Friend Kevin dropped in a couple of days ago. He lives just down the hill in St. Werburghs. He drops in so often we have now nicknamed him … The Lodger. He drinks tea by the gallon and eats us out of house and home in his own weight in Malted Milk biscuits. Not a problem. We love him and we are well used to visitors. We used to have half the members of Bristol bands around practically every night, doing their thing.
Kev was Bass player for Colour Tapes and Maximum Joy back in the 80’s, and he brought news (and a couple of tickets) that Ryley Walker is playing The St. Georges Hall in Clifton on Feb 17th. I had never heard of him. He is a 25 year old American who is described as playing guitar like Bert Yansch and singing like Tim Buckley. Well that gets my instant and undivided attention . Bert Yansch was a member of Pentangle and an extremely fine guitarist. Tim Buckley is one of my all time favourites, who I was privileged to see twice. Once in Max’s Kansas City, in New York, when straight off the plane from Heathrow. We had a booth with waitress service right next to the stage, and our completely unknown waitress was Debbie Harry. Man what a night that was! The last time ,Buckley opened for the Allman Brothers at the very first Knebworth, and it was a tragedy for me because nobody noticed or knew who he was. They were all jockeying for space, rolling spliffs, getting the beers out. There was so much blue denim, the whole crowd looked like the Union Army camped out on the eve of Gettysburg.
Now young Ryley is being accompanied on his tour by Danny Thompson, the finest stand up Bass player in the UK, if not the world. Danny, I have seen many a time. He was in Pentangle with Yansch, he played with Buckley in 68 and many more, like John Martyn. If he is by your side, you know you are premiere division!
So I am looking forward to a bloody good night. The St Georges Hall has probably the finest acoustics in the country. And if you live in London, Manchester, Dublin and a few other places, check out the tour dates, because I’m sure if you are a music lover, it will be worth the effort to see them.