YORKSHIRE musician George Reid is spending his lockdown collaborating remotely with fellow musicians on the new platform The 99 Second Playlist.
“The platform was launched at the start of quarantine in March with the intention to keep musicians creative during lockdown,” says George, from Penistone, Barnsley. “I also wanted to spread positivity and help to expand people’s ears to music they may not have heard of before.”
Every Thursday, a video is released at 6pm via George’s YouTube page and this Thursday, May 28, will mark the project’s tenth week.
“Over those ten weeks, I’ve created a weekly audience of 300 people that will tune in to listen to the videos. The catch is that every single video must be under 99 seconds,” he says.
“The challenge is to get the best parts of any song into 99 seconds. Not only is this quite a challenge for musicians, but in a world where people flick through social media feeds so quickly, you’ve got a very limited amount of time to capture someone’s attention.
“It dissuades musicians from making long, self-indulgent music videos that we know people won’t watch. The goal is to create projects that musicians and audiences can enjoy in equal measure.”
Since March, George has collaborated with actors George Griffiths, from The Book Of Mormon’s international tour, Eilidh Loan, from Frankenstein’s UK Tour, and Tom Berkeley, from Buddy The Musical, and professional musician Alex Barton.
Songs from The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Ed Sheeran, Bill Withers and Les Misérables have featured in bite-size form so far.
“I have plans to work with even more musicians in the coming months, and I’m aiming to get to 52 weeks of the playlist” says George.
“To follow my journey, you can search for The 99 Second Playlist on YouTube. Any musicians interested, or anyone wanting to hear a specific song, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
GEORGE is an actor and musician from Penistone, Barnsley. He trained at Guildford School of Acting, graduating in 2018, and has performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, and in two international Shakespeare tours. He has been gigging since the age of 15 around Leeds, Sheffield, Barnsley and Huddersfield.
THIS summer’s 27th International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate has been scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the festival organisers have put next summer’s festival line-up in place already.
As is custom, the 2021 festival will run at two locations, the original home of Buxton Opera House from July 31 to August 7 and Harrogate Royal Hall from August 8 to 22.
Taking part will be three professional companies, the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Charles Court Opera and Forbear! Theatre, and amateur performers from Abbots Langley G&S Society, Brussels Light Opera, Bus Pass Opera, Peak Opera, Ploverleigh Savoy Players, SavoyNet Performing Group and Trent Opera.
Harrogate dates for the 2021 diary are:
August 8, The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; H.M.S. Pinafore, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.
August 9, Iolanthe, Peak Opera, 7.30pm.
August 10, The Gondoliers, Trent Opera, 7.30pm.
August 11, Iolanthe, Charles Court Opera, 2.30pm; Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, 7.30pm.
August 12, The Pirates Of Penzance, Brussels Light Opera, 7.30pm.
August 13, The Yeomen Of The Guard, Forbear! Theatre, 7.30pm.
August 14, Patience, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.
August 15, The Pirates Of Penzance, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; H.M.S. Pinafore, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.
August 16, Ruddigore, Abbots Langley G&S Society, 7.30pm.
August 17, The Mikado, Ploverleigh Savoy Players, 7.30pm.
August 18, Patience, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; The Pirates Of Penzance, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.
August 19, The Grand Duke, SavoyNet Performing Group, 7.30pm.
August 20, Princess Ida, Bus Pass Opera, 7.30pm.
August 21, H.M.S. Pinafore, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; Patience, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.
August 22, The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; The Pirates Of Penzance, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.
This summer’s festival run in Harrogate from August 9 to 23 would have featured five new National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company productions: The Pirates Of Penzance and The Sorcerer, directed by Richard Gauntlett; rising star Rachel Middle’s HMS Pinafore; Simon Butteriss’s Patience and Alan Borthwick’s The Emerald Isle (or The Caves Of Carrig-Cleena), a work staged only rarely.
Further highlights were to have been Charles Court Opera’s smart, stylish new take on The Mikado, directed by John Savournin, and their new production of Iolanthe, plus Rachel Middle’s production of The Yeomen Of The Guard for Forbear! Theatre.
After the cancellation of the 2020 festival, the organisers have launched a streaming service at gsopera.tv to show “the very best of the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company and festival productions at home and abroad since 1994, plus many other G&S classics”.
“There’s something for everyone and our content will be constantly updated with new, exciting films for you to enjoy from the best seat in your house,” says festival trustee Bernard Lockett. “There’s free content to watch there too.
