THE CARROT RETURNS
“I left my tuner in Bristol”, began Brigid Power-Rice, when she began her support slot for Peter Broderick at Tin Music Arts recently. That threw me a little, I must confess. I thought it was going to be the title of the first song!! The first number was instead a beautiful traditional song which she claims she first heard sung by Margaret Barry who in turn, was introduced to the song by David Attenborough. The rest of the set, while just a beautiful, focused more on her own material and “Joanna Newsom with a tenor guitar” is probably the best way I can describe it.
Onto Broderick himself, who proudly boasted that his Dolphin business card stated his profession as “music!!” And jolly good at it he is too. Broderick has a quite history care of the crew at the Tin and I saw him a few times at the old Tin Angel on the Lower Holyhead Road and once as part of the wonderful “Efterklang”. He’s a composer and multi-instrumentalist, originating from Carlton, Oregon.
He was hugely entertaining as always and some of the singing certainly put me in mind of Ron Sexsmith and of Bill Callahan, (from when he was known as “Smog” and beyond). He was another that used the technique of loping to great effect and it proved to be quite a nice back up for him when his guitar slipped off his sling half way through a song. It would be easier to list the instruments he didn’t play rather than the ones he did. For the encore alone he played, piano, violin and guitar all in one song (with the assistance of loops but still very impressive!!) and the set also featured a beautiful version of Jackson C. Frank’s “Just Like Anything.”
I’ve spoken about Dan Gascoigne in these columns before and how wonderful his album “Station Street West” is. He was first on the bill of the May installment of “The Tin at the Nursery” as curated by the ever reliable, Elaine Tierney. It was a set of cover versions on this particular occasion. He did a version of John Renbourn’s “Plainsong” just for me and if you think that Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” could not possibly work as done by one guy on a acoustic guitar, you could be forgiven but you’d be wrong as Gascoigne proved in spectacular fashion. Both worked a treat!!!
Next on the bill was Glyn Finch, himself a very fine country blues picker of the pre-war variant. On the evening in question, he was playing mostly self-penned material, with a hint of eastern influences as well as the blues. Following the aforementioned Mr Gasgoine’s performance of Skip James’ “I’d rather be the devil”, Mr Finch gave a stirring rendition of “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” also by James.
Finally for this installment, we have the return of former Tin Angel Records recording artistes “Black Carrot”, whom Uncut magazine once described as “The weirdest band from Market Harborough!!” Alas, I’m not in a position to make such a judgement as they are the only band I know of from said town but I can well believe this is the case as there are few bands as weirdly wonderful anywhere!! They fitted very well in a support act for The Fall in Leamington some years ago and whilst one can detect “Krautrock” influences in there, there is still nobody that really sounds like Black Carrot. on this occasion they were a three piece comprising of a drummer, bass player and keyboard player with an occasional drop of bass recorder as well. their cover version David Bowie’s “Five Years” was just phenomenal. I hope that “The Carrot” as I’m sure no-one else calls them and Tin Angel Records will do another album together at some point soon. I’ve missed you Black Carrot!!
Coming up next month, Grant Lee Phillips, The Nursery Tavern Pre-Fest and a Tarrantino evening too. I’m proud to say that you only get this in Coventry.