Sun hits the Scarborough sky for Supergrass on comeback trail

Going out: Supergrass have a run of gigs next summer

EVERYTHING has aligned for Supergrass on the “improbable comeback” trail.

The Oxford four-piece of Gaz Coombes, Danny Goffey, Rob Coombes and Mick Quinn will head to Scarborough Open Air Theatre on June 20 next summer, with tickets going on sale at 9am on Friday.

Coming first will be Supergrass: The Strange Ones 1994-2008, released on BMG on January 24 2020 to mark the 25th anniversary of their chart-topping debut album I Should Coco.

This box set stacks up their six albums on picture-disc LP and CD; bonus CDs of unreleased live material; B-sides; remixes; rarities; studio out-takes; demos; acoustic versions; oddities, new mixes; a deluxe book, posters and button badges.

Supergrass made their comeback in September in a bold manner, taking to the stage unannounced at Glastonbury Pilton Party to rip through a greatest hits set, embracing Richard III, Moving, Alright, Lenny, Going Out, Caught By The Fuzz, Sun Hits The Sky, Pumping On Your Stereo and Grace.

Supergrass are back after a decade away? I should coco

“Everything aligned for us to make this happen for 2020,” says drummer Goffey, recalling September’s re-launch. “It was the first time that we collectively felt the buzz to get back in a room together and play the songs. We’re extremely excited to get out there and bring a bit of Supergrass joy to all our fans… and their extended families.”

Formed in 1993, the Oxford band released the Mercury Prize-nominated I Should Coco in 1995; In It For The Money in 1997; Supergrass, 1999; Life On Other Planets, 2002; Road To Rouen, 2005, and Diamond Hoo Ha, 2008, plus the 2004 compilation Supergrass Is 10.

After the BRIT, NME, Ivor Novello and Q award-winning band split in 2010, Gaz Coombes released his solo albums Here Come The Bombs in 2012, Matador in 2015 and World’s Strongest Man last year.

Quinn has been playing with his own group, DB Band, and has been a member of Swervedriver since 2015; Goffey’s album Schtick came out in 2018.

From Friday (December 20), tickets can be booked on 01723 818111 or 01723 383636; at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com or in person from Scarborough OAT, in Burniston Road, or the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau, Scarborough Town Hall, St Nicholas Street.

Did you know?

Supergrass’s I Should Coco in 1995 was the Parlophone label’s biggest-selling debut since The Beatles’ Please Please Me in March 1963.

Heather Findlay at the double for Christmas at NCEM and in York library

Shining light: Heather Findlay in angelic pose for her Christmas show

HEATHER Findlay will play York concerts on successive nights this week, the first with Friends in her Christmas Show at the National Centre for Early Music on Friday.

The next night, the York singer joins fellow composer Simon Snaize for a “pre-Christmas solstice spectacular” in the last of four concerts in the inaugural Live In Libraries York season in York Explore’s wood-panelled Marriot Room.

“I love making my Christmas show really magical, nostalgic and unique,” says Heather. “So, there’s a slightly different line-up, with Sarah Dean joining us on harp and special guest Annie Donaghy on vocals, and a couple of unannounced guests too.”

On Saturday, Findlay accompanies Snaize as he showcases his new album, A Song Of Bones, and his 2012 recording The Structure Of Recollection, in an intimate performance to a capacity audience of 50. CDs of the new record will be on sale on the night before the official release in January.

Wrapping up for winter: Heather Findlay heads to the NCEM for her Christmas show

Heather Findlay and Friends’ Christmas Show, plus Annie Donaghy, National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, Friday, 8pm; Heather Findlay and Simon Snaize, Live In Libraries York, York Explore, Saturday, doors 7pm. Box office: NCEM, 01904 658338 or at ncem.co.uk; Live in Libraries, exploreyork.eventbrite.co.uk

WHISPER it abroad, the inaugural Live In Libraries York season of intimate concerts in York Explore Library and Archive’s Marriott Room, in Library Square, concludes this weekend.

East Yorkshire folk-Americana singer-songwriter Edwina Hayes was first up in September, followed by hotly tipped York band Bonneville And The Bailers on October 25; Bradford songwriter Bella Gaffney on November 21, and Heather Findlay and Simon Snaize in a rare duo gig on Saturday.

