The town of Helmsdale is situated in the county of Sutherland. It's a pretty tourist town and I particularly like the harbour. The locals are friendly which is what you would expect for any northern Scottish town, and the local pubs are also what you would expect (not surprisingly the gaffer of one pub we frequented knew the owners of our local in Groats which is more than 60 miles away!!).
Anyway, off with my tourist board head (although I would thoroughly recommend a visit up here).
The venue was somewhat strange. After a couple of pints of lager in the pub, I felt like I was attending a barn dance. People were sitting politely at the tables provided and surprisingly there were older people than me there. Concerts are a rare breed up here, and it got me thinking about the last gig I went to see, which was about 10 years ago. I went to see Billy Bragg at Wulfren Hall in Wolverhampton. For those of you who are familiar with this venue, you would know that its situated in the basement of the main Civic Centre which is located above. What was surreal about this gig was that, while our politically correct friend Billy was blasting out a selection of his well meaning songs, playing above him in the main Civic Hall was non other than the unfunny, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and xenophobic fascist that is Jim Davidson.(allegedly!!!) I was expecting some kind of punch up after the gig but surprisingly most of the bigots audience were over sixty.
Anyway back to the gig. The support act for Edwyn was a band called the 1990's.
A really good tight outfit who had bags of energy and really impressed. I always have a real respect and admiration for three piece bands. Having played in bands myself, I appreciate how difficult it is to play an instrument, sing and harmonise at the same time. Not an easy task but the 1990's made it look easy. Even more impressive. The lead guitarist reminded me of a young Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks fame and overall, this is a good band in the making. Watch this space.
Waiting in the wings was Edwyn, along with his wife Grace. Being fiercely independent, Edwyn made his own way to the stage with the aid of his stick and sat casually on an amp with a music stand at his side.
Needless to say the gig went well and I felt that Edwyns voice is as strong as ever. The musicians were excellent, although I must say the two guitarists looked an unusual pairing but played very well.
Apart from his usual repertoire of songs such as the timeless 'Girl Like You', 'Blue Boy' and the excellent 'You'll Never Know', Edwyn offered us a new song (I can't remember the bloody title....age!!), which had a real northern soul feel to it which I think worked well (need to hear it a few more times).
Overall, great (as a fan I would say that wouldn't I?). Not much of a review I guess but I hope you enjoy the pics. Bye for now.