed ‘I am Kloot’ in 1999.

The three piece alternative rock band went on to release ten albums, receiving a Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2011 for the exquisite, Sky at Night, produced by Guy Garvey & Craig Potter from ‘Elbow’.

Each ‘I am Kloot’ album is a brilliant showcase for John’s skilful songwriting and distinctive vocal style.

A brilliant showman, throughout his career John has developed a legendary, live reputation establishing a relationship with audiences with his refreshing honesty, tall stories and his catchphrase “here’s another song about drinking and disaster”.

His new solo album, called Leave Alone the Empty Spaces, is out now. The record is a stunning showcase of John’s fabulous, widely acclaimed song-writing and his unique voice. It’s the first completely new collection of songs by John as a solo artist since he started his adventures away from ‘I am Kloot’.

Dave Fidler’s first solo album, I’m Not Here, and the Easy Gone, Easy Come EP are also availabe, including on Spotify and iTunes for your listening pleasure.

Dave Fidler at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

John Bramwell at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

John Bramwell at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

John Bramwell at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

John Bramwell at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

 

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Thunder Hammer Spooktacular Halloween Ball

Thunder Hammer made their third appearance at the Foxlowe on Saturday the 27th of October.

As with their previous two appearances, the event was a sell out, and the Foxlowe was packed.

Billed as a Halloween Ball, the more extrovert and adventurous members of the audience dressing up as zombies, Día de Muertos (Mexican Day of the Dead) Señors, Señoras and Señoritas, Axl and Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Horror Film characters, and Marvel and DC Comic characters, amongst other costumes. It looked like a lot of effort had gone into the hair, makeup and costumes, and you all must have had some funny looks travelling to the venue or if you were out and about around town beforehand!

The Band themselves were in their usual stage clothes, although Leek-based bassist Jonathan ‘JP’ Parsons was rocking a pair of cowboy boots! The band members in full are:

  • Simon Ward – Lead Vocals
  • Ben Forrester – Lead Guitar
  • Dave Leese – Lead Guitar
  • Jonathan ‘JP’ Parsons – Bass
  • Josh Jones – Drums

Our very own local ‘Monsters of Rock’ play a mix of Classic Rock and Heavy Metal covers, and this was their first show back together as a full band after their lower-key acoustic appearance in Leek, and now legendary sell out preformance at Trentham Gardens in the summer, which saw over 2500 rock fans descend upon Trentham to witness the Hammer in action.

Warning – some of the following photos contain fake blood and gore, and outrageous riffage and face-melting shredding, which some viewers may find disturbing!

Thunder Hammer at the Foxlowe, 27th of October, 2018 Photo by Giles Metcalfe

Thunder Hammer at the Foxlowe, 27th of October, 2018 Photo by Giles Metcalfe

Thunder Hammer at the Foxlowe, 27th of October, 2018 Photo by Giles Metcalfe

Thunder Hammer at the Foxlowe, 27th of October, 2018 Photo by Giles Metcalfe

Thunder Hammer at the Foxlowe, 27th of October, 2018 Photo by Giles Metcalfe

Thunder Hammer at the Foxlowe, 27th of October, 2018 Photo by Giles Metcalfe

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Leek Blues and Americana Festival 2018 FXLW

Now in its sixth year, the expanded Leek Blues and Americana Festival 2018 was held at 20 different indoor and outdoor venues all across Leek, with more than 60 bands playing, from Wednesday the 3rd of October to Sunday the 7th of October. The Festival was a great success.

On Wednesday the 3rd of October, The Foxlowe Arts Centre hosted The Guy Tortora Band, with support from Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef.

Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef

The Guy Tortora Band, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

The Guy Tortora Band

Sunday the 7th of October saw the FXLW: Americana sessions taking place all-afternoon and into the evening, featuring an eclectic lineup of six bands and artists playing from 12 noon until 7pm – Adam Coxon & Rick Ford, The Rye Sisters, Mean Mary & Frank James, Lissy Taylor, Fine Lines, and The Strange Blue Dreams.

