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James Hickman & Dan Cassidy – Nicki Gillis & Dave Clemo

Written by Rachel Tinsley on 2013-11-08. Posted in Show On Front Page

News from the Sofa : Such an awesome few days on the sofa! Firstly on Saturday James Hickman and Dan Cassidy played for us, and totally wowed our audience, James crystal clear voice really rang out around the Sofa Sessions room, and his guitar playing is just something else, when accompanied by some of the greatest fiddle playing we have ever seen – Dan totally took our audience by suprise. That’s what so nice about our guests, although they are established names many haven’t played Kettering before and so are an bit of an unknown quantity – so it was no suprise that these guys got a rowsing encore from the audience and sold out completely of their stock of cd’s.

Then Monday saw Nicki Gillis come and grace our “stage” – what can I saw about this wonderful lady, such a professional polished performance, with songs old and new and enough energy to make the rafters on this old building shake – a really rocky night (sorry neighbours) and she even got the audience on their feet dancing – we hope she comes and plays again next year. Dave Clemo provided a beautiful support slot, accompanied by Vince Gorman, and last minute recruit Stevie Pool – who pulled off 2 hours of solid cahon playing that totally rocked the house!

Big thanks to all but especially to Tracy Dann for organising this event, Ian Marks for some amazing photos and all those audience members who did dishes and helped tidy up at the end – all appreciated. 

Scott Cook, Jez Hellard and Nye Parsons, October 19 2013

Written by mlmpenny on 2013-11-08. Posted in Show On Front Page

Saturdays Sofa Session was such a beauty. We caught Scott Cook, Jez Hellard and Nye Parsons on their epic UK tour, and I knew from the onset this would be a special night after Jez charmed us earlier in the year with his band the Djukella Orchestra. It was a relaxed affair, and started with dinner at my place and then a saunter over to Kerry’s house, such a beautiful home and Kerry’s generosity and open hearted welcome made it a special night from the start. A packed room, standing room only (and some of that was in the hallway) sat on a variety of chairs, church pews and even Kerry’s huge dining table was relegated to a seating area with a variety of cushions and throws, pushed against the wall, it made a perfect lounging area for a few lucky folk. The evening started with Scott Cook, taking our audience by surprise with his big baritone voice (I told you he was good!) such beautiful songs, delivered in a style that felt like he sang every line personally to every person in the room, lyrics and feelings that make you wonder why this guy isn’t world famous. Beautiful humble stories delivered to the gentle strumming of his guitar, before belting out a song with words that wrap around your heart and pull at the strings, a true troubadour – he gave special gifts to a few lucky ladies sat on the front row, I think they are still smiling! Songs of love, and travels, creation and friendships – made Scott seem like a long lost friend. Then Jez and Nye then took to the floor, with a bit of foot stomping funk! An excellent start to Jez’s set – groovy and funky, had there been floorspace to dance we would have taken to the floor I am sure. Jez’s guitar playing was mesmerising, and as his hands flew over the fret board as Nye Parsons whipped up a storm on that double bass. Such fantastic songs were sang, with wonderful rapport from our audience, joining in with songs, banter and listening in awe at the beauty in the songs, generosity of spirit and wanting to share this special night with his good friend and travelling companion saw Jez inviting Scott up to play on his songs, beautiful harmonies, banjo in the background – an energy in the room that was almost visible! The night ended with us all joining in singing, after a beautiful story told by Scott, and then a beautiful song, delivered by all three artists (now old friends?) saw an end to the night. Retiring to Kerry’s kitchen the band sold cd after cd – and gave a little bit of love to everyone who asked. We came back to Sofa Sessions HQ, for more food, chats, poetry, music listening, and a good sleep – before the guys hit the road the next day, onwards onwards to London! But not before I got a promise from them to come back – I think we all fell in love with all 3 a little bit, or maybe a bit more than a little.