People new to the LRB often ask us “What sort of music do you host”? A question that’s hard to answer in any meaningful way, especially with a genre, as that would would not represent the broad spectrum of music and captivating live experience of watching world quality artists perform LRB.

Tonight, delivering the said experience for the second time at LRB we were proud to present Tamara Stewart to open the show, followed by Sniff ‘n’ the Tears (Acoustic) and Danni Nicholls on her sixth visit… How’s that for a mix? 

After a 5 hour drive, a little sleep and a quick sound check it’s time for Tamara Stewart to do her thing. She was so excited to be back and to have her album THE TRUTH, THE MUSIC AND ME finally out in the wild.

Birds in Cages opened what was to be a spellbinding set. Track one from the album.

This album is Tamara’s story about her life after her divorce and move to Nashville. 

She tells us “The experience gave me something to write about”… laughs. We know many people will have a lot to relate to in these great songs. 

Untied is next, Track 4 from the album. That was two songs from the Ruin section of THE TRUTH, THE MUSIC & ME.

Tamara says, “If you think I drove 5 hours from last nights gig in Torrington to sell you an album? your not wrong” Laughs…  “but I hope these songs find a home with people”. 

Now we have Blessed Track 6 on the album but the first song in the RECOVERY section, and another winner. 

As she takes a sip from what looks like a cup of tea, Tamara quips, “Straight whiskey in that cup”… Laughs… “not really, I couldn’t even drive these heels with whiskey”… more laughs… 

This next song is a single with a somewhat raunchy video pertinent to the story”. 

You will understand when you listen to Track 8, Haunted House. Another great song.

Now Tamara tells us of her great uncle Bill and his Second World War medals she inherited. 

Having never met Uncle Bill and knowing he never married or had kids, probable due to his wartime experiences she feels compelled to honour and remember him. “So I have his photo and medals on my wall and wrote this song for him that went to number one in Australia”. Ribbons and Stars track 4 from the APPLESEED album and a fitting tribute to an inspirational man. “Uncle Bill.”

The Truth, The Music & Me Track 9 follows, the title track from this great album.

That was nearly over all too quickly. 

Tamara was saying “She needs good clock in front of her”… Laughs as I pointed out the first one; then more laughs as I pointed out the second one. “I’ll know next time”… she retorts with a look of surprise and wonder at how she missed them. And so we had a verse and chorus of Face The Music, Track 13 from her latest album. 

Tamara sang it out with the line “If you wanna hear the rest of the story, you gotta buy the album”… Of course there was a huge applause from the LRB audience. That was a captivating performance, something we are used to from Tamara now. Marvellous!

After a quick stage re set we have the honour to present the second gig in 27 years, and an acoustic one at that, from Sniff ‘n’ the Tears, featuring Paul Roberts and Les Davidson. 

It’s a new adventure for them and one they are looking to build upon.

People like you opens. A song from their first album “an early song about popularism” Paul tells us. 

Then we enjoyed The Thrill Of it all. Track 8 from the FICKLE HEART album. Ride Blue Divide from the 1982 album of the same name. 

Nightlife. Track 4 from THE GAME’S UP, Sniff ‘n’ the Tears 1980 album.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Track 2 From LOVE/ACTION their third album from 1981. Into the light.Track 5 from the 2000 UNDERGROUND album.

Only Love To Tempt Me from 1992’s NO DAMAGE DONE album.

All these songs with Les playing some wonderful guitar fills and a little tuning banter along the way…

Are you Ready Les”? Asks Paul “It’s been 27 years” came the reply with a ‘What do you think look’… laughs. This Introduces Prime Time another Track from NO DAMAGE DONE

Now Caitlin, Paul’s daughter, comes up to play accordion on Downstream from the 2011 album of the same name. That was lovely to hear and you can tell Paul is proud to promote Caitlin playing in her band The Lost Revellers

Now we have a song inspired by the street sounds of Marrakesh as Paul tells us of his daughters’s various trips around the world. Clearly, he can’t keep track of them… 

Les employs an intriguing Freeze Pedal to create an atmospheric drone sound behind the song. It was really interesting to have him demonstrate the technique to us earlier at the sound check and it’s always great to have another instrument first at the LRB.

Marrakesh Track 1 from UNDERGROUND. We were invited to join in with this lovely chorus as Les again worked his magic on lead acoustic guitar. The song came to a close as the drone slowly faded away. Nice!

We now have Caitlin back with her accordion and Richard on Violin for Night Flight from RANDOM ELEMENTS, that was lovely. (I noticed Caitlin appears playing accordion in the credits of the DOWNSTREAM album)

Black Money Track 1 from DOWNSTREAM followed, then we enjoyed Following Rainbows, Track 11 from RANDOM ELEMENTS a 2017 release. A song about a crisis of identity that we can, maybe all relate to, Paul tells us. 

So we come to the final song, their #1 hit Driver’s Seat, and a fitting song to end this unique set with another chance for us all to sing along. 

That was great to hear again and In true LRB style, we had to have an encore. 

Rodeo Drive from THE GAME’S UP was perfect for the job and to end a very special performance. 

J has been a fan of Sniff ‘n’ the Tears since the late 70s so this performance and having all his old vinyl signed brings the experience full circle. 