“You can watch gsopera.tv on your tablet, laptop, smart TV, smartphone or PC: anywhere with the internet. It’s easy to use and your purchases can be accessed on all your internet devices forever.
“Keep an eye out for our new weekly podcasts and webinars starring your festival favourites and Gilbert and Sullivan experts. They are coming soon and we can’t wait to share them with you. We are also selecting some outstanding films for an eagerly awaited virtual festival in August, so this year you can simply stay safely at home and enjoy being entertained.
“Gsopera.tv lets you re-live treasured memories and enjoy those magical performances that have made the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival such an amazing and unique event.”
CALIFORNIAN singer, musician and autobiographical author Belinda Carlisle will return to York Barbican on October 14 2021 on The Decades Tour, marking her 35-year solo career.
Now 61 and living in Bangkok, Thailand, with husband Morgan Mason, she last played the Barbican in September 2019 on her Runaway Horses 30th Anniversary Tour.
To go to Carlisle next autumn, tickets will be on sale from Friday, May 29 at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Belinda made her name as the lead singer of The Go-Go’s, the all-female band formed in Los Angeles in 1978, and enjoyed solo success with 1987 chart topper Heaven ls A Place On Earth, I Get Weak, Leave A Light On, Summer Rain, Circle In The Sand, Runaway Horses, In Too Deep and Always Breaking My Heart.
In 2010, she charted her colourful life story in her autobiography Lips Unsealed. In 2021, on The Decades Tour, she will “celebrate her rich musical catalogue and chameleonic musical prowess”.
The itinerary will close with Carlisle’s second Yorkshire show, playing Sheffield City Hall on October 30.
EXIT 10 Things To See Next Week in York and beyond for the unforeseeable future in Stay Alert, but still sort-of-inert, Baby-Step Britannia. Make do with home entertainment, wherever you may be, in whatever configuration that you interpret the Government’s green-for-go rules now permits in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. From behind his door ajar, CHARLES HUTCHINSON makes these suggestions.
Arts event of the week ahead and beyond: Alan Ayckbourn’s Anno Domino, online from May 25 to June 25
WHEN the Coronavirus pandemic meant Truth Will Out would not be out this summer at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, Alan Ayckbourn responded by writing a new play in lockdown, Anno Domino.
And not only write and direct it, but perform in the audio recording too, marking his return to acting, 58 years after his last appearance on a professional stage.
What’s more, former radio producer Ayckbourn, 81, has teamed up with his wife, actress Heather Stoney, his co-star in that 1964 production, to record the new show.
His 84th play takes the form of an audio account of the break-up of a long-established marriage and the domino effect that has on family and friends, Ayckbourn and Stoney playing four characters each, aged 18 to 75. “We were just mucking about in our sitting room,” says Ayckbourn, who also supplied the sound effects.
The world premiere of Anno Domino will be available for free exclusively on the SJT’s website, sjt.uk.com, from noon on Monday, May 25 to noon on June 25.
York Musical Theatre Company in Off-Stage But Online 2, Sunday, 7.30pm
AFTER the success of the inaugural Off-Stage But Online! concert on April 26, York Musical Theatre Company return with a second digital performance on Sunday, live on the company’s YouTube channel from 7.30pm.
This weekend’s programme is compiled by musical director Paul Laidlaw again and features 25 numbers performed at home by Matthew Ainsworth, Jessa & Mick Liversidge, John Haigh, Eleanor Leaper, Chris Hagyard and Florence Taylor, among others.
Expect video recordings of numbers from Rent, Les Miserables, Heathers, A Chorus Line, Follies, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Company and Showboat.
National Centre for Early Music streamed concerts, May 30 and June 13
THE NCEM, in Walmgate, York, continues to share concerts from its archive on Facebook and online. The next will be on Saturday, May 30, featuring one of the last concerts by the European Union Baroque Orchestra, captured in March 2017.
On June 13 comes the chance to enjoy music by past winners of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, a double bill featuring Fieri Consort from 2017 and last year’s winners L’Apothéose.
Still streaming: Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes, York Theatre Royal Collective Arts programme
YORK Theatre Royal is streaming the 2017 community play Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes for free on its YouTube channel until May 31.
Co-produced with Pilot Theatre, this outdoor and indoor production was performed by a community cast of 150 and a choir of 80, taking the form of a protest play that recalled how women in York ran safe houses, organised meetings, smashed windows and fire-bombed pillar boxes as part of the early 20th century Suffragette movement.
