Live at New Roscoe on Friday, 22nd April 2005
A thin Thursday night at the Roscoe this time. But that's not the way to describe the performances, even when two of the three names on the bill were replacements, only the energetic The Delamores being an original booking. First to test the chill air was Jordan Senior who as well as playing guitar and singing his own songs in a strong and sensitive voice, enhanced several of his confidently delivered numbers with skillful melodious harmonica played from a holder. His between-songs patter was less communicative, but even so he was a success in the demanding role of solo opener.
If The Delamores were initially a bit of a challenge to focus on, it's only because there's quite a lot of personality around the stage when they're on it. Slick drumming far from hidden away at the back, lively egotistic bass action over to the right, opposite a guitarist who sometimes dematerialises to become a keyboard player, and a guitarist/lead vocalist who, if he chose to, could make rather more out of a Ray Davies quality in his voice. But Kinks-resemblance was only an passing element in the music, as was a more forceful (unintended?) blast from the past, when a feel of The Turtles 'Happy Together', swished in and out of one song a couple of times. Another piece was the one that had been their 'single last year that didn't do anything.' Just not the right choice of song probably, because The Delamores do plenty, sometimes with three voices that gain from each other, and in an instrumental style that can reabsorb its own occasional ragged rowdiness and make an attractive feature of it.
The enviable keyboard, a Vox Continental, was just one of the things they were congratulated for by The Durbervilles as the widely respected Batley 5-piece took the stage to work their way faultlessly round some of their current album and bits of the previous one. They also visited the forthcoming CD (which cannot at present come forth for lack of a studio), and even found the time and mood for covers of Dylan, C Berry and Donovan : avoid verse four in Donovan songs we were told, not for creepy reasons, but simply to experience his stuff at its best. If however a frisson of enjoyable unease is what you want in good music, then tonight's version of the Durberville's own 'Door To Door Man' confirmed it as one of their best, exhibiting each musician's individual contribution and emphasising what a significant figure in the band's distinctive sound is Gus Taylor's accordion. Another spellbinder was 'She Said', and we were given an inviting look into the future in 'Randall Street' from the suspended new album. Lee Walsh's voice will never go unnoticed, but Dave Crickmore's delicious guitar playing can be so understated at times that it should have an occasional mention, lest it be overshadowed by the eerie presence of his pedal steel rig, both on the stage and in the sound.
Too few people witnessed a memorable show at the Roscoe tonight. But none of those playing are going to fade away, so anyone who's read this far can reach for their reward simply by remembering the names and looking out for them.