Mia and Pog

Mia and Pog, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Excellent night's entertainment at the underrated Cowley Club - tho the appealing sounding Nut Brown Ale was off so had to make do with Hophead. This was a date on the tour of Mia Riddle from New York (or is it California?) - you can hear some of her songs on myspace.com/miariddle - and Pog, who describe Mia as 'country-tinged indie folk'. Many of the dates on the tour are in people's houses, a sort of musical equivalent to the Artists' Open Houses. As Russ Substance from Southampton (who was too young to know of John Renbourn) was about to take Pog's place on the tour, we got all three acts, for the pricely sum of FREE, tho there was a whip round and I bought Pog's wonderful new CD 'Bothering the bunshop, despite the injuction', containing 'Trauma Tourist' and that great sing-along 'Go vegan (you cow-sucking pervert)'. Paul Stapleton (he of Pog and Anal Beard, as well as his topical and incisive cartoon books), it must be said, was performing solo, as Annalise was off seeing the Violent Femmes. But with three great sets, you can't complain, can you? Go see Mia, if you can, while she's over here!


Cartoon museum

National Treasure Bill Tidy was on BBC Breakfast this morning commenting on Steve Bell's less than enthusiastic film on the opening of the Cartoon Museum in London, set up by The Cartoon Art Trust. He didn't have a lot to say about political cartooning!


John Renbourn

John Renbourn, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Another living legend at The Greys: on a wet February night John Renbourn threatened us with 'an evening of celtic misery' but what we got was a delightful mix of folk, blues, jazz, ragtime, the odd ballad from the Borders, and Davy Graham's 'Anji' (or should that be Davey Graham's 'Angie'?). He even raised a wry smile during Mose Allison's [I'm not downhearted, but I'm] 'Getting there'. I last saw John Renbourn in the the late-1960s in Pentangle (I seem to remember sitting at the back of the stage) – watching Folk Britannia on BBC4, they've all changed a bit since then (except Roy Harper, who looks as handsome as ever!). Renbourn too looks a little older, and more portly (don't we all!) than that photo on the cover of the CD he's selling at the interval, but his music is as sublime as ever it was. Just one man in his socks with a Bown guitar, stopping now and then to retune it and tell a story, on the tiny stage of The Greys, with a pint of Harvey's and a chance to see that legendary right hand in action again up close. Bliss!


Otway's world tour

Independent Online Edition > News: "Today he will pay a £60,000 deposit on the Airbus A-320 which he hopes will take him and 300 of his most loyal followers on an eight-stop world tour. Departing from Liverpool's John Lennon international airport in October after a gig the previous night at the Cavern, they will cross the Atlantic for a date in New York. From there the plane will shuttle them across country to Las Vegas for a night on the Strip followed by Tahiti, Sydney, Ningbo, China, and Dubai." And I'll be there!


Folk Britannia

Excellent programme on BBC Four: Folk Britannia. I can feel another reminiscence coming on! One of the first records I ever bought was an EP by A L Lloyd called 'All for me grog' or something. Bury Folk Club in The George on Kay Gardens (with the goldfish tank in the ceiling) was an excuse to go into a pub legally! I even played my grandad's mandolin there, badly! And it was at UoS Folk Club at Battersea where me and Chris Brunt played the blues (me on harmonica), which led to the formation of Helix.