“Now the stage is dark and the streets are empty, but looking back to the way in which that show brought people together, inspiring them in so many ways, is a wonderful reminder of the power of theatre and community,” says playwright Bridget Foreman.
Activity of the week: Decorating your house in the bright spring light
BE inspired by York portrait artist Sue Clayton, whose painting of Sainsbury’s trolley attendant Andrew Fair, from her York Heroes series in 2018, appeared on the first episode of Grayson Perry’s Channel 4 show Grayson’s Art Club.
“The urge to paint left me temporarily, which frightened me, but home decorating began instead and my creativity was encouraged this way, from ripping up the stairs carpet and painting the stairs in rainbow colours to remember this period, through to painting a cupboard with a Chinese heron/crane,” she says.
Maybe a Chinese heron would be too ambitious as a starting point, but painting the stairs in rainbow colours…?
Still keep trying to find good news
LEEDS Festival in late-August, cancelled. York Early Music Festival’s summer of Method & Madness in July, off. Jeff Beck at York Barbican this week, not now. The list of cancellations shows no sign of coming to an end, but always look on the bright side of strife by seeking out updates on websites.
Leeds Festival at Bramham Park will return in 2021; so too will York Early Music Festival. As for Jeff Beck: there is a hi-ho silver lining there too. The legendary Wallington guitarist and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, now 75, has re-arranged his gig for April 22 2021.
Clap for Carers
STAND by your doors, bang a gong, at 8pm every Thursday, no excuses. Theatre-goers, concert-goers, save your hand-clapping for our NHS doctors, hospital staff, carers, volunteers and key workers.
If one work of art encapsulates a city in gratitude, and in prayer, step forward Jonathan Williams’s stained glass window of York Minster and York Hospital in rainbow union.
And what about…
NEW albums by Badly Drawn Boy, The 1975 and The Dears. Poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s new series of interviews on BBC Sounds and his appearance and musical choices on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. Channel 4’s Gogglebox for weekly political insight. Going to a garden centre, where plant salvation awaits.
AFTER the success of their inaugural Off-Stage But Online! concert on April 26, York Musical Theatre Company return with a second free digital performance on Sunday, live on the company’s YouTube channel from 7.30pm.
This weekend’s programme is compiled again by director Paul Laidlaw and features 25 numbers performed at home by Matthew Ainsworth, Jessa and Mick Liversidge, John Haigh, Eleanor Leaper, Chris Hagyard and Florence Taylor, among others.
Expect video recordings of numbers from Rent, Les Miserables, Heathers, A Chorus Line, Follies, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Company and Showboat.
Musical director John Atkin opens Off-Stage But Online 2! with the Star Wars theme on piano, leading into Chris Jay’s Till I Hear You Sing, from Love Never Dies; Holly Inch’s It Means Beautiful, from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and John Haigh and daughter Sofia’s Don’t Rain On My Parade, from Funny Girl.
Peter Wookie performs Ol’ Man River; Sarah Pollard and Charly Wetherell, For Good, from Wicked; Mick Liversidge, Bless Your Beautiful Hide, from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers; Kaia Stainton, Lifeboat, from Heathers; Matthew Clare, King Of The World, and Eleanor Leaper, No-One But You, from We Will Rock You.
Matthew Ainsworth’s pick, accompanied by “And All”, is Seasons Of Love, from Rent; Amy Lacey, I Have A Dream, from Mamma Mia!; John Atkin and Cathy Atkin, By My Side, from Godspell; Sarah Pollard, Holding Out For A Hero, from Footloose, and David Martin, Only Love, from The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Next, Charly Wetherell sings When Will My Life Begin?, from Tangled; Chris Mooney, Heaven On Their Minds, from Jesus Christ Superstar; Rachel Higgs, Taylor, The Latte Boy; Helen Barugh and Peter Wookie, Falling Slowly, from Once, and Jessa Liversidge, Losing My Mind, from Follies.
Matthew Ainsworth returns for Bring Him Home; Flo Taylor performs Nothing, from A Chorus Line; Chris Gibson, Anyone Can Whistle; Jessa and Mick Liversidge, It’s The Little Things, from Company, and John Haigh, Somewhere, from West Side Story.
THE 2020 York Early Music Festival, Britain’s biggest event in its field, is off.