Adam Coxon & Rick Ford, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Adam Coxon & Rick Ford

The Rye Sisters, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

The Rye Sisters

Mean Mary & Frank James, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Mean Mary & Frank James

Lissy Taylor, at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

Lissy Taylor

Fine Lines, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Fine Lines

The Strange Blue Dreams, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

The Strange Blue Dreams

A big thank you to everyone involved – the artists who played on Wednesday night and on the Sunday, the sponsors, the Foxlowe staff and volunteers for all their hard work in staging the events, and to all that attended.

All photography by Giles Metcalfe.

Leek goes Mad For It as Adored and Definitely Mightbe bring the sounds of Manchester

Leek went “mad for it” as Adored and Definitely Mightbe brought the anthemic sounds of Manchester to the Staffordshire Moorlands on Saturday night.

Playing to a packed, sweaty room full of ecstatic Indie Kids and Old Ravers and Madchester Baggies – advanced enough in years to have attended the Stone Roses seminal Spike Island and Blackpool Empress Ballroom events, and Oasis’ Knebworth gigs – Adored and Definitely Mightbe recreated the music of The Stone Roses and Oasis in front of an up-for-it audience happy to dance, hug and sing along with every word of every song.

The same four musicians play as Adored and Definitely Mightbe – lead singer Ian Alcock, lead guitarist Paul Mitchell, and the rhythm section of Kev Pyne on bass and Pete Coppard on drums – and Adored played the first set of the night. Following a quick change of outfits and a couple of pints, the lads returned to the stage as Definitely Mightbe.

As the bands’ website says, “as good as the real thing? Well the legendary Alan McGee thought so when he recently introduced the band live on stage!”

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

 

The Foxlowe possessed by Demon

Saturday the 2nd of June saw the Night of the Demon at The Foxlowe, as the invited guests of the Leek Arts Festival put on a fiendishly theatrical performance and took possession of the mass audience.

Demon play a mix of hard rock/heavy metal/progressive rock, and were formed in 1979 by vocalist Dave Hill and guitarist the late Mal Spooner, both hailing from here in Leek, Staffordshire.

From Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives:

“Demon started out as an occult-themed NWOBHM [New Wave of British Heavy Metal] band, but changed style to progressive/hard rock after their first two albums [Night of the Demon, and The Unexpected Guest]. Their later material varies, often even from album to album.”

Support on Saturday night came from The Blues Makers.

The Blues Makers

The Blues Makers

The Blues Makers

The Blues Makers

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Climax Blues Band

Formed in Stafford in the late 1960s, Climax Blues Band have always had a unique blend of jazz and blues. After 50 years, 18 albums, the hit “Couldn’t Get It Right” the band are still touring, and they brought their brand of jazzy blues to the Foxlowe for another high octane performance to a packed room.

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

How many musicians can you fit on one stage

Q: How many musicians can you fit on one stage?

A: A lot, if you’re the Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble.*

*And in the wings, and in front of the stage on floor level too. 50, in fact.

From the Joe Broughton website:

“Over the last two years The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble has played major shows everywhere from The Royal Albert Hall to Fairport’s Cropredy Convention and Towersey and Shambala festivals. Their new live album was also released to great acclaim. Joe set up this incredible band 19 years ago. Long before the current trend of big folk band line-ups and crazy folk fusions this band were drawing on influences of folk, funk, classical, ska, reggae, jazz, hip-hop and everything in between. Not only is the live performance of this 50 piece band (or funky orchestra should we say?!) second to none, you will most likely see the stars of tomorrow, many leading artists on the folk scene having been students of Joe’s.

“The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble is forever changing, always unique and has an energy & power that is unrivalled; it has to be seen to be believed. Using players from the prestigious Birmingham Conservatoire ensures that the standard of musicianship is top drawer and being led by folk fiddler Joe Broughton (Urban Folk Quartet, Albion Band, Joss Stone) means the music has the feel of a spontaneous folk orchestra and a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Folk at the Foxlowe

Folk fans have been spoilt for choice recently at the Foxlowe, with a mixture of small scale, intimate performances and well-known acts playing to a packed room.

Here are some photos from recent gigs, including Keith James, TRADarrr and Fairport Convention.

Keith James

Keith James

TRADarrr

TRADarrr

TRADarrr

TRADarrr

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Search

Categories