REAL GONE GOES OUT: Saint Etienne – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 9/12/2017

It’s approximately 9pm on a very cold December night. It’s freezing outside and also decidedly chilly inside the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The audience are shuffling around with a casual indifference. We’ve all just been bored to tears by the night’s support act, The Clientele, who appear to have played the same bland dreampop/indie tune ten or eleven times. Judging by the lack of atmosphere on stage and the rambling tunes punctuated by the occasional monosyllabic “thanks…”, the performers seemed just as as bored by their own music. [In retrospect, while they were devastatingly dull, it was easy to see why they were chosen. They weren’t the worst support act ever – that honour will forever be owned by Patrik Fitzgerald – they were just very boring.]

Saint Etienne are about to take the stage, though, so surely things are about to get much better. The minutes pass and a selection of kitschy tunes – almost certainly curated by Saint Et’s own pop historian Bob Stanley – fills time. As it happens, this is all more entertaining than The Clientele. and worthy of an easily accessible Spotify playlist. Saint Etienne founders, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, along with various other musicians, eventually saunter on stage at a rather casual 9:25, followed by vocalist Sarah Cracknell.

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Check out Ferris & Syvester’s new single, ‘Better In Yellow’

Earlier in 2017, Americana/pop duo Ferris & Sylvester released their debut, ‘The Yellow Line’ EP.  Its songs mixed pop sensibilities with an old fashioned singer-songwriter mentality and was well worth hearing, especially for those looking for a less country alternative to Lewis & Leigh.

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DAVID CROSBY – Sky Trails

David Crosby was never known for being particularly prolific when it came to making solo albums. Between 1971 and 1993, the moustachioed megastar had only released three records. Obviously, he recorded and toured with Graham Nash and Stephen Stills in between, but even taking that into consideration, compared with his sometime collaborator Neil Young having released nineteen albums in the same time frame, he’s hardly looked busy…

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