The season has been curated by York busker David Ward Maclean in tandem with Dave Fleming, Explore York’s inclusive arts and media co-ordinator.

Simon Snaize and Heather Findlay: performing in a rare duo format at York Explore

Here Charles Hutchinson puts questions to David and Dave.

What prompted you to set up this series of concerts and how long has it taken to arrange the season, David? 

“It started from a chat with York Explore manager Barbara Swinn and Explore York’s Dave Fleming about the feasibility of the Marriott Room as a regular venue. Although we settled on a short series of just four concerts, it’s still taken a while to work out the logistics of both the requirements for staging the events and York Explore’s very busy timetable as a working library.”

How did Live In Libraries York come to fruition, Dave?

“Barbara and I thought it was a great idea to approach David to help curate, advise and develop the concept and the season of concerts.

“I’ve known Dave for years, both on the music scene and working together many years ago when I worked for City of York Council’s Arts & Culture service as community arts officer and working as part of the Illuminating York team.

“I coordinated a series of live short cultural performances in some of the city-centre churches called Inspire York and Dave created a soundscape in one of the churches. Barbara came across Dave performing in York and was captivated by him, so I suggested a chat and for Dave to check out the space and see what he thought.It’s fair to say he was blown away by its potential for live intimate performances.”

Bonnie Milnes of Bonneville And The Bailers, who played Live In Libraries York in October

What attracted you the Marriott Room, David?

“The first thing that struck me was the sound: astonishingly clear acoustics, requiring no more than the minimum amplification, if any. That’s probably down to the wood panelling and the wooden floor, combined with a fairly high ceiling.

“Also, due to its location at the rear of the library, it’s a very quiet location, making it the perfect small listening venue. We’ve limited seating to about 50, so that there’s plenty of room, and that also makes for a great intimate atmosphere. It looks gorgeous too.

“There are very good Green Room facilities behind the Marriott Room, and the performer accesses the venue from a different door, which I always think enhances an event. Everything I’ve ever looked for in a small venue. I’m hoping to book in myself next year sometime.”

What are the Marriott Room’s attributes as a concert setting, Dave?

“There’s nowhere else like it in York! Everyone who has popped down to check out the space wants to perform in the space. The interest has taken us by surprise. 

“We did a test concert a few months back with two internationally renowned harpists. It was sold out and both the performers and audience were captivated by the experience and were so impressed with the space.

“We dress the space beautifully and it will make you re-imagine what libraries can offer.”

What does a library setting bring to live music, David? After all, libraries are associated with hush, contemplation, study and solo concentration!

“I definitely think that when you walk in, the beautiful main entrance to the library instils a certain focus, ideal for listening events. I think we’re going for communication and attentiveness, rather than heads bowed in reverence.”


When curating the acts for these performances, how and why did you choose each one and what have they each brought to Live In Libraries York, David?

“When I was first asked for acts, Edwina Hayes was an instant choice. She’s incredible, a world-class act and a big favourite in York, and I’m so pleased she started the series.

“I also wanted to get two local organisations involved – Dan Webster of Green Chili Promotions and Dave Greenbrown from Young Thugs Records – and they put forward two fantastic up-and-coming York artists, Bella Gaffney and Bonneville And The Wailers.

David Ward Maclean: Curator of the Live In Libraries York season

“I’d always wanted to hear Heather Findlay and Simon Snaize as a duo again after they bowled me over with a set some years back. It’s an extraordinary sound, they truly complement each other and I’m so happy to finish the season on a high with them, on Winter Solstice no less!”

As a musician yourself, David, what makes for your perfect gig setting? 

“This one.”

What sort of contrasting places have you played in your long career? 

“Pretty much everything, from Sheffield City Hall to playing for a couple in their home while they had dinner. Probably the strangest was back in 1984, hitchhiking to Bremen, playing for some German policemen in a motorway service station to prove I was on my way to play some concerts. I passed the audition.”

Would you like to see a further season of such shows taking place in the Marrott Room, David? Or is this a special one-off?

“I would love to see more concerts here in the future.”


What would be your ideal song for a library setting, David?

“(What A) Wonderful World by Sam Cooke.”

How about yours, Dave?