“Following current government advice on the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Centre for Early Music has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 festival, due to take place this July,” says administrative director Dr Delma Tomlin.
“Regretfully, we have finally had to take this decision for the safety of our artists and audiences. This is hugely disappointing for everyone involved, and indeed the hospitality industry in York.
“The festival, started in 1977, is the UK’s largest festival of its kind and is firmly established within the cultural calendar. I would like to thank our wonderful patrons, friends, funders and supporters who have helped us at this difficult time. Many have donated and we are hugely appreciative of everyone’s kindness.”
The 2020 festival was to have run from July 3 to 11 with a theme of “the Method & Madness of musical styles, from the wild excesses of the Italian Renaissance, through the soothing virtuosity of Bach, to the towering genius of Beethoven”.
Among the artists would have been York’s international countertenor Iestyn Davies, performing Bach: Countertenor Arias with Scottish instrumentalists the Dunedin Consort; The Sixteen, singing The Call Of Rome at York Minster, directed by Harry Christophers, and Barokksolistene, from Norway, with their vivacious festival opener, Alehouse.
Lined up to take part too were Rose Consort of Viols; Voces Suaves; Prisma; Profeti della Quinta; L’Apothéose; Hubert Hazebroucq & Julien Martin and The Society of Strange & Ancient Instruments, launching their Trumpet Marine project.
Further concerts in the festival diary were by the University Baroque Ensemble; harpsichordist Steven Devine and Consone Quartet. Festival stalwart Peter Seymour would have directed a performance of Handel’s opera Orlando, with Carolyn Sampson, Helen Charlston and Matthew Brook among the soloists.
Delma has confirmed the 2021 festival will run from Friday, July 9 to Saturday, July 17. “Guest artists scheduled to join us next summer include The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, Brecon Baroque, led by violinist Rachel Podger, and gamba specialist Paolo Pandolfo,” she says. Further highlights will include the 2021 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition.
Meanwhile, the National Centre for Early Music, in Walmgate, York, will continue to share concerts from its archive on Facebook and online in its 20th anniversary year. Next up, on May 30 at 1pm, will be one of the last concerts by the European Union Baroque Orchestra, recorded in March 2017.
On June 13 comes the chance to enjoy music by past winners of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, a double bill of Fieri Consort from 2017 and last year’s winners, L’Apothéose.
TEDDY Thompson, the English singer and songwriter long resident in New York City, will play Pocklington Arts Centre on January 22 2021.
He will be showcasing his sixth solo studio album, Heartbreaker Please, set for release on May 29 on Thirty Tigers, a launch put back from its original April 24 pitch.
Teddy, 44-year-old son of folk luminaries Richard and Linda Thompson, will be supported by another artiste with a folk-roots heritage: Roseanne Reid, eldest daughter of The Proclaimers’ Craig Reid.
“Here’s the thing, you don’t love me anymore,” sings the frank Thompson on his new album. “I can tell you’ve got one foot out the door.”
From the off, Heartbreaker Please wrestles with the breakdown of love with wistful levity and devastating honesty. The songs are drawn from the demise of a real-life relationship, set against the backdrop of New York City, the place Thompson has called home for the better part of two decades, having left London for the USA at 18 and settled in the Big Apple five years later.
“I took a summer vacation that never ended,” he says. “In retrospect, I was trying to reinvent myself. It was easier to leave it all behind, go somewhere new and declare myself an artist. And you can actually re-invent yourself in America; step off the plane, say ‘my name is Teddy Thompson, I’m a musician’.”
Six albums have arrived since 2000, spanning rock and country, pop and folk. “Who do I sound like? I think I sound like myself,” Thompson says. “There’s a strong element of British folky in me, it’s in the blood, and I heard the wonderful music of my parents around me as a young child.
“Then there was the 1950s’ American pop and country that I fell in love with, plus the ’80s’ pop music that was in the charts at the time.”
From a young age, Sam Cooke, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry and The Everly Brothers made up the bulk of Thompson’s listening, along with select contemporary tunes heard on Top Of The Pops: A-ha, Culture Club and Wham.
“As a teenager, I couldn’t talk to my friends about Fifties’ rock’n’roll. I wasn’t cool enough to be that different. I’d say Crowded House was the first contemporary band I really found that I liked, that was socially acceptable,” he says.
“Today? I like to think my taste in music is catholic, I listen to whatever catches my ear, I don’t care about genre. There’s only two types of music, good and bad.”
