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JOSH ROUSE at St Mary’s Church, Twyford, July 5

PLUS SUPPORT

With Brill Building wit and a Midwestern sense of melancholy Josh Rouse has built a career that spans almost 25 years, reaching back to his acclaimed 1998 debut Dressed Up Like Nebraska & continuing to his breakthrough albums 1972 & Nashville. His well-crafted and hook-laden tracks are coupled with closely-detailed, well-observed vignettes in his lyrics. Now passing 50, Josh faces the next phase of his life. “I remember seeing Tom Waits on the cover of a magazine with the headline TOM WAITS AT 50.” Josh recalls “ I was in my twenties and that seemed so far off… but he made a great record (Mule Variations) and I hope I have too.”

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CAITLIN ROSE, Railway Inn, May 15

plus Hollow Hand

With a voice equal parts honeyed and world-weary, Caitlin Rose sings self-aware songs of self-destruction, documenting proclivity and impulse control, bad habits in life and in romantic pursuits. Her music brims with incisive, well-observed songs full of searching vulnerability, ruminating on the things done to us and the various coping mechanisms and behaviors we adopt to feel in control in their wake. A standout staple of Nashville’s rock scene, Rose is “witty, brilliant company” (Pitchfork) and a “promisingly wry lyricist” (The Guardian) with a “wily and impressive blend of melancholy and cheek.” (New York Times). Her 2013 album ‘The Stand-In’ will be available remastered on vinyl this April 2024, as part of Record Store Store Day UK.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/611563

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ROBYN HITCHCOCK at St Mary’s Church, Twyford, September 13

With a career now spanning six decades, Robyn Hitchcock remains a truly one-of-a-kind artist –surrealist rock ’n’ roller, iconic troubadour, guitarist, poet, painter, performer. An unparalleled, deeply individualistic songwriter and stylist, Hitchcock has traversed myriad genres with humor, intelligence, and originality over more than thirty albums and seemingly infinite live performances. From The Soft Boys’ proto-psych-punk and The Egyptians’ Dadaist pop to solo masterpieces like 1984’s milestone I Often Dream of Trains and 1990’s Eye, Hitchcock has crafted a strikingly original oeuvre rife with sagacious observation, astringent wit, recurring marine life, mechanized rail services, cheese, Clint Eastwood, and innumerable finely drawn characters real and imagined.

Born in London in 1953, Hitchcock attended Winchester College before moving to Cambridge in 1974. He began playing in a series of bands, including Dennis and the Experts which became The Soft Boys in 1976. Though light years away from first wave punk’s revolutionary clatter, the band still manifested the era’s spirit of DIY independence with their breakneck reimagining of British psychedelia. During their (first) lifetime, The Soft Boys released but two albums, among them 1980’s landmark second LP, Underwater Moonlight. “The term ‘classic’ is almost as overused as ‘genius’ and ‘influential,’” declared Rolling Stone upon the album’s 2001 reissue. “But Underwater Moonlight remains all three of those descriptions.”

Hitchcock embarked on his solo career with 1981’s Black Snake Diamond Röle, affirming his knack for eccentric insight and surrealist lyrical hijinks. 1984’s I Often Dream Of Trains fused that approach with autumnal acoustic arrangements which served to deepen the emotional range of his songcraft. Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians were born that same year and immediately lit up college rock playlists with albums like 1986’s Element of Light. He signed to A&M Records in 1987 and earned early alternative hits with “Balloon Man” and “Madonna of the Wasps.” Hitchcock returned to his dark acoustic palette with 1990’s equally masterful Eye before joining the Warner Bros. label for a succession of acclaimed albums including 1996’s Moss Elixir and 1999’s Jewels For Sophia.

Having first reunited for a brief run of shows in 1994, The Soft Boys came together for a second go-around in 2001, this time releasing Nextdoorland to universal applause. Hitchcock joined the Yep Roc label in 2004, embracing collaboration with such friends and like-minded artists as Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings (2004’s Spooked) and legendary producer Joe Boyd (2014’s The Man Upstairs). Beginning in 2006, Hitchcock released a trio of albums backed by The Venus 3, featuring Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and the late Bill Rieflin.