“My word, this is a tricky one to answer! Struggling to think of one because there are so many. So, I’m going to say one of David Ward Maclean’s original songs as he is such a brilliant songwriter and local legend. Oh, and he sounds incredible in the Marriott Room!”

Charles Hutchinson

REVIEW: Ebor Singers, National Centre for Early Music, York, 15/12/2019

Paul Gameson: director of Ebor Singers

Ebor Singers, Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, National Centre for Early Music, York, December 15

THIS was the Ebors’ now traditional performance of Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, spiced with a selection of contemporary American carols and seasonal songs.

The Britten, given in the original all-female version, was accompanied by the harp of Rachel Dent, even to the extent of some optional improvising during the processional plainsongs. Her Interlude was a touch halting, but elsewhere she sustained a pleasing pulse.

The singing had its moments, though few were provided in the solo work where intonation was wayward. As a choir, the ladies made plentiful amends. There was a lovely legato in There Is No Rose and a direct, confident approach to This Little Babe. In contrast, the reverential ending to In Freezing Winter Night reflected the manger’s “humble pomp”.

The pair of soloists in Spring Carol chirped merrily. Deo Gracias was a little too rushed for its cross-currents to have maximum impact. Though it was good to have this music made available again, its overall effect was not as strong as it was last year.

In The Moon Of Wintertime, the evening’s subtitle, taken from the Canadian Huron carol, was also used by American composer Stephen Paulus. In the event, his modal tune was less attractive than the original (Jesous Ahatonhia), and he used a bowdlerized paraphrase of Edgar Middleton’s translation, which is much less down-to-earth than the native Indian version. Its last verse, however, was a model of choral control here.

The same composer’s Three Nativity Carols, surprisingly enjoying their UK premiere – Paulus died in 2104 – brought an engaging post-Britten style to some ancient texts. They were accompanied by oboe (Jane Wright) and harp (Dent). Syncopation jollied up The Holly & The Ivy, florid oboe counterpointed the slow rocking of This Endris Night, and Wonder Tidings used a proper refrain to add colour to the mediaeval text, with the instruments dancing attendance.

Much of the rest was slow-moving and diction went to the wall. American audiences may love it, but Craig Hella Johnson’s pairing of Lo, How A Rose with Amanda McBroom’s The Rose (written for Bette Midler and covered by Westlife) did the lovely Praetorius tune no favours at all.

Hackneyed favourites by Lauridsen and Whitacre came and went and a Jake Runestad lullaby just picked itself in time to avoid a similar fate. It was left to Nico Muhly’s setting of Longfellow’s Snowflakes, with piano backing, to offer some true atmosphere, albeit out of a corner of the minimalist playbook. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas makes for a tacky ending – it should be dropped.

I know this was a Christmas concert, with all the festive sentimentality that implies, but overall I left feeling that this choir is coasting: it is capable of tackling something a lot less anodyne and a lot more challenging.

Review by Martin Dreyer

Happy Chappies to open new season of Thursday afternoon jazz at the Cross Keys

Frank Brooker’s Happy Chappies: Playing at the Cross Keys on January 2 2020

“GET jazzing done!”, says Alan Bramley, organiser of a new season of Thursday afternoon jazz sessions at the Cross Keys pub, in Tadcaster Road, York.

“Those weekly sessions have become increasingly popular since their inauguration in 2017,” says Alan, who not only makes the bookings but also plays trombone with some of the bands.

“For the start of 2020, I’ve booked a programme of jazz in varying styles, all highly entertaining.”

Frank Brooker’s Happy Chappies kick off the New Year on January 2, followed by the Cross Keys Jazz Band on January 9; Tim New Jazz Band on January 16; 7th City Jazz Band on January 23 and the Nicki Allan Five, finishing off the month, on January 30.

These traditional jazz afternoons run from 1pm to 3.30pm each Thursday. Admission and parking are free, food is available and the pub is both dog and child friendly.

More details can be found on Facebook at Crosskeysjazz.

Hello again! Lionel Richie to play Scarborough as well as York next summer

Hello? Play Scarborough as well as York, you say? Why not, says Lionel Richie

LIONEL Richie will play two North Yorkshire shows within a fortnight next summer after adding Scarborough Open Air Theatre on June 9 to his York Festival appearance on June 21.

