Politics - Who To Trust?

  The 76 Year Catastrophe

  Black Country Communion Back!

  Within Temptation Live Recordings

  Montreux Festival July 2024

  Beth Gibbons New Solo LP

  DOWNLOAD 24 UPDATE

  Politics Is Failing

  Ani DiFranco New LP

  Pink Floyd’s Animals Remix

  SHIT FLOATS

  Seasick Steve Alive & Kickin’

  Glen Hansard New LP/23-24 Tour

  Joe Bonamassa Live LP & Tour

  Pearl Jam New LP & Tour

  Feeder New LP & Tour

  “My country, right or wrong…”

  Heart Announce Live Tours

  Anais Mitchell HADESTOWN Returns

  The Photographer’s Selection

  My Favourite Records

  Gaza Nightmare Continues

  Gaza Nightmare Continues

  Download 2024 First Acts

  Princess Goes COME OF AGE

  Springsteen 2024 Tour

  Philip ‘Seth’ Campbell Live

  This Troubled World

  Dark Side Of The Moon 50th

  The More I Hear The Less I Know

  Great Albums: Fresh New Life

  Hozier’s New Album

  Nicole Atkins Jim Sclavunos Live

  SBT (Sarabeth Tucek) Live

  I’m As Angry As Hell!

  Magnum - A Year in Ukraine

  Alessandra Sanguinetti Interview

  The Damn Truth Live

  Newton Faulkner Live

  The Handsome Family Live

  The State We’re In Pt II

  Eric Gales Live

  The Cavalry Never Arrived

  Chvrches Live

  Andrés Peña Flamenco Star Live

  Paul Draper Live

  A Fly-Free Zone

  Liverpool Jazz Festival

  The Charlatans Live

  UK Democracy Threatened

  Rag’n'Bone Man Live

  Sea Girls Live

  Martha Wainwright Live

  Politics is Failing

  Moby The Very Best Of Interview

  Lucy Kruger TRANSIT TAPES

  Joe Bonamassa Live!

  Rodrigo Y Gabriela Interview

  Amy Macdonald Rescheduled Gig

  Music & Brexit

  Happy New Year?

  On Barbra Streisand

  The State We’re In…

  Welcome Back! But To What?

  What Have We Done?

  A RISK TOO FAR

  Photojournalism Hero

  Samantha Fish Live

  Gill Landry Live in Chester

  Noah Gundersen Live

  David Gilmour’s Interview

  Snow Patrol Live in Manchester

  New Model Army Live

  Shakespears Sister Live

  Lamb Live in Manchester

  The Struts Live

  Sting & Shaggy Live

  Ana Popovic, Lynne Jackaman Live

  David Gray Live in Liverpool

  The Slow Readers Club Live

  Karine Polwart Trio Live

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Laura Marling Live

  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death


The Handsome Family Live

h-86

Handsome Family Live

St Marys Performance Space, Chester, 12 September 2022

Back in 1999 I attended an unusual music festival in Cork, Ireland. It was called the Liss Ard festival which lasted 10 days, held in the most beautiful landscape. The festival was a charity event designed to raise funds to maintain and protect the area. Concerts were held around ponds and under trees. As the only English journalist covering the festival I was able to mix freely with artists and garnered over 20 interviews, mostly over in the breakfast tent. Amongst those interviewed was The Handsome Family husband and wife duo who had charmed audiences with their homespun, mixed-mood, Americana/folk together with their friendly husband/wife banter.

h-123

From that point on I became a fan and witnessed 2 more live performances over the following years in England. I know of no other act that entertains so royally through their music (a mix of country, bluegrass and murder ballads), musical skills and ability to so easily and effectively communicate both with their audience and between themselves.

My home is in Chester, Cheshire, and it’s rare to benefit from visits by internationally recognised musicians. The news that The Handsome Family would be performing in the local and very beautiful St Marys Performance Space (formerly a church) was something of a surprise and an event I could not miss. The event’s managers had done a wonderful job in preparing the bijou venue for its illustrious guests with staging and lighting of high quality. The venue is also acoustically sound and especially for outfits such as The Handsome Family. I reckoned that the show was a sell-out and so the stage was set for what would prove to be one of my live highlights of 2022.

k-111

The single support act was American singer/songwriter Damien Knox who quietly settled at the grand piano and provided one of the most surprising support performances. With his flowing golden locks Knox blew me away with his highly melodic, introspective songs, liquid vocal, chilled-out demeanour and easy audience communication ability. He talked of his experiences during the pandemic and the fact that he was not a ‘people person’ preferring to stay indoors and watch TV.

k-28

I was impressed and after his performance went to say hello and seek out his recorded material in return for some images of his performance. I love musical surprises and Damien Knox was one of the very best. I’ve never seen a performer screw up each music sheet and toss them away - it seemed like many songs were written especially for the show, never to be sung again…

h-415

The stage was set with a comprehensive array of instruments - this was the first time I have witnessed a performance by the duo supported by other players. Jason Toth (drums) and Alex McMahon (guitar, pedal steel) joined Brett (centre-stage) and Rennie Sparks (stage-left). Chester’s fans provided an enthusiastic welcome as the band struck up with the characteristically dark ‘No One Fell Asleep Alone’ with Rennie on guitar and Brett on vocals making their mark from the onset.

What followed was no less than a selection of their best songs from almost all their LP releases. One of my favourite tracks (and something of a country musical classic, covered by many artists) ‘Weightless’ which covers love, loss and life - intimate storytelling at its best. Brett’s nasal baritone triumphed backed by Rennie’s sweetest of backing vocals. Throughout were triumphant spells of pedal steel from McMahon that brought home the country underpinnings of Handsome’s music.

h-59

The musical storytelling continued with dazzling skill and firm audience connection, as did Rennie’s introduction to each song and marital banter which the fans loved. For me, this was my favourite Handsome show and will remain in my memory for a lifetime.

h-118

Setlist

No One Fell Asleep Alone
So Much Wine
Bottomless Hole
Back in My Day
The Loneliness of Magnets
Weightless Again
Joseph
My Sister’s Tiny Hands
24-Hour Store
Far From Any Road
Frogs
Octopus
Don’t Be Scared
Encore:
Darling, My Darling
Good Nite

https://handsomefamily.com/

h-103

Page: 1 2


Back


Liverpool 2009 - Gallery: Bloc Party
Bloc Party
LATEST GALLERY IMAGES

Gaza Last 48 Hours - Gallery: A Ceasefire?
A Ceasefire? Gaza 2024 - Gallery: They Bombed The Children
They Bombed The Children
Shakenstir - Homepage Links Reviews Live Interviews Features News Contact Gallery Shakenstir - Homepage