Hitchcock moved to Nashville in YEAR TK where he quickly found a place among the Music City community, recording 2017’s Robyn Hitchcock with an array of local talent including co-producer Brendan Benson. In 2019, Hitchcock joined forces with XTC’s Andy Partridge for the four-song EP, Planet England. Indeed, Hitchcock has proven an irrepressible collaborator throughout his long career, teaming with a boundless series of fellow artists over the years, including R.E.M., Grant-Lee Phillips, Jon Brion, The Decemberists, Norwegian pop combo I Was A King, Yo La Tengo, and (WHO ELSE?), to name but a very few.

Along with his musical efforts, Hitchcock has appeared in a number of films, among them collaborations with the late Jonathan Demme on 1998’s concert documentary Storefront Hitchcock as well as roles in 2004’s The Manchurian Candidate and 2008’s Rachel’s Getting Married.

An inveterate traveler and live performer, Hitchcock has toured near constantly for much of the past four decades, playing countless shows around the world, from Africa to the Arctic. Locked down in Nashville and London by the global pandemic of 2020, Hitchcock and his partner Emma Swift began their Sweet Home Quarantine livestream series, performing weekly sets joined by their two cats, Ringo and Tubby. 2021 saw the publication of Hitchcock’s first book, Somewhere Apart: Selected Lyrics 1977-1997, featuring 73 songs and 34 illustrations in a beautiful cloth-bound edition from his own Tiny Ghost Press.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/607459

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PETER BRUNTNELL – full band show at the Railway for Oliver’s birthday – September 7

What can we say? Peter Bruntnell and his storming band debuting material from his new album plus old favourite songs too.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/610694

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ANDREW COMBS, August 27 at the Railway

Though born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Nashville-based singer-songwriter and artist Andrew Combs can’t say for certain he identifies with any one place in particular. Through years of drawing on ethereal and visceral beauty wherever he can find it, his work is more accurately a measured synthesis of a wide array of “places”: the literal and the figurative, those he has been to and others he has yet to see. His newest full-length album is reflective of those varied places that inform Combs’ creative work.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/610690

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JERRY LEGER AND THE SITUATION at the Railway, May 16

With guests Tapes For Diane

As Toronto’s music scene has grown in stature on the world stage, singer/songwriter Jerry Leger has been making his own significant contributions. A favourite of Uncut Magazine and Rolling Stone Germany, Leger has also earned the praise of fellow artists Ron Sexsmith (“he’s the real deal”) and Doug Paisley, while maintaining a long relationship with Cowboy Junkies as part of their Latent Recordings roster, with their songwriter/guitarist Michael Timmins serving as producer.

On his new album Donlands, Leger has taken a different approach, teaming up with legendary Canadian producer/engineer Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young), whose trademark atmospheric sound adds an entirely new dimension to Leger’s approach. Named after the street in Toronto’s east end where it was recorded, in what once was the Donlands Theatre, Donlands presents Jerry Leger as he’s never been heard before.

On songs like “I Was Right To Doubt Her,” the film noir vibe recalls Howard’s work on Willie Nelson’s Teatro. But mostly, Leger wears his poetic heart firmly on his sleeve on “Three Hours Ahead Of Midnight” and “The Flower And The Dirt,” songs that underscore Leger’s uncommon ability to pen timeless music and lyrics. Further, as on the Roy Orbison-esque opening track “Sort Me Out,” and the heart-wrenching piano ballad “Wounded Wing,” Leger digs deep to express the strength and resolve we’ve all needed to get through the past few years. He says, “This record is a place I’ve known about and where I’ve always wanted to live, so it was a nice and rewarding visit. It’s another piece of me that floats in a dream. It’s surreal at times, just like writing can be surreal.”

