Presented by Jumpin’ Hot Club
Where: Live Theatre’s Studio Theatre
When: Saturday 26 April 2014
Review by Stu Nimmo
I perambulated to Live Theatre in good spirits for an evening of what was described as ‘Gentle Geordie country swing’ from Shipcote and Friends as they launched their new album, titled Perambulating. Turns out even if I was in bad spirits the easy going humour and music on offer would have turned bad into good in fairly short order.
Unusually, Shipcote and Friends started the evening with support act, Brendan Croker, following them after a 15 minute interval. Their music is warm, smooth and local. Songs cover a range of subjects from the Park Run to Facebook to home wrecking, all are delivered with a relaxed confidence and the comforting burr of Graham Anderson’s voice.
The bits between songs are filled with Graham’s cool wit, humorous anecdotes and his joy at the current success of Gateshead Football Club. Indeed one of the great pleasures of the gig was the genuine joy and pride in Gateshead not just the football team, but also the town. If anyone could (or indeed should) write an opera about Gateshead, Graham Anderson is that person. The song which names the album, Perambulating in Gateshead is a love letter to Gateshead packed with affection and adorned with local points of interest.
Shipcote and Friends actually consists of Graham Anderson on guitar and lead vocals, Bryan Younger on guitar and banjo, Cath Reding on accordion and fiddle, Jon Codd on double bass, John (aka Bongo) on drums and Scot Malcolm MacMaster on pedal steel. They combine to produce a smooth, cosy style of swing which weds with Graham’s voice perfectly.
After the interval Brendan Croker performed an array of Blues and old Folk songs, he charmed the room and invited Cath Reding on stage to accompany him on violin to great success. The evening was rounded off when Graham joined Brendan on stage and they played amongst others, The Blue Ridge Mountains (made famous by comedy stars, Laurel and Hardy, in their 1937 film – Way Out West).
A great end to an evening of friendly, heart-warming music which sent everyone home with a smile on their face.