Saturday, March 08, 2008

Steve Wynn gig at York Basement .....

Last night was gig #1 of 2008. Yes, it's terrible. Three months in and first gig of the year.

I've seen Steve Wynn a couple of times before this, both in Birmingham.
First as part of a songwriter's quartet at the Glee Club and last time at an Irish bar in Moseley. The Irish bar gig was a bit of a nightmare to be frank. Someone obviously advised him badly about it, telling him how it was a vibrant venue and used to putting gigs on. Maybe it was good at gigs, but from the look and shape and atmosphere of the room I can only imagine they were bizarre C&W covers bands playing Irish folk and Dolly Parton standards at weddings.
Maybe 20 people turned up to the gig, and despite his best attempts to give the night a bit of life it was all a little flat. Of course, I had a wonderful time and rounded the night out chatting to the band whilst getting through one too many Gins.

This time the venue was the Basement at York's City Screen cinema. Which, as the name implies, is down in the basement, right next to the toilets and is usually used as an Internet cafe & bar. I wasn't expecting much from the venue to be honest, tiny room, very low ceiling and not the best layout. But it was a real surprise. I can't imagine the sound would be great for a fully electric, loud set but this was electric acoustic and the sound was really good.

As is usual with these sorts of things I was a one, as opposed to everyone else in the room in couples and groups. Not that I mind so much, but it's always a slightly strange feeling in these circumstances. I've never had any problems going to gigs or the cinema on my own, after all the whole point is to watch the stage or the screen and talking is just rude so alone doesn't matter at all.

First up was the support Boss Caine, a local band playing a striped down set of modern Americana. Started off slow but warmed up towards the end of the set and was pretty good all told.
Of course, the reason I was there was Steve Wynn who took to the stage with Robert Lloyd (of Willard Grant) on keyboards, mandolin and guitar and later Erik Van Loo on double-bass getting some fantastic sounds out of an instrument so tall that it was at risk of hitting the damn roof at times.
It began brilliantly and continued apace. Mixing stuff from his solo work, through his Miracle 3 period and then back into the Dream Syndicate back catalogue with graceful ease. He also started playing some stuff from the new album, Crossing Dragon Bridge, which sounds simply amazing. (out later this year).

More thoughts to come on music in general and Steve Wynn in particular, but it was so very good to get to a gig again. And always a pleasure to see Steve Wynn again.

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