Tickets go on sale for his Scarborough return on Wednesday at 9am, Richie having made his sold-out debut there in June 2018 on his All The Hits, All Night Long tour.

“It was a truly wonderful night on the Yorkshire coast in 2018 and I cannot wait to return to this beautiful part of the UK again,” says the Alabama soul singer, songwriter and producer. “It’s going to be another night to remember, so bring you’re dancing shoes.”

Richie, 70, will play Scarborough as part of his Hello!, Hits tour, performing songs from his Commodores days to the present day, taking in Three Times A Lady, Truly, Dancing On The Ceiling, Say You Say Me, Hello and All Night Long.

Honoured last year with the Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International Award, to go with an Oscar, Golden Globe and four Grammy awards and 100 million album sales, Richie released his latest album, Live From Las Vegas, in the summer.

Heading East: Westlife: to play Scarborough in the same week as their York Festival headline show next June

York Festival can be added to such Richie festival headline sets as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Glastonbury, where he drew more than 200,000 to main stage in 2015.

Cuffe and Taylor are promoting both his Scarborough and York gigs. “Lionel Richie is an undoubted global superstar and we are delighted to be able to bring him back here to Scarborough,” says director Peter Taylor.

“His 2018 sold-out show was the stuff of legend. It was a brilliant night in the presence of one of the most successful and celebrated music artists of all time.”

As well as Richie, Cuffe and Taylor have booked Irish boy band Westlife to play both locations, Scarborough OAT on June 17 and York Festival, at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, on June 20.

Tickets for Scarborough OAT concerts are on sale at scarboroughopenairtheatre,com, on 01723 818111 or 01723 383636, or in person from the venue, in Burniston Road, or the Discover Yorkshire Tourism Bureau, ScarboroughTown Hall, St Nicholas Street.

For York Festival tickets, go to york-festival.com.

REVIEW: York Early Music Christmas Festival, Yorkshire Bach Choir, 14/12/2019

Bass soloist Gareth Brynmor John

York Early Music Christmas Festival: Yorkshire Bach Choir/Baroque Soloists, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, December 14

THE York Early Music Christmas Festival finished brightly on Saturday with Handel’s Messiah before a packed house. Tempos were rapid, but that comes with the territory when Peter Seymour is at the helm (he sat at the harpsichord and even fingered it from time to time).

Nothing wrong with speed: it is widely thought to deliver excitement. But audiences, like electorates, are not easily fooled and Messiah is not really about excitement. Although traditionally wheeled out at Yuletide, its true focus is the message of Easter.

Mezzo soprano soloist Helen Charlston. Picture: Matthew Badham

One of Seymour’s soloists, mezzo Helen Charlston, appeared to realise this and took him on. He raced into her aria, He Was Despised – and she managed to slow him down. Thus her unaccompanied voicing of “despised” and “rejected”, with a little sob in the latter word, unexpectedly became the evening’s most telling moment.

The choir of 36 voices was impeccably on the ball, its diction superb and its staccato runs unimpeachably clear. Six tenors were not enough in this company and the bass line lacked its usual authority, but the upper voices – several countertenors included – were exemplary.

York soprano soloist Bethany Seymour. Picture: Jim PoynerJim Poyner

The best of the soloists was the bass Gareth Brynmor John, relaxed and forthright in equal measure and especially stirring in Why Do The Nations. In contrast, Gwilym Bowen’s increasingly effortful tenor verged on the operatic, although perfectly suited to Thou Shalt Break Them. Apart from her smooth I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, Bethany Seymour’s soprano arias were shrieky, with dodgy breath control.

No such problems with the tireless orchestra. Led by the spritely Lucy Russell, the strings laid a consistently stylish foundation. Yet relentless speed is only one of countless ways to treat this work. It would be nice to hear some of them occasionally.

Review by Martin Dreyer

REVIEW: Fieri Consort, National Centre for Early Music, York, 11/12/2019

Helen Charlston: “Some splendid coloratura”

York Early Music Christmas Festival: Fieri Consort, National Centre for Early Music, York, December 11

SORRY to pour cold water on your show, chaps, but this was not the oratorio it was billed to be. Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger, an Italian with Austrian forebears, described his theatrical piece of 1629, The Shepherds of Bethlehem, as a “dialogo recitativo” – a dialogue in musical speech – a forerunner of oratorio certainly, but not the real McCoy. That was still to come.