On Heartbreaker Please,Thompson incorporates elements of Sixties’ doo-wop on Record Player and Eighties’ synth sounds on the epic No Idea, but his first musical love always will be rock’n’roll, country and pop.
“I’m completely enamoured with the three-minute pop song,” he says. “Maybe it’s conditioning if you hear enough of it, but the brevity of those songs, I always thought that was ideal. Trim the fat.
“Those songs are from a time when the song itself was important and would live on. If it was great, people would cover it. So, I still think that way, write a great song first. I try to be succinct and witty, but also cut to the heart in a matter of two or three minutes. I may never write a song as good as Chuck Berry’s Maybelline or The Everly Brothers’ Cathy’s Clown, but those are the touchstones for me.”
In a departure for Thompson, at the [broken] heart of Heartbreaker Please are references to someone else doing the heart-breaking. “I’m usually the one who does that!” he says. “A defence mechanism, of course, but all of a sudden I was the one on the back foot. I was the ‘plus 1’, and I admit, I didn’t deal with it very well. But also, don’t date actors.”
The relationship ended just as Thompson was finishing writing the songs that would become Heartbreaker Please. “I tend to write sad songs, slow songs. It’s what comes naturally,” he says.
“So I tried to make an effort here to set some of the misery to a nice beat! Let the listener bop their heads while they weep.”
After releasing his self-titled debut in 2000, Thompson went on tour as part of Roseanne Cash’s band. Since then he has collaborated with good friends Martha and Rufus Wainwright and contributed to numerous tribute projects, most notably two songs for the Leonard Cohen covers’ collection, I’m Your Man, and two to the Nick Drake retrospective, Way To Blue, too.
Thompson has produced albums for Americana singer-songwriters Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne, Dori Freeman and his mother, Linda Thompson. Last year, he added Roseanne Reid’s debut, Trails, to that list: an album that featured a duet with Steve Earle, by the way.
Teddy’s father, Richard Thompson, was to have played the closing concert at this summer’s Platform Festival at the Old Station, Pocklington, on July 15 but the event was de-railed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Negotiations are under way with all the acts, Thompson included, to take part in the 2021 festival.
Tickets for Teddy Thompson’s 8pm gig are on sale at £20 at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
CASTLE Howard is postponing this summer’s live music weekend until 2021.
Running from August 21 to 23, the 2020 bill would have comprised the al fresco Proms Spectacular with Welsh tenor Wynne Evans, Café Mambo Live and Queen Symphonic.
“The summer spectacular weekend was set to draw audiences from all over the country to enjoy a varied programme of music, from Land Of Hope And Glory to Ibiza chill to Bohemian Rhapsody,” today’s official statement says. “Now the whole weekend will be picked up and placed on the equivalent weekend next August.”
The North Yorkshire country house management team and event partners LPH Concerts have taken the decision after “much deliberation and careful consideration of the advice from the British government around the Coronavirus pandemic” and its prohibitive social-distancing measures.
The Hon Nicholas Howard, of Castle Howard, near York, says: “It is incredibly disappointing to have to cancel any events, particularly outdoor concerts for which people plan ahead for many months, but it is absolutely the right thing to do in current circumstances – the safety of our visitors and staff is paramount.
“The artists due to perform share our disappointment but have all agreed to come back next summer to delight the Yorkshire audiences at Castle Howard’s natural amphitheatre. Something to look forward to, if a little further into the future.”
LPH Concerts say: “While lockdown measures are being slowly lifted across the UK, it is with sadness that we are announcing these postponements. In the background, we have been studying guidance and taking advice from the industry safety professionals.
“As independent event producers, we have a passion for the music and events we produce, however the most important factor is you, our loyal customers. Many of you over the years have become friends and supporters and as such your safety and enjoyment of our events is our priority.
“We also have a loyal, hardworking team and suppliers to safeguard too and therefore we have made the difficult decision to postpone until 2021.
“The good news is that the artistes, Castle Howard and our suppliers are fully behind us and…we’ll be back with a heightened spring in our production for you all to enjoy. Stay safe and we hope we will see you before too long.”
All ticket holders will be receiving an email shortly from their point of purchase with further information.
Castle Howard and its grounds remain closed to the public, with the team closely following government advice so that it can reopen promptly with appropriate safety measures in place once lockdown is lifted.
