Down the motorway for a mooch around the rainy seaside, shelter in a coffee shop, and then the first night of Unfold at the Sunfold. The basement of said hotel was our venue, and first up were drinks, and food laid on. Very civilised.
First act of the night was our genial host, under the moniker of The Steven Morricone Tyranny. Solo at the mic’d-up upright piano, in the guise of evil crooning haunter, we were treated to a selection of songs from the vault. Cheap Guitar, Vesuvius, I Am The Blind and more, together with a Fall cover, and a new song of perspective Then I Met Joanna. Grave Peril was the standout for me.
After a short break, next up was Gigantelope, or, as he introduced himself, Dave. When he started singing, I realised Dave was a fellow Being 747 alumni. He reminded me at first of Brian, although less twee. Both of which are no bad things in my book. Acoustic guitar, both with and without backing track (“opinion is split”, apparently), we had songs of companionship, meditation (“Take A Thought Holiday”), paeans to ice cream and HD TV, and of the horror-relief of the Night Bus home.
Second brother of the night, and shirt of the evening, was billed as Paul Morricone & Con Medicine, although unless CM was the tape machine, it seemed to be Paul alone. Alternating with and without guitar, to backing tracks, we heard songs from the upcoming solo LP. Two openers were songs of reminiscence (…These Tears), before we were asked that age-old question “Do you want to hear a song about Huddersfield?”. A Man Possessed, Happiness, some lovely chorussed guitar, and Like I Was Never There* followed. Last up was “a cover version”, which turned out to be the first live outing of Be Nothing, a beautiful song of ego-crushing self-realisation.
Our headliner was Thomas Truax, who I first heard, I think, played by John Peel, and who I last saw live in 2007. If this was Melody Maker, I might describe Thomas as Hal Hartley redirected by de Chirico, or as how Kerouac would write about George Shearing if he only had a theremin instead of a typewriter, or spying through your neighbours’ window, whistling silently as they watch reruns of The Twilight Zone. But it isn’t, so I won’t.* With a plethora of pedals, a resonator guitar, and homemade instruments The Hornicator and Mother Superior (Stringaling was sulking tonight), we had songs of giant butterfly girls, foxes, treed kittens, moonlight (including an off-stage, out-of-room, and indeed -building, excursion), the wind and beehive hearts. Who wants to be on a wall anyway?
An intimate gig, a top night’s entertainment, and the veggie chilli was great too.
*Facts and actual song titles may vary. Your Scaramangary rights are not affected. Click to enlarge photos, but preferably find Dave’s shots instead. Please hold to speak to one of our unco-operators.
The solution to my March crossword can be found behind this link.
Don’t know about anyone else, but Susannah solved it – hurray. I spent ages deciding whether or not to put a couple of commas in to the clues. One of them went in and out 4 times, but in the end I decided it was sneakily misleading, so I left it out.
I liked 21, 24 and 30d. And 14, but maybe the general knowledge was a bit obscure there – but gettable from the wordplay (I hope!).
I suppose I’d better start working on April’s puzzle…..
[Edit: This is one of my early crosswords, where the clue “surfaces” don’t always make sense. Links may now be broken. Sorry about all that. 🙂 While my March-Sept 2019 puzzles are just about okay, they may have the odd sketchy surface, or unlovely grid. For “proper” cryptic puzzles, skip to October 2019 and onwards.]
Well, I took a bit of a battering on Rookie Corner. But, it’s all fair enough, good feedback, and I’ll take it as motive to improve. Especially my clue surfaces. Hopefully you’ll find this one a big improvement in terms of the readability of the clues.
I noticed a slight problem with the grid layout last night. Nothing awful – it should even make some bits a bit easier – but too late to change now.
Could this be my last “cryptish” puzzle? Hmmmm. Meanwhile, here’s the puzzle as a printable PNG, or a browser-solvable embed. Hope you enjoy.