REVIEW – Arnie Cottrell Tendency @ The Southgate, Devizes –Friday 7th February 2020

Live Music At Its Very Best

Andy Fawthrop

Friday night is music night, so where else to go other than the ever-welcoming Southgate? Once again Dave and Deb had found a wonderful band to fill the pub…..

I managed to miss the very start of the gig, but then stayed to catch the rest of it, and was still sitting there at nearly midnight.

What had been originally billed as The Velvet Doonicans had morphed into The Arnie Cottrell Tendency. Same people, same band. Whatever. Whoever. Either way Arnie Cottrell, Rick Foote and Graham Bushell played a simply superb gig. Featuring upright bass, acoustic and steel guitars, mandolin, and shared vocals blending into double and triple harmonies, the trio produced music that was magical, melting, melodic and absolutely mesmerising. This was Americana at its best.

The guys were clearly confident and comfortable with their music and with each other, and produced some stunning versions of Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country”, Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”, and The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek”. Every song was easy on the ear, relaxed and understated, delivered with panache and some wonderful self-deprecating good humour.

Song after song was wheeled out, and I dearly wanted to go home and get my head down for the night, but there was no way I was leaving whilst these guys were still playing. Such superb musicianship just drew you in. It was warm, lovely, embracing, mesmerising and – well – brilliant. No other word for it.

Yet another reminder that it’s absolutely worth getting your arse in gear, going out into the night and supporting live music venues like the Southgate.

Future gigs at The Southgate:

• Friday 14th February Trevor Babajack Steger
• Saturday 15th February Mike Barham
• Friday 21st February Kent Duchaine
• Sunday 23rd February CRC
• Friday 28th February The Shudders


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