Tonight was the night for some UK Country rock music at Little Rabbit Barn with an Americana twist for what was, can you believe it, the 78th gig.
The twist? A debut appearance from The Flyin’ A’s who were introduced to us by Simon and Rebecca from The Rosellys who also opened the evening.
It was a year ago when Rebecca proposed this combination after we saw The Flyin’ A’s at The Golden Lion in Bristol with her, Simon and some of their band. “They are perfect for the LRB” she said at the time, and how right she was.
So, the evening began with The Rosellys playing the up tempo song Queensland Sky featuring some fine fiddle from Simon to get the LRB feet tapping.
Ashfield 1784, another true story followed.
“It’s nice to do an acoustic set with just the two of us” Rebecca tells the audience, “which also means we get twice the money” remarks Simon to Rebecca’s distain. He got ‘the look’, laughs all around….
Rebecca told the story of how they met The Flyin’A’s and travelled 1000 miles in sixteen hours to play the main stage at Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. 1000 Miles is the appropriate title to the next song.
As you can probably tell, Simon’s dry humour shone all through this set.
“We have been 12 years as a couple and it’s time I wrote some love songs. I’m happy in my relationship so I don’t normally write them” says Rebecca, Holding on is the first result of this musical direction played tonight.
Rebecca plays Simons banjo for the next song. She bought this for Simon 10 years ago. “I’ve had it all these years but at least I’ve had the decency not to play it” Simon quips with perhaps a sense of irony.
Anyways it’s a fine instrument in Rebecca’s hands so if your feeling low, enjoy Dark Clouds or Blue Sky. Simon seemed happy enough to join in though with some nice harmonies and we enjoyed it too. “At least it’s only the one song”. More laughs….
Another new song about relationships prompted by The Rosellys Bass player’s insistence on more material is Don’t Pull Away. This is a more commercial song for Rebecca’s and is yet to be recorded. Simon agreed with us, “She has done a fine job here”.
The Flyin A’s , Stuart and Hilary Claire Adamson, joined in for two songs whilst Rebecca wore her ‘Nashville hat’ for Lyn.
Independent Lady, played For Hilary, was the first in this ‘Mini Jam Session’ with some fine acoustic lead guitar from Stuart Adamson which set the tone for what’s to come.
On the Porch was the last Fiddle driven number that got the audience clapping with Hilary. “Don’t wander too far” she says “you’ll be back on later to do more work, we all work hard to get here, don’t we?” Say Hilary with a Texan twang before telling us of how they met Simon and Rebecca in San Antoine and of the 27 hours of fun and excitement to get here tonight from Austin Texas.
We were never going to miss this LRB gig Hilary told me later, this was our main focus. Such is the reputation of the Little Rabbit Barn amongst musicians.
I won’t stop loving you was to first number from their new album YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY.
Hilary and Stuart come from families of farmers and ranchers from Minnesota and West Texas respectively, so the next song was about the troubles ordinary people here face holding on to their own land. This Dirt, which is also on the new album tells the story.
They were in a documentary film which was noticed by The Oakland A’s baseball team who tried to take them on for the name. This song was dedicated to the lawyers fees. It Ain’t Funny, “Too many days till the next round of money”.
Little Miss Tumbleweed is dedicated to the first Tumbleweed Hilary saw coming for her as she drove her old Subaru Station Wagon in Texas. “They may look big, but they are easy”.
Blood and Bone was next, a solo from Stuart also on the new album. This was a lovely ‘Pin Drop’ moment. Nice.
Time to up the tempo again with more blistering acoustic guitar solos from Stuart.
“My Mum asked, why don’t you write love songs instead of songs about trucks and cheating etc?” Says Hilary, so here it is Weak and Wild. That was another lovely Pin Drop moment.
Roadwork Ahead was next bringing the pace up again and getting the LRB crowd clapping along. You come to the LRB and your part of the band.
Rebecca and Simon came back on stage for the last two numbers, Simon on fiddle too.
Crazy Heart and So Long became another Jam from the first album ‘TILL THEY SHUT IT DOWN.
That’s it then 9 o’clock and time for food. We were so glad everyone loved The Flyin’ A’s they are great.
Lyn and her team triumph again with their feeding of the 5000. (It must seem like it for them). Salmon or quiche tonight was the option with strawberries and meringue to follow. The raffle was drawn and it passed me by in a blur so back to the music.
A big thanks to the Raffle Girls and all who donate prizes.
Fred’s House; back after two years opened with a bang and it just never slowed down.
A real guitar and drum driven sound.
Never Gonna Love you, It’s Sad But True and Shut up and Dance were for starters.
They thought they were asking too much for monitor adjustments after having a Salmon and all in hospitality. Paul wanted to wait for the football result before playing. Well, you can’t have it all Paul, but we can do the monitors.
Fire was next followed by a song about depression I’m Not Saying from LOOKING GLASS In an ironic upbeat style.
A couple of new songs next as they are working on album three. “We need to try them out” says Vikki.
Can we just pretend should defiantly be on the next album as it is a great song and arrangement. I was watching my brother’s reactions in the audience and I have never seen him move like that if that’s any gauge on quality, and it is.
After the release of the album FAULT LINES, Lachlan the guitarist left the band for a girl. They wrote California for a girl for him and sent it over. This touched him and caused him to return and as a punishment they make him play it now. It’s great they have him back as his guitar sound is amazing and a big part of the chemistry of Fred’s House.
Careless followed but Paul still hasn’t seen the football results as he is too busy drumming.
Beautiful You next from BONNIE AND CLYDE brought more audience participation and Paul Richards singing at the end…. laughs… he kinda miked it.
Bonnie and Clyde from the album of the same name brought the tempo down for a while. That’s a lovely song and it builds a pace and finishes with another pin drop moment.
Take a ride is next, “Are we Feelin’ good, are we Feelin’ sexy” calls Vicky, yes, the tempo is up again. That’s what you come to expect from Fred’s House.
A special request from J after hearing it at soundcheck was The Chain
This song is special to the LRB after The Frankie Davies Band covered it here. We knew Fred’s House were up to it though.
Standing Next To Me and Ghost Town quickly followed with more clapping and foot stomping in the crowd.
“This Next song is about the Bad Boys, The Players, The Paul Richards of this world, look out ladies.” Paul hid his blushes behind the drums.
“So Stuffed, So Hot and So Happy” says Vicky as she introduce the last number Another Universe with the ‘Thank You’s’.
“Can we come back every year?” She appeals. Well based on that performance, I’m not complaining.
Of course we had an encore which had people standing up and dancing whilst my nephew Mark Kyan (Can we name and shame him?) was dancing in the aisle with Hilary Adamson. He has some brilliant moves on him and the LRB have never seen anything like it, especially as he was dressed to kill. Once seen never forgotten.
Fred’s House are a band who bring the party with them, you know your in for a good time.
If you missed this make it your business to see all of tonight’s artists live, you won’t be disappointed.
Editor: Thanks to the wonderful performing artists, Fred’s House, The Flyin’A’s, The Rosellys, and all the musicians for such an enjoyable evening. Everyone involved with the production: Chris, Tom Fairbairn on sound production, Stan and Fran, Brian and Chris, Richard and Sally: Karen for helping on the takedown. To our guests, big thanks for supporting live music and hope to see everyone for the fabulous CHRISTINA MARTIN | ANNIE KEATING | NICOLE SILVA | on SATURDAY 08 JULY)
Best, Jonathan and Lyn, Terry
Photo credits and thanks: Andy Sheard, Chris Kyan