Thursday, 9 June 2011

Carina Round, Dan Whitehouse and Vijay Kishore deliver bigtime

It just keeps getting better, and better, and better. A great night at the Hare and Hounds, and a studio session to remember
Carina Round

This has been another of those weeks for amazing, amazing music. Last night, I caught one of the best live shows I've seen in a long, long, time, in King's Heath, Birmingham; and Saturday last, I was privileged to be at Music Up studios in Coventry to work with Alternative Dubstep Orchestra, as they recorded their first full live in-studio session. 

I say ‘work’, because I was there to record an interview to add to the recorded material. But it was a pure pleasure to watch the band in a studio environment and pick out more facets of their extraordinary music. Eleven stunning musicians, with buckets of imagination and creativity in an atmosphere of collaboration and experimentation. 

I don’t know where this collective is going – they don’t know either – but I know it’s going be exciting, and different. As soon as I finish this post, I’m back to editing the interview.  Then when the tracks are mixed, I’ll put the package together. It’s part of a series I’m working on, with UB40’s Brian Travers, all featuring the best of local musicianship.

All this will all be streaming online and/or coming to a station or website near you pretty damn soon – and if you’re in radio anywhere, reading this halfway around the world from Birmingham, or a few miles away, drop me a note, and we’ll get a copy over to your station.

And last night produced one of those special evenings. Carina Round headlined, back in town for the first time in two years from her LA base. I’d never seen her before, but this was a must-attend gig – so many of the people I respect and admire in this city rave about her, I couldn’t not go. And she was, dammit, absolutely huge. A stunning range of material, delivered with panache and a compelling stage presence. Her new songs are blistering, savage, howling, eloquent… and of course, she had a band to match, including the wonderful Tom Livemore, who also plays with Jo Hamilton and, when he’s in town, ADO.

And the other acts on the bill – a very generous bill, thanks to Birmingham Promoters – blew me away too. Vijay Kishore bounced onstage with a solo set to kick things off. He played a set of all new songs, every one of them a gem. The last one, ’13 Rounds’ is an absolute stand-out.

I’m a fan of Vijay, and the same goes for Dan Whitehouse.  Both guys produce intelligent, passionate, exceptional music. Dan’s set was packed with polished, crafted songs as well, with a lot of punch from a keys/fiddle/bass/drums backup band.

I know, I’m gushing. I've got no big political point to make here. I'm not even going to try to resurrect my old argument that local radio is missing out on this stuff bigtime... because the guys running most local radio aren't listening anymore. But I will say that that might change, one way or another, as the market is expanded by the web and committed internet radio. I'll have more to say on that soon... hopefully by early summer.

But these wonderful, wonderful musicians are treasures beyond measure. They're yours and mine. And they are growing and developing before our eyes, in our towns. Well, Carina apart, of course - she's growing in LA most of the time.

Yet more reasons why, if you’re not doing so already, that you should get off your butt and explore the talent in your area.


The Daily Bear said...

Have to point out that 101.8 WCRfm here in Wolverhampton have supported both Dan and Carina ceaselessly and in fact several of Dan's songs are playlist staples whilst Carina's Early Winters project was the equivalent A listed many many months before it was released.
Steve Morris

Robin Valk said...

Steve, I know of your commitment from old, and it does you and WCRfm huge credit! Note that I said 'most' radio... not all :-) There are honourable exceptions, but I'm sure you would agree that you have to look hard.