Monday, 9 August 2010

Rockingbirds and Redlands play Jonny Minge tribute show on 4th September at The Luminaire

A Celebratory Tribute to the life of our friend Jonny Minge.

Bon vivant, man of integrity, strong opinions, and very specific tastes, Jonny was a friend to musicians and a music lover to the core. He ran two of the largest country music festivals in Norway and brought over several of the bands playing tonight.

This night, he is honoured and remembered by his friends and family. A powerful line up of London, English, and Norwegian musical acts will be performing to show their appreciation for his guidance, support and hard work.


The self-titled debut album of The Rockingbirds was initially released back in 1992 to critical raves. Much-loved equally by alternative music fans, country aficionados and singer-songwriter buffs, the North London-based outfit stamped their maverick country-rock brand on the young Camden Town scene. Defiantly bucking UK trends of the early ‘90s, The Rockingbirds anticipated the alt-country revolution, and sit comfortably alongside like-minded contemporaries like The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo.

The short version of The Rockingbirds saga is that they released two acclaimed albums, but effectively burned out due to an over-enthusiastic lifestyle and imploded. However, when their label, Heavenly Recordings, threw an 18th birthday festival in London in 2008,The Rockingbirds arose phoenix-like to play the South Bank on September 13th.

The 2008 reunion prompted Sony to re-master and re-release The Rockingbirds debut album, and more live dates and fresh recording sessions are in the works as The Rockingbirds try their method on a new generation. To echo a line from their song ‘Gradually Learning’, being late is better than never.

After a break from regular touring, the UK’s Redlands Palomino Company are set to release their third album, Don’t Fade, in late 2010.

Like their first two albums – the critically acclaimed By The Time You Hear This… (2004) and Take Me Home (2007) – it features the trademark harmonies and heartfelt songwriting of husband-and-wife partnership Hannah and Alex Elton-Wall. Recorded in rural Wiltshire and the Wye Valley in a relaxed and laid back environment over the past 18 months, the album was produced by Alex and features nine new songs, plus a cover of The Dillards’ country rock classic ‘One A.M’. As before, the songs range from heart-stopping ballads featuring Hannah’s gorgeous vocals, through country-tinged powerpop, to gritty rockers, while the band have continued to hone their craft and sound better than ever, with the addition of recent recruits Tom Bowen (electric guitar) and Dan Tilbury (drums).

Over the years, The Redlands Palomino Company have gained many devoted fans across the UK and beyond – thanks in part to their often-riotous live shows and enthusiastic support and radio play from BBC Radio 2’s ‘Whisperin’ Bob Harris amongst others. They have made various high profile festival appearances and have toured extensively with a range of Americana artists including Richmond Fontaine, The Sadies, Peter Bruntnell, Tift Merritt and The Deadstring Brothers.

Norwegian born country music singer-songwriter Morten Vestly has a rich traditional country sound with a southern rock edge. His guitar driven music is a perfect compliment to his deep raspy voice. He sings and writes music about everyday experiences, bringing to life emotion we can all relate to. Born in 1974 in Kodal, a small community north of Sandefjord, Norway, Morten got his first guitar at the age of 13. In his teens he played rhythm-guitar in various rock and metal bands, and drums in a punk-rock cover band called The Raymonds. It wasn’t until Morten discovered his father’s collection of old country and western records that he fell in love with honky-tonk music. Morten says, “it was The Highwaymen that made me want to play country music.”

"Steve Earle told me I had one of the best country voices he'd ever heard, but I don't know, he mighta been high at the time...." Cheyne Pride x

CHEYNE PRIDE BAND (Original Rockin' Country)
QUEEN CREOLE SHOW (Elvis Tribute with a Twist)
07847 302 572

Based in Bury, Lancs., Stuart Warburton fronted the Manchester-based retro outfit The Rhythmaires for over two decades. Long a mainstay of the European rockabilly live scene, the band released four albums and served as the backing band on European tours by such legendary performers as Billy Lee Riley, Johnny Carroll, Eddie Fontaine and Rudy Grayzell.
In recent years, as well as playing session harmonica for such diverse acts as Doves (on their Mercury-nominated Lost Souls album) and Austin, Texas' Two Hoots and A Holler, Stuart, in what he describes as 'mellowing with age,' performs, mostly solo, on the singer-songwriter circuit. His material, whilst musically leaning heavily towards Americana, has a definite 'British' feel to it lyrically and owes as much to his roots in the industrial north-west of England as it does to the period he spent as a (‘just about legal!’) resident of San Antonio, Texas.

Subject matter is mostly time-honoured 'universal' themes such as failed relationships, but there are occasional excursions elsewhere, such as football (‘Brian Turner's Rosamar Cafe’), life on the road in a band (‘Three Chords And The Truth’) and a tongue-in-cheek look at the political 'hot potato' of self-harm (‘If I Thought I Could Change Your Mind’). Whilst generally steering away form the 'protest-song' genre, Stuart's song ‘La Jilguera (Voices Without Echo)’ was written as an attempt to raise awareness of the issue (largely ignored by the world media) of the hundreds of young women who, over the last fifteen or so years, have been murdered in and around the northern Mexican cities of Juarez and Ciudad Chihuahua.

DJ Gonzo Steele

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