“We’re expecting the gardens and grounds to be first to open, as exploring the outdoors and getting lots of fresh air appears to be very much in line with recommendations for safe things to do,” says Nicholas Howard.
“We’ll continue to monitor when and how we might be able to re-open the house in due course. In the meantime, our farm shop continues to provide locals with fresh fruit, vegetables and butchery staples, while the garden centre has now also re-opened with social-distancing measures in place, so those staying at home can give their green spaces a bit of a boost.
“We would like to thank you all for your patience and support during these difficult times.”
For more information on the farm shop and garden centre, or to keep up to date with the latest Castle Howard news, stay alert at castlehoward.co.uk.
THERE will be no Yes show on May 29 at York Barbican after Covid-19 intervened, but, yes, The Album Series Tour has been rearranged.
All tickets remain valid for the new date, May 19 2021, when Yes will perform their 1974 album Relayer in its entirety, complemented by Yes prog-rock favourites.
Band member Alan White says: “Many things have changed in the world these past few months. My appreciation for the freedoms we’ve enjoyed in the past has grown, along with my gratitude for all the people caring for humanity throughout the world.
“I can’t wait to be on stage again in front of real audiences, playing Yes music. I’m hoping we can bring some joy and positivity back into our lives. Please take care and stay safe, we want to see our many fans and friends again in 2021.”
The tour line-up features White, on drums; Steve Howe, guitars; Geoff Downes, keyboards; Jon Davison, vocals; Billy Sherwood, bass guitar and backing vocals, and Jay Schellen, drums and percussion.
The Album Series Tour format comprises two sets with full production and a high-definition video wall. The first will focus on classic numbers from Yes’s extensive catalogue; the second will be devoted to Relayer, the band’s seventh studio album.
Relayer marked a “slight change in direction” as Patrick Moraz replaced Rick Wakeman on keyboards, bringing an avant-garde feel to the recordings, typified by the Gates Of Delirium, almost 22 minutes in length, with Moraz’s keyboards and Howe’s guitar to the fore in the battle scene. The battle gives way to the beautiful ballad Soon, a prayer for peace and hope.
Further highlights are Sound Chaser, a prog-rock-jazz fusion experiment heavily influenced by Moraz’s style, and To Be Over, a calm and gentle album closer, based on a Howe melody.
Released in late 1974 on Atlantic Records, Relayer reached number four in the UK album chart and number five in the US Billboard chart.
York Barbican will be the only Yorkshire venue on the nine-date 2021 British and European tour. Tickets are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Didn’t Yes play York Barbican in June 2018? Yes and no. It was not this Yes, but the brand of Yes that has to call itself Yes, Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, not Yes.
YOU can’t make a beeline to The Delines at Pocklington Arts Centre on July 28, but jot down February 23 2021 for the Covid-enforced rearranged date.
Willy Vlautin’s retro country-soul band, from Portland, Oregon, returned from a three-year hiatus last year, enjoying two weeks at number one in the UK Americana charts with The Imperial, a record picked as Rough Trade’s album of the month and Uncut’s Americana album of the month.
The long lull in recordings was a result of lead singer Amy Boone’s need for three years of treatment and rehab after both her legs were broken severely in a car accident in Austin, Texas.
The band vowed to “hang in there until the ship was ready to sail again”, their spirit sustained by knowing they had most of The Imperial’s material in the can already. Their sophomore record, the follow-up to June 2014 debut Colfax, surfaced eventually on January 11 2019 on Décor Records. A sold-out UK tour ensued that year.
The Delines are led by Vlautin, novelist and lead singer/songwriter for Richmond Fontaine, who disbanded in 2016, and Boone, co-founder with her sister Deborah Kelly of the Texan group Damnations.
In the line-up too are Freddy Trujillo, from Portland, on bass; Vlautin’s Richmond Fontaine cohort Sean Oldham on drums and multi-instrumentalist Cory Gray, rounding out the cinematic, late-night country-soul sound on keyboards and trumpet.
The band had been working on new material over the past months before the Coronavirus lockdown, those songs “set to be finished shortly” and sure to feature in next February’s gig.
That night’s support act will be Californian singer, songwriter and guitarist Jerry Joseph, who has just recorded his new album, The Beautiful Madness, with Drive-By Truckers, featuring Jason Isbell by the way, for August 21 release on Décor.
Ticket holders will be contacted by the PAC box office to offer them a transfer or refund. Tickets are on sale at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.