Firstly overlapping from last month, you can still catch Rachel Harrington & The Knock Outs who have a handful of dates remaining in Scotland. We had the pleasure of catching the tour in March. Highly recommended (look out for a Bob Harris session this week too).
So to April, and the new tours headed our way. Texan fiddle maestro Amanda Shires undertakes her first UK headline tour. Promoting last year’s Carrying Lightning record (featured here in our top ten of 2011) she’ll be touring as a trio with the band completed by Rod Picott on guitar (whos own album Welding Burns you’ll also find in that best of 2011 list) and Todd Pertll on lap steel. The run of dates begins in Sussex on April 14th and takes in popular venues such as Leicester’s Musician, The Maze in Nottingham and Sheffield’s Greystones (where Mat Wale opens the show). In May Amanda & co head to Ireland too where they’ll be taking in the Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots festival as well as a host of other dates.
Legend’s a word bandied about a little too loosely, but when the final scores are all counted one man in with a decent shout of such a title would be Chuck Prophet. With his band The Mission Express they’ll be all over the UK and Europe behind latest album Temple Beautiful. Dates begin in Leicester on the 10th with 13 UK shows in total (a couple fall in to May and there’s a fortnight of European dates in the middle). With most of the UK covered, there’s really no reason not to.
Simone Felice is set to release what’s been described as his first solo album ‘proper’ and he has a busy month on the road ahead with it. His self titled new offering will be aired at 22 UK and Ireland dates throughout April and early May. The lucky people of Winchester get first dibs with another great show at The Railway on April 6th. April shows finish at Leeds’ Brudenell Socail Club on the 30th, with May gigs following in Nottingham, Cambridge and Brighton.
April 7th sees a fund raiser in aid of the British Red Cross at Sheffield’s Red House. The line up includes both Hungarian Lanterns and The Silver Darlings as previously featured on these pages. All acts involved will be playing three covers as part of their set, one each of the work of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. Full details can be found here.
Fans of ‘widescreen rock action’ will be both mourning and rejoicing on April 14th when The Letter say goodbye with their final ever gig. Cause for celebration is that the show at Shakespeares will also serve as the launch of their first and last album Unknown Failures.
As one Sheffield band says goodbye though, another one is born. Making their full live debut at Beg, Borrow & Steal on Monday April 9th will be Big Convoy, the new joint venture from local singer/songwriters Mat Wale and John Batchelor. It promises to be something special.
As ever all live dates are subject to change. Happy gig going.