MIM GREY | KATE ELLIS | Saturday 01 October 2022

Originally from Louisiana and now London we have Kate Ellis with her partner Andy Hobsbawm playing songs from Kate’s new highly acclaimed Album SPIRALS opening with Track 1 Can’t Not, followed by Bluebirds and Rye,Track 2. 

Another way Track 3 has Kate reflecting on how we all do the best we can with life in our own uniques ways. Three great songs to start off with tonight. 

From the between song chat we can tell Kate and Andy enjoyed the organic nature of the LRB with an audience who really listen to the music. 

Andy and Kate are co writers but Andy seems to write all Kate’s female empowerment songs, she tells us… “Gender fluid” chips in Andy to good laughs… Scars follows, Track 5 and written by Andy includes some nice Solo playing from him also… 

Now we are treated to a John Prine Nancy Griffiths cover, Speed of the Sound of Loneliness. Inviting the audience to sing along, which, of course they did. That’s a beautiful song played nicely too. 

With thanks to the LRB team and appreciation for the ‘Red Carpet’ treatment received, Kate introduces the true story of the writing of Carve Me Out, the song about the loss of her mother and the title track to her first album. That was lovely and Andy played some nice slide here also. 

Kate, thinking about what nature may be thinking of what we as humans are doing to it, led her and Andy to the writing of Wonderland, Track 4 From SPIRALS.

I am the Tree is next Track 9 as we reflect on our place within families… We start as a branch and as we get older we realise we are the Tree Kate tells us. 

Next, a song from Andy’s days playing in the Band TIN GODS (where he shared memories of playing the Old Marquee Club and the glory days when they had rotation play on MTV) written by the Tin Gods drummer Tom Hackworth and reimagined now as track 7 On SPIRALS, Other Side Of The Street. 

Spirals itself, was co written with Kate’s daughter after long talks about life and philosophy, coming to the conclusion that we should get out of our heads and just get on with it… (life). The time signature was the subject of competition from Andy to see who could guess it? … No answers from the audience but it was 7/8 6/4, 4/4 changing 15 times… So no prizes were given out tonight… laughs… That sort of thing does detract from the lyrical content some what says Kate…

The Story you’ve been Told is the closing number and it also closes Out SPIRALSa fitting end to a fine opening performance, thank you Kate Ellis and Andy Hobsbawm. 

Lyn and her team once again provided some amazing food for us all to enjoy in the break, a unique feature of an evening at the LRB giving people a chance to eat, share a drink and chat with one another. I often wonder how many new friendships are forged here that would otherwise never happen. 

This also gives us a chance to re set the stage and tonight it was for a full band performance by the wonderful Mim Grey…

Mim was in fine form as she waited for the nod from J to start the show after he had offered his thanks to all the team along with Simon Allen on sound & Kate and Andy for their opening set. 

The walk on music didn’t quite go to plan but that didn’t phase Mim Grey and her band as they opened with the up tempo Traveling Star from her second Album CHASING TIGERS

From her last visit to LRB Mim had already got to know some of the audience regulars exchanging some fine banter with Alan (The Hat) and Paul… as she leads us into Purple Sky, the opening track From GREY MATTERS. The tone was set, this gig would be fun all the way with some exceptional musicianship and fine sound courtesy of the afore mentioned Simon Allen… 

See You Tonight is a new song, up tempo of course. With so many of Mim’s songs, you hear them once and you think you have known them forever, such is the quality.

Time for a cover, Tennessee Waltz, a song Mim released as a single in September 2022 and she certainly has the voice to carry this off against a gentle piano accompaniment from Pete Billington 

Mim introduces the band to us in her inimitable style before playing Colorado track 6 From GREY MATTERS then solid Ground a new song featuring some of Mim’s lovely harmonica playing. 

Followed by a rendition of The Waltons theme music… or was it Dallas? laughs… 

Billy Boy Track 9 From GREY MATTERS, a song written to send a goodbye message to an old boyfriend who didn’t get that message, he thought it was a great song… Laughs. Well, it is a great song and we heard a great rendition tonight with Pete swapping piano for fiddle. 

Steve Vintner (Percussion) wrote Just as you are (Then Mim re wrote it, so she says) It started with a nice bluesy guitar/organ intro from Juan and Pete, another fine song you feel you have known forever… 

Train Wreck is another new Steve Vintner (Mim Grey re write) foot tapping song that just bowls along. We had some great sunny days, windows down driving songs from a really tight quality band to enjoy tonight. The sound check gave us the clue, but the reality is even better. 

Being self indulgent now and being brought up on a great mix of influences Mim starts a medley of covers Spooky, It’s Too Late, In the Ghetto (not the Elvis version) all to a wonderful groove including scat singing and guitar playing George Benson style from Juan… Marvellous…

After a quick unrepeatable joke featuring Poo, we go to Lazy Daisy Track 6 From CHASING TIGERS… 

See what you miss if you don’t go to the gig?  Each one is special in its own way. 

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Run is followed by a Bonnie Raitt cover that Mim recorded as a last minute thing at a recent recording session… Pete Billington is at the piano for this sensational version of I Can’t Make You Love Me… Live music at its very best… 

Song For A Soldiers Lover is followed by One More Time, a song that borrowed lyrics by Joni Mitchell, but Mim had to get the permission cleared by Joni. Luckily Joni liked the song and gave consent, she didn’t want any money for it, but her management wanted 10%, thats show business. Still, it was worth it. You can hear in as track 8 on The GREY MATTERS album. 

Sadly, we are coming to the end of the show and Mim thanks the audience for coming out along with Kate for her opening set, the LRB Team, her manager and the band of Pete Billington (Keys and Fiddle) John Massa (Bass) Juan Natcho (Guitar) Steve Vintner (Percussion) All together they are a great band and a credit to the LRB stage which has seen some mighty fine acts over the years… 

The applause and ovation said it all, that was a magic night at the LRB. 





Thanks to MIN GREY and KATE ELLIS for a fabulous evening.

Thanks to the outstandig players: STEVE VINTNER (DRUMS & PERCUSSION) Pete Billington (Keys and Fiddle) John Massa (Bass) Juan Natcho (Guitar) and ANDY HOBSDAWM with Kate Ellis.

Thanks to everyone involved with the production:   Simon Allen sound engineer; The fabulous little rabbit crew of Chris on video cameras and setup, Stan on setup and artist merchandise, Stan and Fran on guest list, Brian running Little Rabbit Bar and big thanks to Chris for helping Lyn with food. Paul and Karen on cleardown and anyone who knows me.

Video credits:  J (videos to follow)
Photography: Andy Sheard, Alan The Hat, Chris Kyan
AV editing & audio mix: J 

To all wonderful LRB guests and friends who support live music at LRB,  big thanks and hope to see y’all next time

We will be back and ready to welcome HANNAH WHITE and PAUL McCLURE on 29 October 2022. 

Best wishes, Keep Safe & See Y’all soon

Posted in Gig Reviews