In the summer of 2018, singer-songwriter Fred Abong released his ‘Homeless’ EP, effectively returning him to the world of recording and live performance. In support of the disc, Fred made extensive appearances across the UK with Kristin Hersh, including a very memorable show at Ramsgate Music Hall on a very hot Sunday night.
Unleashed into the wild on the eve of a second UK tour with Kristin, ‘Pulsing’ in many ways, is a logical continuation of ‘Homeless’. While half the EP takes an electric stance, fans of Abong’s previous release will find an immediate kinship in its deliberately introspective vibe.
The first half of 2018 has seen a few excellent gigs that have helped put the Ramsgate Music Hall on the map. The venue has played host to a warm up gig by Pulp legend Jarvis Cocker (a show that sold out in under a minute), energetic sets from Shonen Knife and Kolars as well as an evening of acoustic English whimsy from the legendary Robyn Hitchcock. The venue could now legitimately be considered a tiny giant. Tonight promises to join the list of legendary performances as the venue is host to a Throwing Muses double bill, with solo sets from ex-bassist Fred Abong and singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh.
2018 has been an important year for Fred. He’s made a long overdue, proper return to the music scene after many years. He’s also recorded new solo material, the ragged ‘Homeless’ EP, and he’s been giving it some hefty promotion throughout the summer whilst on the road with Hersh. This is the second of two appearances at Music Hall and even though it’s a school night for most tomorrow, it’s still a sell out.
There are no two ways about it, Kristin Hersh is a legend. From the earliest days of Throwing Muses, through her varied and lengthy solo career, the singer-songwriter has released some very interesting work. Not all of it of a gold standard, of course – some inconsistency can be expected from a career spanning across decades – but when she’s good, she’s on fire. Such is the case with this sixth release from 50FootWave, comprising six absolute belting slices of alt-rock, all wrapped in a noisy blanket and offset by Hersh’s by now husky tones
Best known as frontwoman for Belly and sometime member of Throwing Muses, this first solo outing by Tanya Donelly is everything you’d expect. Issued on 4AD records in 1997, ‘Lovesongs For Underdogs’ does not always sound like great departure from previous work with Belly; but while not greatly different, it manages to pull together the soft sounds of that band’s ‘Star’ and rockier parts of ‘King’ on one release. In that respect, it could be viewed as Donelly’s most “complete” record.