Abigail Washburn (with Kai Welsh) @ Borderline, London
An American clawhammer banjo player and singer Washburn was in town in support of her third album City of Refuge. I really like the record – one of the nicest surprises of the year, thus far in fact, but neither I - nor the 'I'm not really into folk music' person accompanying me to the gig were quite prepared to be as blown away as we were by Washburn and musical collaborator Kai Welsh. The sheer power of their combined voices and Washburn's banjo and Welsh's acoustic guitar was nothing short of breathtaking, and certainly ranks as one of the finest gigs I've been to.
Jessica Lea Mayfield @ Borderline, London
One of those artists I had heard about in passing and went along just because tickets were cheap. Well worth it though, as Mayfield has the same kind of vibe that Lucinda Williams has, and plays a similar style of country music. Best is yet to come from this young lady.
Rush @ 02 LondonAlways promised myself I'd get to see them some time, and free tickets in the work Box at 02 (tickets were priced at £60-£90) provided the chance. An hour long set, followed by and interval and then a 90 min set, plus encores was the set up. Part one featured recent material plus a few older things – Free Will, Subdivisions, Marathon, Time Stands Still etc. The Second section kicked off with the playing of the whole of Moving Pictures, and then a few other choice favourites inc Closer to the Heart. Encore: had to be parts 1 and 2 of 2112 and Working man. Geddy's voice may be a bit shot these days, but boy can these guys still play (and also show their sense of humour in some pre song video) 2112 overture was majestic. Good, at times, brilliant.
Clip from actual gig ...