The brilliant Oxford duo The August List have long been favorites of ours and we have managed to bag them for two shows this month – Sunday 4th June at The Golden Lion in Bristol (show starts at 4pm) and again on Thursday 22nd June at The Tuppenny in Swindon from 8.30pm. Both are free entry but as always we encourage artist donations.
Their debut album ‘Oh Hinterland’ still rates as one Ed’s all-time favourite listens, and recently released follow-up ‘Ramshackle Tabernacle’ takes their amazing and unique sonic template and polishes it up, exchanging some of the untamed rawness of the first record for a more controlled approach that is able to be directed more accurately, a musical sniper rifle rather than shotgun.
Musically the husband and wife duo have a beautifully creaky “back porch” style, all analogue and rustic with a real backwoods feeling. Yet, this backwards country music still manages to have startling rock ‘n’ roll attitude as acoustic guitars, kick drums, harmonicas, found instruments and their voices are deployed with verve and passion on songs concerning the frailty of human existence, the awesomeness of nature and other fun things.
The music has a sensitivity and reverence to place and time that somehow makes the songs fit all places and all times with an authenticity in the lyrical aspect of the writing, the words chosen fit the style and feel of the music perfectly. This is analogue music of wood, and strings and breaths of air that is all about simpler days, troubled ages, youth and twilight years; yet it fits into a modern, digital word with barely a murmur. This is music for those who still read books, speak on a telephone and listen to vinyl records without denying the march of progress.
In support at the Bristol show is the Tamsin Quin, another Songs of Praise favourite and a bundle of perky, folk-pop tunes who is not adverse to tugging a few heartstrings along the way but without ever losing that glint in her eye. The cheeky minx.
Swindon support comes from the the soaring, passionate vocals and dynamic, intricate acoustic guitar of Canute’s Plastic Army, an acoustic duo who share a love of dark and twisted bluesy folk music.