Busy Day For The Hometown Boy
Sunday saw me drifting up Long Street once again to The Southgate. Dave & Debs have been doing a fantastic job to make everybody welcome over the last few weeks since Lockdown ended, not only by getting their garden into shape with umbrellas, gazebos, and marquees, tables and chairs, but by opening up the front of the skittle alley to accommodate a wide range of performers. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays have variously been used to field an eclectic programme of live music, including Tim Manning, Lewis Clark, Howlin’ Mat, Daydream Runaways, Eddie Martin, Innes Sibun, Barrelhouse, The Hoodoos and The Celtic Roots Collective.
I try to get up there as often as possible, but I definitely wasn’t going to miss this one. Today it was a hometown gig for local hero Jon Amor with his band King Street Turnaround. Normally a four-piece, they were shorn of their keyboard player due to Covid isolation restrictions, so they simply cracked on as a trio. It was their second gig of the day, having played earlier in the afternoon at The Bell Inn in Bath. And for drummer Tom Gilkes and bassist Jerry Soffe however it wasn’t even over yet, as there was to be a third gig later in the day at The Old Duke in Bristol with Eddie Martin. Busy day!
Jon was in his usual ebullient and inspired form, cracking out some splendid guitar work, his vocals sparse and to the point. Once he’d conquered drooping mike syndrome, there was no stopping him. Two powerful sets of soulful, bluesy rock ensued, with the large crowd absolutely loving lapping it up. The band display that wonderful quality of being at times loose and relaxed, giving each other the time and space to play their solos and improvisations, and then tightening it right up when they need to, in order to close out each song with a flourish. Highlight for me, again, was Juggernaut, a song and a riff that I can’t get out of my head, and one which seems to be heading towards becoming a worthy always-there number in the set list.
The band played for as long as they possibly could, but finally it was all over, and that quick sprint out to Bristol lay ahead. Another superb gig, and a pleasure to be there.
So if you want to support live music, be part of a great atmosphere, and have a few drinks with friends, get yourself up The Gate one of these coming weekends!
Future Gigs @ The Southgate:
- Saturday 9th October – Strange Folk 9pm
- Saturday 16th October – Blind Lemon Experience 9pm
- Saturday 23rd October – Billy In The Lowground 9pm
- Sunday 24th October – Jack Grace Band 5pm
- Friday 29th October – Grizzly Rhys Morgan 9pm
- Saturday 30th October – Celtic Roots Collective
- Fri/ Sat/ Sun 29th – 31st October – Beer & Cider Festival
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