Now that’s cleared up, Kapsperger certainly made a hefty stab at dramatising the Christmas story and the five singers and four players of Fieri put up a pretty good case for it. So we had the shepherds and the angels battling for the spotlight, while the librettist – a pope-in-waiting – delivered unctuous praise of the present pope, Urban VIII, via a narrator.

What the work lacked in arias was pleasingly filled in with motets and other madrigal-style commentaries, mainly from an earlier generation of composers. So Hassler hinted at the Annunciation, Michael Praetorius’s rose bloomed again, Marenzio admired the Christ-child and Victoria evoked the mystery of it all.

Fieri bring plenty of meat to the table in this repertory. These are strong, modern voices quite without the preciousness once so treasured by early-music buffs, but smooth at the edges as well, so that their blend is exceptionally polished. Shading was less prevalent here. There was even some splendid coloratura from Hannah Ely and Helen Charlston, courtesy of Carissimi, and the instruments kept up tasty chatter behind it all.

Review by Martin Dreyer

Northern Ballet travel to Imperial Russia for Cinderella’s Christmas in Leeds

Up in lights: Northern Ballet dancer Martha Leebolt in David Nixon’s Cinderella. at Leeds Grand Theatre from December 17. All pictures: Emma Kauldhar

NORTHERN Ballet return home from December 17 for the festive season in Leeds with artistic director David Nixon’s enchanting adaptation of Cinderella at the Grand Theatre.

In the Canadian-born choreographer’s account of “the world’s most famous rags-to-riches fairy tale”, he combines dance with magic and circus skills, as seen on tour already at Nottingham Theatre Royal and Norwich Theatre Royal last month.

Puff the magic! Ashley Dixon as The Magician in Northern Ballet’s Cinderella

In Northern Ballet’s Cinderella,a tragic end to a perfect summer’s day leaves Cinderella with no choice but to accept a desolate life of servitude. At the mercy of her wicked Stepmother, Cinderella seeks joy where she can but, after encountering the handsome carefree Prince skating on a glistening lake of ice, she yearns for another life.

Despite her sadness, Cinderella never forgets to be kind and her generosity is repaid when a chance encounter with a mysterious magician changes her destiny forever.

Touching moment: Javier Torrres as Prince Mikhail and Minju Kang as Cinderella

Cinderella is not only choreographed and directed by Nixon, but he has designed the opulent costumes too. The ballet is performed to an original score by Philip Feeney, played live each performance by Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Duncan Hayler has designed the transformative sets, complemented by Tim Mitchell’s lighting design.

Nixon says: “This production of Cinderella, while being immediately recognisable as the famous fairy tale, offers something different to other traditional ballet adaptations.

Point of order: Minju Kang and Rachael Gillespie in Cinderella

“We have staged our ballet in the winter wonderland of Imperial Russia, opening up the possibilities of this colourful world as a new setting for Cinderella to make her journey. “Audiences will see the dancers skate on a glistening lake of ice, stilt walkers entertaining in a marketplace and the fateful Ball held in a Fabergé-inspired ballroom.”

He concludes: “Cinderellais ultimately the story of a young woman who must travel a challenging road to achieve happiness and our ballet is a joyful adaptation filled with action, magic and fun.”

You will go to the Ball: Minju Kang’s Cinderella in Northern Ballet’s Cinderella

Northern Ballet’s Cinderella runs at Leeds Grand Theatre, December 17 to January 2 2020, 7pm (not December 24 or 31); 2pm matinees, December 18, 21, 24, 27, 28 and 31, January 2; Sunday shows at 4pm, December 22 and 29; no Sunday evening shows. No performances on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Box office: 0844 848 2700 or at leedsgrandtheatre.com.

Cinderella production credits

Choreography, Direction and Costume Design: David Nixon

Music: Philip Feeney

Set design: Duncan Hayler

Lighting design: Tim Mitchell

Associate and original scenario: Patricia Doyle

Costume design assistant: Julie Anderson

Circus skills training: Greentop Circus

Magic consultant: Richard Pinner

Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats announce York gig and first album in 36 years

Here come the Citizens Of Boomtown: Bob Geldof, second from right, and The Boomtown Rats are to play York Barbican next spring

BOB Geldof’s punk old guard, The Boomtown Rats, are on their way to York Barbican on April 25 2020 on their Citizens Of Boomtown tour.