Time again for the food and raffle break and a chance to mingle and reflect on all we have just heard and seen. But the evening is far from over yet, although we all need an underwear adjustment period. Credit must go to Lyn and her team for the biblical feat of feeding the 5000 with a lovely sweet and sour chicken meal plus desert. That really is something to wonder at… how do they do it?

Appearing for the 6th time at LRB and somewhat concerned Eve Selis will topple that record later this year, we are proud to present Danni Nicholls prior to the imminent official launch of her highly rated new album THE MELTING MORNING. 

This time she is supported by LRB friends Thomas Dibb on guitars & piano and Mark Lewis on double bass, electric bass, with some neat percussion thrown in the mix. 

To start the show, the haunting strains of Tom’s electric guitar and neat percussion from Mark’s double bass introduce us to a new song, track 6 from THE MELTED MORNING. Frozen. 

It was clear, Danni was happy to be back at the LRB. Losing it followed, track 2 from the new album.

Tom, now on the piano as Danni introduced Wild is the Water, a song written with Ben Glover and the opening track on THE MELTED MORNING before she introduces the boys who need little introduction to us all. 

Danni tells us about this next song, Texas which is the first one she co wrote with Ben Glover in Nashville. It came about in 20 mins at the end of a day just spending time together. Track 9 from the new album. 

Time for a few oldies and this one is inspired by Danni’s home town Bedford… The opening Track from the MOCKINGBIRD LANE album, a great up tempo number with some thrilling guitar from Tom that certainly attracted the applause. 

It’s time for the break up songs” says Danni… Cheers erupted as she showed her defiance…  

Beautifully Broken track 7 from MOCKINGBIRD LANE. That’s a lovely song that leads nicely into Feel Again, track 4 from the same album. 

Seeing Danni live reminds you just how good all these songs are.

Danni asks “Who fancies a sing-along?” Of course we do, you come to the LRB and you’re in the band. So we learned the lyrics to Where The Blue Train Goes. Track 6 and a happy breakup song… more pyrotechnics from Toms guitar to accompany our great singing…

Now is the time for Danni to introduce us to her first electric guitar, one that her grandmother gave her when she was about 16. It belonged to her Uncle Heathcliff. 

This tour is the first time she has played it live and wrote a lot of the new songs on it. 

So next we have Power To Leave Track 8 from THE MELTED MORNING and written with Jaimee Harris. Tom played some lovely slide guitar on this also. 

Danni tells us that the first song in the new collection was written after a lot of soul searching and a decision to practice self love as she advises us all to go a little easier on ourselves. 

Ancient Embers was the result, track 10 on the new album and another great song allowing Tom to show what he can do on a Dobro guitar. Mark meanwhile is holding down a rock steady bass as always. 

Another co write next, this time with Kyshona Armstrong, a song about about how, in this day and age everyone should be able to tell their story. Hear Your Voice, track 3 from the new album and a brilliant song with a lovely laid back groove that will stay with you for a long time. 

Wow, time for the last song, we really are running out of time… so we have a shout out for the other artists and LRB team before they leave us with the title track from Danni’s debut album A Little Redemption. Danni did a fine job of picking this on the electric guitar. This song has a natural hum along feel about it, and so we did… That was an amazing set and the applause said it all…

With curfew approaching it’s time for an acoustic encore. 

Danni was up for it and quickly taught us Back to Memphis. “It’s very healing singing together” she tells us before launching into the song with gusto and well supported by the mass choir of Little Rabbit Barn. A fantastic way to end an amazing evening of world quality music. 

So, as I said at the beginning, are you any wiser as to what genre of music we put on at LRB? Well what matters is both artists and guests enjoyed the evening.

EDITOR: It’s a huge privilege to introduce and host such talented artists at LRB and tonight all three artists are world quality. Tamara Stewart CMAA (Country Music Association Australia) 2012 Artist of the Year with 4 #1 radio singles. Sniff ‘n’ The Tears, 10 albums, #1 single across Europe, US Billboard top 20 album and more….thanks Paul Roberts and Les Davidson, Caitlin Roberts and Richard. Danni Nicholls twice AMA (Americana Music Association) UK nominated in 2017 & 2018 with  5* reviews for the new album The Melted Morning. Awards will follow! Thanks to Thomas Dibb and Mark Lewis.

Thanks to everyone involved with the production.  The fabulous little rabbit team of Chris and Karen, Stan and Dave on guest list and artist merchandise, Richard and Brian running Little Rabbit Bar, Sally and Chris A raffle.

Lyn : organising artist and guest hospitality and more with a shout to Chris A for all the help with food service on the evening

Terry: organising artists, (including booking and coms)

Felix Milton: Sound engineering.

Picture credits: Andy Sheard, Nick Rabett

Cameras, Blog and Facebook and setup/take down: Chris Kyan

Editing, video and audio mixing: Jonathan

To our guests,  big thanks for your continued support of live music and hope to see y’all on 04 MAY for a fabulous evening with HANNAH ALDRIDGE, GOAT ROPER RODEO BAND and THE LUCK.

Do keep a check on LRB website and FACEBOOK for updates and interesting snippets throughout the year (icon at top of homepage)

Our very best wishes

Jonathan and Lyn, Terry

Posted in Gig Reviews