The Yorkshire House is arguably Lancaster’s best music venue. Those who argue this are usually drunk. The 130 capacity upper room has an intimate stage set high enough off the floor so that if you were to stage dive and miss your adoring fan you might get away with a broken metatarsal: back to work Monday, no harm done. Down on the floor, scattered around the room are a few stools, for the local pigeons, and just outside the entrance are a couple of recently refreshed toilets. What more could you want?
Today is Valentine’s Day which reminded me that Brian Clough once described his newest bright midfield prospect as a smashing lad with a lovely smile. He also punched Roy Keane in the face for what I don’t know, but the juxtaposition might be extended to the Yorkshire House. In this rathskeller, a band has rallied their troupe and followers to water, I stand waiting to be served by a Lisa Bonnet look-a-like when suddenly and like a dust storm the landlady whirlwinds behind bar cursing ‘f*cking bands!’. The statement wrangles with my cognitive understanding of social skills because I’ve just been talking to the band and found them to be some of the most convivial and open persons this side of Richard Attenborough reading me a bedtime story. I’m confused. Folk tell me I shouldn’t be… I can only offer that the landlady take a leaf out of Roy Keane’s book and get herself a lovely smile: even if it is just for match days.
The Kilcawley Family is Damon and Louiza Rabouhi Kilcawley who have shaped their sound from a love of eminent folk pioneers including Doc Watson and Maybelle Carter into an endearing and intriguing balance of tradition and now. Vague? Well, it’s hard to say what draws you in when watching The Kilcawley Family. Forget the talent. There is something more than boring old talent here, something that lifts your heart and pokes you in the brain. And once you snap out of it you realise that you’re having an amazing time listening to this music which is at odds with everything you ever thought was cool. Forget about it, THIS IS MEGA!
The last paragraph was for the late comers, including me. The rest of you who have been on this for a few seasons will either be spitting verbs to castigate the oncoming bandwagon jumpers, or will be raising a slick smile in triumph that you were here first and right all along.
So go and check out the band. Not right now because they are off in Australia and not back in Blighty until April whereupon they will be touring the UK with American old-time duo Cahalen Morrison and Eli West. They have tonnes of stuff online from Twitter to YouTube and everywhere in-between to keep you occupied until then.
Until next time readers, Fare Thee Well.