Sunday, January 29, 2006


As the stressed out shoppers of city centre Leeds, hustled and bustled their way past Dr Wu’s, inside the music lovers of Leeds had gathered to be completely chilled out and relaxed by the charismatic and endearing Darren Poyzer . On this, a rare visit to Leeds, it is easy to see why he is acknowledged as one of the best in the business by fellow musicians and fans alike. With a stage presence that puts you at ease, to the point where you feel Darren has been your best mate for years, this was a gig you didn’t want to finish. Men of a certain age would easily identify with his song “Sunday Morning Footballer”, while the leaders of the world would do well to listen to the powerful and poignant “From The Beaches Of Ibiza To The Shores Of Vietnam”. With songs that explore and analyse all aspects of human life and behaviour, Darren is in a class of his own and Leeds can only hope for a very quick return.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


The Cock and Bottle on Barkerend Road, Bradford hosted the Topic Folk Club’s first guest night following their enforced move from the Melborn Hotel. Being the oldest Folk Club in the world and now entering its 50th year the club continues to attract the highest standard of performers. In a packed room and with an atmosphere of great anticipation it was announced that Barry Smith and Westport would play two sets while the Scarlet Heights would perform the middle set of the evening.
It was a surreal experience hearing Westport sing Dirty Old Town when you felt, due to the atmosphere they portray, that if you walked through the door you would instantly feel the heather of the highlands under your feet and not the tarmac of West Yorkshire. I am sure that if the Scottish Tourist Board handed out free Westport CD’s with every brochure then the highland hotels of “Bonnie Scotland” would be packed to the rafters, the feel good factor was here for all to enjoy. With the Scarlet Heights giving tremendous support and leaving the crowd with a folk version of “Pinball Wizard” as an encore, this was a night to remember.
When the ever versatile Barry Smith sang “Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time” we couldn’t have put it better ourselves, this was an evening’s entertainment of pure class.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Congratulations to Shaun. T. Hunter on winning the Hobgoblin Music Award for Acoustic / Roots Artist of the Year. Shaun won the award at the first Independent Leeds Music Awards despite strong competition from Angelo Palladino, Michael Kerr and Waking The Witch.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


As The Stray looked at it's miserable worst and people huddled and scurried beneath their brollies, Kwame.D. gave the Blues Bar a party for the world. With pensioner’s foot tapping, and five year olds dancing to a mixture of covers and Kwame.D’s own inimitable songs, this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. When multi-talented musician / singer Rosie Clegg travels to do a one song spot, you realise that this duo are something special. The effervescent Kwame.D, accompanied by the unflappable and highly talented Jeff Willacy on percussion, it soon becomes apparent why fellow musicians come from far and wide to see this duo in action. With the song “Wish You Were Here” dedicated to John Peel, you are left wishing that there were more John Peel’s out there to promote musicians of this type and quality. If James Blunt or KT Tunstall had written and performed the song “Don’t Give In”, then we would have had Radio 2 presenters constantly singing the chorus. Kwame D have found a niche that will surely see their fan base increase even further during 2006. “Remember Me” sang Kwame.D, after this stunning performance no way will Harrogate forget Kwame.D.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Congratulations to Shaun T Hunter on his nomination for Acoustic/Roots Act Of The Year in The Independent Leeds Music Awards. With a new album release due early this year, 2006 will hopefully see Shaun receive the recognition his song- writing qualities richly deserve.

Congratulations to the Gary Stewart Band on reaching the final of the Battle of the Bands, which will be held at the Leeds Met on Sat 4th February 2006.

Any opportunity to see either of these acts must be high on a “must see in 2006” list as these will surely end 2006 in the artists of the year lists.