Tickets go on sale at 11am on Friday (December 13) on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office.

Next spring’s tour will complement the release of a new album, Citizens Of Boomtown,  the Rats’ first studio work since In The Long Grass in May 1984. Full details will be announced “very soon”.

Irishman Geldof, now 68, formed The Boomtown Rats in Dublin in 1975, touring in their early days with The Ramones and Talking Heads en route to achieving BRIT, Ivor Novello and Grammy awards.

Lanky, lippy frontman Geldof, pianist Johnny Fingers and co became the first Irish band to top the UK charts with Rat Trap in 1978 and made number one in 32 countries with I Don’t Like Mondays in 1979.

The Boomtown Rats recorded six albums, The Boomtown Rats in 1977; A Tonic For The Troops in 1978;The Fine Art Of Surfacing, 1979; Mondo Bongo, 1980; V Deep, 1982, and the aforementioned In The Long Grass two years later.

That year, Geldof formed the Band Aid charity supergroup, co-writing the chart-topping single Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed The World) with Ultravox’s Midge Ure and later organising the Live Aid and Live8 fund-raising concerts in aid of Ethiopian famine relief in 1985 and 2005.

He played solo gigs at the Grand Opera House, York, in November 2002 to promote his Sex, Age & Death album, and at Harrogate Royal Hall in May 2012 after releasing How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell in 2011. It didn’t sell, ironically, peaking at number 87 in the British album charts.

His last stage appearance in York should have taken place in a line-up alongside Alan Johnson MP, Nicky Morgan MP and David Dimbleby in June 2016 at Central Hall, University of York. He was to have spoken on behalf of the Remain campaign on the last Question Time before the EU Referendum, but recording of the BBC1 show was cancelled after the death of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox.

It would have marked the Irish knight, famine relief crusader, dot.com entrepreneur and rock veteran’s return to the Central Hall stage for the first time since 1986. That year Geldof had encouraged the audience to dance at a Boomtown Rats show despite a no-dancing rule in the contract.

“Since that day, only students have been allowed to attend York university gigs,” he recalled in an interview in 2002. “I only invited them to dance! We were a ******* dance band, for Christ’s sake.The student union sued us, but it was sorted out.”

How? “We ignored it! But I better not remind them – though they would have to sue the Rats, not me!”

Charles Hutchinson

Gill Landry exposes his skeletons on new album ahead of York gig

“I found it to be a good place for seeing the forest through the trees,” says Gill Landry, who wrote Skeleton At The Banquet while staying in a French village

GILL Landry, the two-time Grammy-winning American singer, songwriter and guitarist, is booked into The Crescent in York for February 12 2020 on his ten-date British tour.

The Old Crow Medicine Show alumnus and founder member of The Kitchen Syncopators will be promoting his fifth solo album, Skeleton At The Banquet.

Released on Loose Music on January 24 2020, Landry’s follow-up to 2017’s Love Rides A Dark Horse was preceded by his November single, I Love You Too.

Recorded and produced in Los Angeles by Landry and Seth Ford-Young, who has worked previously with Tom Waits and Edward Sharpe, Skeleton At The Banquet features Landry on vocals, guitars, pedal steel, keys and harmonica, Ford-Young on bass, Josh Collazo on drums, Stewart Cole on trumpet and Odessa Jorgensen on violin.

The album artwork for Gill Landry’s new album, Skeleton At The Banquet, to be released next month

“This album is a series of reflections and thoughts on the collective hallucination that is America, with a love song or two thrown in for good measure,” says Landry. who also uses the stage name of Frank Lemon, by the way.

“I wrote it from within the refuge of a small flat in a small village in western France, where I spent last summer. I found it to be a good place for seeing the forest through the trees, so to speak.”

Landry, originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, will open his British dates at the Americana Music Association UK’s festival in London on January 28.

Tickets for February 12 are on sale at £12 at Earworm Records, Powells Yard, Goodramgate, York, from The Crescent or online via the crescentyork.com.

Landry will play a further Yorkshire gig at The Lantern, Halifax, on February 16. Box office: 01422 341003 or thelanternhalifax.co.uk.