Ryley Walker to team up with Danny Thompson

A match made in heaven


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Fresh from a recent UK and European jaunt earlier this year and with the acclaim in many “best albums of the year” awards for Primrose Green, Ryley Walker will return to the UK in February for what will be a very special tour. He’ll be joined onstage by the legendary double-bassist Danny Thompson, one of the founding members of Pentangle, who has performed with the likes of Richard Thompson, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, John Martyn and many more, helping to create the lyrical and jazz-flecked astral folk that so influenced Walker close to half a century later. As well as performing works from his two acclaimed albums, the shows will likely include some new Ryley Walker material. Expect a memorable night as these two immensely talented artists come together to create something exceptional.

In advance of this, Shindig! asked Ryley how their first meeting went and what can be expected of the pairing: “Excellent! Me and Danny met up for tea in his nice little suburban home and had long conversations about blue note records and his wife made the most banging squash soup I’ve ever had! I’m in good hands. Expect a heady evening with each gig!”

Dates/info below:

Wednesday 17th February – BRISTOL – St George’s
Thursday 18th February – OXFORD – The Bullingdon
Friday 19th February – BIRMINGHAM – The Rainbow
Saturday 20th February – LONDON – Bush Hall
Sunday 21st February – BARTON-UPON-HUMBER – Ropery Hall
Tuesday 23rd February – STOCKTON-ON-TEES – The Arc
Wednesday 24th February – CLITHEROE – The Grand
Thursday 25th February – LIVERPOOL – Philharmonic Music Room
Friday 26th February – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
Saturday 27th February – FARNDALE, NORTH YORKSHIRE – The Band Room
Sunday 28th February – MANCHESTER – Band On The Wall


Snap Galleries ‘Abbey Road: The Complete Sessions’

Seeing pictures of a zebra crossing has never been so exciting



August 1969, a late summer’s morning, a North London suburban street, four people leave their workplace and walk across a pedestrian crossing. This moment, captured on film was to become the Abbey Road album cover.  This now iconic image has long been thought of as a visual document of a metaphorical “walking away” from The Beatles legacy and the studio in which had created the majority of their work. However, looking at the entire series of photographs taken by Iain McMillan – currently on display at the Snap Gallery in London – several of the shots show them walking back and forth, to and from the studio. It would seem there is more to the myths and legends built over the years when taking in the full picture of that day.

Apparently the choice of image for the album cover was based solely on it being the only one where they appear to walk in unison (although the overall design was previously pitched by Paul McCartney to McMillan in advance). Even the shoeless McCartney that fuelled the “Paul is dead” rumours of the time doesn’t appear to be as deliberate as history records  – he wears sandals in a couple of the unused images. Seeing all the photographs together gives a more fascinating insight with plenty more to ponder: there is a mysterious young woman in a purple top on three of the photos – who was she? Alan Parsons, an engineer on Abbey Road who was there at the shoot, has said that the presence of the police van (not seen on the majority of photographs) was due to concern by the local constabulary about the shoot stopping the flow of traffic in the area. This also impacted upon the time McMillan had available to get the photo. Also present is the rear cover photograph, showing the Abbey Road sign that, sadly, no longer exists.

It’s fascinating to see this vital documentation of a celebrated moment in time.  The photographs form part of the overall gallery exhibits which currently include equally rare shots of Jimi Hendrix, Nick Drake and Bruce Springsteen with more to come including a Small Faces retrospective in March 2016.



Joanna Newsom, London Eventim Apollo

London Eventim Apollo 09/11/15
The elfin American dazzles and wins hearts.

To see Joanna Newsom live is to experience a complex cornucopia of shifting sounds and sudden tempo changes that to the unconverted could seem bewilderingly elaborate.  However, judging by the hushed reverence that greets every song tonight, this is an audience of very intentional listeners.

Starting the final concert of her mini European tour with ‘Bridges & Balloons’ from her debut album  (also featured on the seminal psych/freak folk compilation Golden Apples Of The Sun from way back in 2004) Newsom appears confident and comfortable. The volume at the venue is low, which draws the listener’s ears ever closer to what’s going on and heightens the sense of fragility and sparseness of the overall sound; this in contrast with the intricacies of the music itself.  Moving to piano to play the delicate opening of  ‘Anecdotes’, Newsom is ably assisted by Miribai Peart on violin before changing mid-song to the harp and back again to piano for the closing part.  This dizzying performance is only the first song of many this evening that remain as spellbinding as their studio counterparts. An accomplishment all the more striking given the pared-down band -alongside Peart is one of Newsom’s skilled arrangers, Ryan Francesconi on a variety of stringed instruments, and her brother Pete on percussion and keyboards.

There is little in the way of changes to the lights or backdrop – neither the music nor Newsom’s performance requires it – but her remark to “Put a little more light on the strings” of her harp illustrate the complexity of what she undertakes.  In all, it’s hard to pick out highlights or make criticisms when the level of musicianship and sheer originality of Newsom’s work dazzles throughout. Audience reactions to new songs such as ‘Time, As A Symptom’ and ‘A Pin-Light Bent’ are as enthusiastic as for fan favourites like ‘Have One On Me’ (now much faster and almost jaunty compared to the slower-paced original) and the epic ‘Emily’.

Closing the evening with an encore including ‘Baby Birch’ and ‘Peach, Plum, Pear’, Newsom remains a revered figure to her fans and seems to gain new admirers with every tour and album.  Joanna Newsom inspires what can only be called worship from those that love her unique sound and marvel at the fact that such music exists.  Despite her growing popularity this is one artist who will never be mainstream.

Marc Le Breton

4th Coming – LA soul-rock on Now-Again

They Are Risen


PAUL OSBORNE delves deep into the incredible hidden legacy of LA’s soul-rock innovators, 4TH COMING


Eothen Alapatt’s LA-based Now-Again Records has shown increasingly fine pedigree as a label over the last five years, specialising in unearthing long-forgotten and often unreleased psychedelic soul, funk, Afro-rock and world music from the last 40 years. Following hot on the heels of Never Satisfied, the superb collection of lost 45s by Atlanta guitarist Richard Marks, Alapatt has struck gold with the label’s latest piece of musical archeology.

Read more 4th Coming – LA soul-rock on Now-Again


Shindig!’s 10 Of The Best: The Songs Of P F Sloan

P F Sloan in 1967

Philip ‘P F’ Sloan passed away on Sunday 15th November at the age of 70 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

The NYC-born singer-songwriter released his first single, ‘All I Want Is Loving’, in 1959 aged just 14, then became a staff writer at Screen Gems Music, working for the likes of Jan & Dean, often in conjunction with writing partner Steve Barri. He formed surf band The Fantastic Baggys and appeared on countless recordings as an on-off member of The Wrecking Crew before going to pen a string of era-defining hits during the remainder of the ’60s. He continued performing and recording intermittently up until his death.

As a tribute to this monumental and unique talent, Shindig! is proud to present 10 interpretations of Sloan’s most popular ’60s songs.

1. Secret Agent Man – Johnny Rivers (1966)

Read more Shindig!’s 10 Of The Best: The Songs Of P F Sloan