There is always a nagging wretch rubbing its thorny back up against the pit of your stomach, twisting and writhing like some regret of Sodom: Argh! the bastard, as Bruce Lee would say…when you do something for the second time after a triumphant opener. What went so right on that first date with the new beau, the debut album that forged a new genre or the first sun drenched day of an English summer can upend, darken, and sodden your sandwiches quicker than…well, there must be a reason Jesus is leaving it so long!
The second Plastic Dolls Presents night at the Ring O Bells was going to have to come out fighting if it was to stand up to its predecessor, and not just that, the bloody sun! The great giver of life was flexing its pecks right in our faces, offering Vitamin D on tap to anyone and everyone with a warm beer and an undercooked sausage. What can you do? Luckily for me, Morecambe and Lancaster have a glut wonderful musicians with combined power stronger than Castle GraySkull!
Jay Blackburn opened the show. After the break-up of his band this year and a brief flirtation with Soul Saboteur (ex-Loaded Dice) Jay got his acoustic guitar out and decided to get cracking with his debut album which is due for release this August. In trap two was Philip James Turner who was amazing, ask anyone! This time I was accompanied by Graham Simpson (Blackheart Afterglow) on pedal steel and keys, and by Joe McCorriston’s Cajon player Marc Holland. People amaze me sometimes, two goodly folks sang along to a couple of songs, which is quite remarkable considering there only exists a couple of bedroom demos on Soundcloud to go off. I love you people.
Returing to the fold from the first event came Joe McCorriston who as you might know is appearing at Kendal Calling alongside other townsfolk The Heartbreaks, Nancy Kent and The Feud. Joe continues to grow as a songwriter and is commanding the audience more skilfully every time he plays. His open warmth and passion for what he touts will send him far and wide, like the littlest Hobo. I loved that Dog.
And so, to close the show we had Jay Diggins and Greenheart. Greenheart serves as Diggins’ band but tonight he played solo. To be honest I don’t want to say anything about him until his album comes out in September AND I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say about what he has in the pipe-line as far as performance goes. I can say he’s being produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp, M Ward, Eels) and I can tell you I’ll do a whole piece on him in September. So Stay Tuned Folks!
That’s not all. Greeheart closed the evening in fine fashion. The three-piece is made up of ex-Milltown Brothers James Frazer on vocals/guitar, Scotty Moorhouse on Digeridoo and Jonny Scott on the cajon and guitar. Their sound is rich and beautifully at odds with most live acts you see nowadays, everything is poignantly subtle which impacts harder, drawing you in, resonating. The boys appeared live on BBC Introducing a while back, I doubt that it’ll still be available so if you see them on the road go and listen.
So where did all the anguish fit in? The second coming was a triumph, all demons were dispelled after the first chord was struck and we had a knees up. Someone brought a cake, someone brought their Gran, one guy got a harmonica out of his pockets and joined in. All was swell.
The next one will be September 6 2013. Josh Kemp is confirmed. More TBA.