For Jerry Leger, the search for the elusive creative spark remains never-ending, but there are always new routes to explore in getting to it. With Donlands, he has made an album that stands as one of the peak moments in an already towering body of work.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/605169

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PATRICK DUFF, Swiss Cottage, May 3

Unique two-set show with book reading and special guest Woody

Patrick Duff fronted the cult 90’s group Strangelove who signed to Parlophone/EMI and released three critically acclaimed albums. They found admiration in their contemporaries with Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien noting “We toured with them and changed quite a bit after. They were inspirational”.
Now artist in residence at Glastonbury Abbey and a published author, Patrick Duff continues to write and record under his own name. With his 2022 autobiography ‘The Singer’ winning praise amongst critics and a sixth solo album in the making, Patrick is certified as an inspired, convicted artist who is steeped in a life dedicated to his craft and vision.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/607457

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SMALL TOWN JONES in concert April 20 – SOLD OUT

SUPPORT: GRACIE

Small Town Jones has a long-awaited new album out this year called Kintsugi, and to celebrate, he will be performing an intimate duo show in the Swiss Cottage with guitarist Dave Little (Delines / Peter Bruntnell). With his yearning and plaintive yet melodic songs, Devonian Jones is a unique talent and extremely popular with sc4m regulars. Beautiful things break. You can look at the cracks and repairs when it’s put back together as flaws, or you can see them as part of the story; scars telling their own tale. It’s the philosophy of the Japanese art of kintsugi (“golden joinery”), and also the creative faith behind the first album in six years from Devon musician Small Town Jones.
Kintsugi the album has been two years in the making, pulled together from fragments and glimpses of sadness, joy, brokenness and repair. But mostly repair: it glitters like the precious metals traditionally used in kintsugi to reunite what’s been broken.
Small Town Jones is effectively singer-songwriter Jim Jones, his new album a collaboration with long time friend, drummer, multi instrumentalist and producer Michael Reed.
Both Mike and Jim work full time: Jim working in youth justice and as a therapeutic mentor with young people in need of repair and restoration, kids as fragmented as he was as a young man; Mike creating music for film and TV including contributing to football comedy hit Ted Lasso. Weirdly, synchronistically, Ted Lasso was the inspiration for album track Mr Kintsugi before Jim even knew Mike had worked on the show. Mike only mentioned it in passing sometime during the Tuesday and Thursday night recording sessions in his home studio, an escape for both from the pressure of day jobs, deadlines and the expectations of others.
Alongside them is Jim’s ever-present and inspiring guitar foil Dave Little (Jim, Mike and Dave all met at college) and bass guitarist Nathan Layland, with additional instrumentation from David Smale on double bass, Rebecca Balzani Barrow on violin and the brilliant Holly Carter on pedal steel. Good friend and previous Small Town Jones producer Peter Bruntnell also adds his unique guitar sound to the track We Are All Each Other, and Safe In Sound features vocals from Abbe and Hannah from Sound Of The Sirens.
Kintsugi the art form invites us to embrace imperfection, admire the artistry in repair. Similarly, Small Town Jones’ Kintsugi celebrates reunion, examines our emotional scars, finds joy in our flaws. And, above all, it hopes that the rejoined can be as beautiful and whole as what was broken.

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The Deep Dark Woods (Ryan Boldt solo), Swiss Cottage, Twyford, May 11 SOLD OUT

Originally from Saskatchewan and now based on the east coast of Canada, The Deep Dark Woods takes up a deep tradition of forlorn storytelling, drawing lines from Celtic folksongs to country blues, John Fahey to Shirley Collins. Lush and devastating, Boldt’s gothic surrealism is stark in detail and full of emotion, a murder balladeer for our time. Following the 2019 Juno Nomination for Contemporary Roots Album Of The Year, The Deep Dark Woods have been crafting their brand of prairie psychedelics and a “loose grungy folk sound” (Paste) for over ten years. Their sound is rooted in tradition, drawing inspiration from sounds out of the U.K. and Appalachia. Ryan Boldt, the band’s songwriter and singer, is known for his deep voice and rich storytelling.
With their upcoming 2024 album Broadside Ballads Vol. III, a 8-song LP, The Deep Dark Woods will lend a familiar melancholic warmth to a collection of traditional folk songs spanning centuries and continents.

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KATE STABLES plus guests, St Mary’s Church, Twyford, April 19, SOLD OUT

A rare and exclusive solo homecoming show from the star of THIS IS THE KIT in a beautiful rural setting.
Kate’s music places companionship at a premium, so being? welcomed into its space feels like an obvious? privilege, whether on record and in concert with her band This Is The Kit, in her many collaborations with like-minded artists such as The National or in her solo work. ?
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/603794