E2D June Music Monthly

REVIEW: Egremont has a LOL good time

Review and photo by Robert Haile of Manchester’s famous Lol Goodman

_DSC8160IF you’re not a fan of rock and blues you may just be converted if you take a trip to see the Lol Goodman Band.
Manchester’s Lol Goodman and his band have been frequent visitors to this part of the world in recent years, and our reviewer caught their show on Friday April hoping for another dose of lively blues.

The Egremont audience spent the night foot tapping and swaying to the Manchester-based rock and blues Lol Goodman Band when they performed at Florence Arts Centre, on Friday.

The four-piece outfit has already earned a reputation as one of the country’s leading rock and blues bands and this is surely only going to grow on the strength of this performance.

Fronted by Lol Goodman, whose trips into the crowd made the night for many, kept the night flowing with his skilled playing and singing, along with his casual stories about topics such as the pain all West Cumbrians feel when leaving the M6.

The homage Goodman paid to his fellow bandmates with a song simply called The Guys to start the second set of the night made you thankful for the people that allow you to do what you do.

James Horrocks’ bass playing was a joy to behold as his wanderings around the stage showed that its not all about guitars.

The quiet man at the back, Phil Barrett, stole songs with his incredible speed and skill with a guitar, and when sat at his keyboard he provided Goodman with backing vocals.

Jon Firth playing the drums was not only the driving force behind the songs but in Water his haunting rhythms made the song – a song that they considered leaving out of their last visit to Cumbria, so soon after the floods.

The band has just released their third album and are well worth the trip to watch.

REVIEW: Vortigern get Egremont audience dancing

RACHAEL GREALISH has a toe-tapping time at Florence in April. Photo by ROBERT HAILE

_DSC5528UNIQUE four-piece Celtic rock group Vortigern weaved songs of old with modern classics as they entertained a capacity Egremont crowd.

Florence Arts Centre hosted a special night on Friday as the band recorded a live show for their upcoming YouTube channel.

The magical fiddle and keyboard playing of Mark Rudd coupled with the powerful vocals of Roger Lomas made songs like Thin Lizzy’s Whiskey in the Jar and Steve Earle’s Galway Girl their own – the latter of which proved to be a real dance number for the audience.

It was not all about the rock and roll, with Paul Rudd masterfully leading a mournful ballad of an outlaw along with strong bass playing.

Before playing Northwest Passage – an a cappella song by Stan Rogers about the a route across Canada to the Pacific Ocean – the band played song unheard of by most audience members, which turned out to be that Vortigern had just given a burst of life to a 400-year-old song.

The group – who are fast approaching the 10 year mark together – wowed audiences with fantastic songs sung in acapella, which was also a pleasant surprise for those who had not seen them before and showed a trio of vocal talents and a fantastic ability to harmonise.

During the second half the small dance floor was inundated with couples and groups of women dancing along to the striking and energetic songs.

Finishing the night in the traditional way, the final song was The Bonny Bank o’ Loch Lomond, which the band made their own and had the audience singing and clapping along.

Paul Rudd commented on the evening, he said: “I think it was a fantastic show – the audience, as always, were fantastic and it’s always just such a compliment to see people dancing along. We just love playing at Florence.”