Southern Gothic winds up its eight-day (27th April-4th May) stint in the Crane Lane Theatre in Cork tonight with Kitty, Daisy & Lewis taking to the stage at approx. 11.30pm. The show is, like the majority of the weeks gigs, absolutely FREE.
A Bandicoot Production, the Southern Gothic mini-festival kicked off last year with the likes of Boa Morte, The Willard Grant Conspiracy, Pete Molinari and plenty more playing over the May bank holiday weekend and has grown to include artists such as Josh T. Pearson (who appeared on Later... with Jools Holland only a few weeks ago), Wilko Johnson, Terry Reid and Little Miss Higgins.
With money tight and gigs a luxury many are struggling to afford it is great to see venues and promoters taking some sort of risk with live music. True it could be said that there is not much risk when it is a bank holiday weekend but that is also a good argument for as there was no need to go out and book high-quality acts for a weekend that was going to do good business anyhow.
Of course the main show I wanted to see would have to be the only pay-in one but €15 for Josh T. Pearson, who has just released one of the best albums of the year in Last Of The Country Gentlemen, is a steal and the fact that his performance was pretty incredible made it seem pittance by the end of the early evening show (doors were at 4.30pm). Looking back on it he only played about a half dozen numbers but the sprawling, meandering nature of his solo works structures may belie how long the Texan performer, and former frontman of Lift To Experience, actually spent on stage. What completely took me by surprise (especially as his backstory is littered with drugs, alcohol, divorce, death and he admits the solo album would never have come out except for the strength gathered from kind words by fans at a show in Dublin and in another city) is how bloody funny the guy is and how eager he was to talk to the crowd. At the very end he eventually coaxed a rendition of "Molly Malone" from the seated, and entranced, Crane Lane crowd but he, truthfully, described it as terrible. We will be better next time.
For those of you who have either never seen nor even ever heard of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis I recommend them whole-heartedly as great fun having caught them a few years ago on a pretty large stage at Primavera Sound.
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