Tonight at LRB there was an Australian theme to the evening with the legend that is Anne McCue with the superb Belle Roscoe.
First to take the stage were Belle Roscoe. Brother-sister duo, Jules and Matty Gurry with Jeremy Badcock on electric guitar and bass. Poor Jules was suffering with a sore throat, ‘the first time in seven years’, she tells the audience, but not wanting to disappoint she sung on. Brother Matty now taking full advantage covering the lead vocals along with Jules’ falsetto parts.
They opened with Side Steppin’, setting the standard as to how their set would continue and followed with I Know I’m no better, but I’ve known better, from their great self-titled EP.
In between songs we heard of their trials and tribulations with record company bosses running off with the money. A top 5 hit in Russia but still no money and when they went to play there nobody told them the hit had been remixed for dance. So the acoustic version with guitars didn’t go down well.
They played an unrecorded song that had been written on the road, Heartcrash, definitely hit material.
We were promised a song competition with Anne McCue, both playing Neil Young’s Southern Man. They nailed it but Sadly Anne ran out of time to play it. Luckily we heard Anne McCue play it on the sound check, and she nailed it too. Maybe next time?
Matty announced that Belle Roscoe are going to play in Cuba and are running a competition to get a free place on the trip. Free entry for all merch purchases and joining the mailing list. You gotta be in it to win it, as they say, but I didn’t need any incentive to buy the CD. Just to note Jeremy played some fine electric guitar and Jules is a fine singer even with half her voice, making Belle Roscoe a superb band you need to catch live.
As always, we stopped for food. Lyn and her team surpassed themselves to feed this capacity crowd and the raffle was called in true English style.
Anne McCue took to the stage with Barry Payne on Bass and Double Bass and Martin Scott on drums.
She had a five hours drive to get here from Lymm outside Manchester and was off to Sheffield the following day, touring Britain the hard way. She has already travelled more than 1000 miles since flying in from East Nashville four days ago. ‘Yes, the routing has me zig- zagging the country’, she tells the audience I’m going to have words with my tour manager…after she’s finished playing the shows!
Opening with Ballard of an Outlaw Woman, and I want you back. Deft guitar, pitch perfect clear vocal, the back line bass and drums filling out the sound stage without over powering. The focus remains with Anne McCue.
‘I like westerns’ she says, ‘these first three songs are in Black and White like old movies with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.’
Film Noir is next, as she plays Driving down Alvarado, ‘see Dirk Bogart as he encounters a demure B grade starlet in a movie. She has a sparkle in her eye and ruffled hair after the encounter.’
Anne’s music is inspired by imagery which makes the songs so rewarding on repeat listening. They have depth and quality.
Motor Cycle Dream follows, inspired by her times in Vietnam, motor cycling from gig to gig. ‘I only went out for a three month tour but ended up staying a year,’ she says.
If you are out for revenge, Dig two graves, follows.
Though out the evening Anne was meticulous in her tuning, ‘my guitar knows we are in a different climate, it must be tuned properly for an Essex audience, albeit very close to Suffolk. ‘
Anne talks us through her life, coming from a large family, the youngest of eight children, her father was a milkman, ‘so I am the Milkman’s daughter’ she tells the audience.
Next it was time to play Hangman, Stan played his part in providing the chair so Anne could play her Lap Steel, Stan is now ‘The Man’.
Stupid followed…I think a contender for one of the live LRB videos.
Audience participation was enjoyed for ‘Little White Cat’, followed by a special encore of ‘Shivers’ for Jonathan and a belting rendition of the Tony Joe White song ‘As The Crow Flies’.
Sadly 90 minutes had passed, all too quickly, and the planed Ukulele song ‘Say Bye Bye’ that Anne practised during the afternoon, a Neil Young cover and so many more remained on the set list.
She could have played and entertained the audience all night such is the scope of her talent and the depth of her back catalogue.
Should you have an opportunity to see her live, go. You won’t be disappointed.
Editor: It has been a privilege to host Anne McCue twice now and LRB is delighted to feature on her UK tour.
Thanks to Chris Kyan for his review, photography and video filming.
Yep he definitely was multi tasking!
Coming up on Saturday 03rd September 2016, our next music evening, we are thrilled to welcome back Lauren Housley, this time with her full band. Opening the evening is Megan O’Neill.
Catch her at LRB before Bluesfest at the O2.