“How does a lead singer change a lightbulb?”, asks Margo Price’s harmonica blowing husband during a break between songs. “She just holds the damn thing up and waits for the world to spin round her and screw it in” he explains, to his wife’s visible delight. For this is a night of smiles for Margo Price, who despite introducing a new album full of true-life tales of bad men, worse choices, and trouble with the bottle, looks and sounds like there isn’t a happier person on Earth.
The ever-wonderful Vestry House Museum is currently showing a great little exhibition about the development of the modern bicycle and the Walthamstow man who invented it. As Walthamstow successfully experiments with mini-Hollands – neighbourhoods designed for pedestrians and cyclists – it’s fantastic to know that the bike itself has its roots in E17.
Thanks to Billy Bragg’s first foray into non-fiction, ‘Roots Radicals and Rockers’, markontour is currently listening to Lonnie Donegan. Although I’m sceptical that ‘Rock Island Line’ would induce the same excitement in twenty-first century kids as it seemingly did in 1957, as Bragg turns out to be as eloquent in prose as he is in lyrical verse, I am nevertheless both highly entertained from taking the book’s journey and prepared to believe that skiffle did indeed change the musical world.
Hannah Peel loves the stars, synthesizers and Barnsley, although she’s slightly in denial about the latter. Mary Casio dreams of inter-stellar travel to Cassiopeia, the ‘W’-shaped…
I landed in New York just in time to catch a band last night, and my pot-luck choice turned out to be a blinder – Sydney indie-poppers, Middle Kids, at the Williamsburg Music Hall. Last time I was there it was to see a stunning set by Matthew E. Smith, a joy I inexplicably shared with only a half full audotorium. Last night it was pretty full, so presumably Middle Kids are already pretty established on the live-scene, despite only having a single EP for sale at the gig. Singer/songwriter, Hannah Joy, is a ready-made star. Time to find out a little more about them.
Ah – the last festival of the season, for markontour at least, and there couldn’t be a better conclusion than Festival No.6. This year’s festival was slimmed down a little and was all the better for it. The Port Meirion setting is so exquisite – Clough William Ellis’ faux Italian village, nestled between the mountains of Snowdonia and the Irish sea – it needs a little space to be enjoyed properly. Some of my favourite moments this year included sunrise over the beach as the estuary tide powered in, wandering around the woods trying to find the Ghost Gardens, and finishing the festival on a moon-lit Stone Boat. You don’t get so many of those moments with 20,000 people knocking around.
I have made numerous trips to the beautiful city of Stockholm over the last decade, yet somehow I have never translated the experience into a markontour…