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First Eric’s Shows Announced

First Eric’s Shows Announced

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Last Edited by: Chris MUG5 Maguire August 7th, 2011.

PIONEERS of the British electronic music scene, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, will be the first band to play at the re-launched Eric’s club on Mathew Street, Liverpool on Saturday, September 10. The venue has announced further autumn shows:

Saturday 17th September


CHRIS THILE and MICHAEL DAVES are set to tour the UK and Ireland in September in support of their Nonesuch Records debut, Sleep With One Eye Open, released in May to widespread critical acclaim.

Recorded live to tape over four days at Jack White’s Third Man studio in Nashville, TN, Sleep With One Eye Open is a collection of 16 traditional tunes by bluegrass legends like The Monroe Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and Flatt & Scruggs. As Thile says: “Mandolin and guitar and two male voices - it’s such a good sound. It was important for us was to get that brother duet thing, but with this Lower East Side punk energy. One of the most enjoyable things about this experience was to underline the slightly delinquent side of bluegrass.”

THE TOY HEARTS are one of the UK's hottest acoustic acts right now, their style of music neatly placing them at the forefront of the resurgence of interest in folk and Americana music.

Saturday 15th October


DAVE SHARP began playing with the band Seventeen in the 1970s and made his recording debut on their Don't Let Go / Bank Holiday Weekend single. After Seventeen disbanded in 1980, the band reformed as The Alarm, eventually recording hit records such as 68 Guns and The Spirit of '76.

In 1991, Sharp recorded his first solo album, Hard Travellin' with record producer, Bob Johnston. After tours in the UK and North America, he moved to the United States, touring and recording with artists, such as Johnny Cash, Larry Crane, Dave Grissolm (The John Cougar Mellencamp band), Willie Nelson, George Porter (The Neville Brothers), Chris Solberg (Santana), and Stiff Little Fingers.

In 1996, he recorded the album Downtown America. Sharp moved to New Orleans and made regular appearances at the Kerry Irish pub on Decatur Street. In 2002, Sharp returned to the United Kingdom and formed The Soul Company band with bass player, Keith Ashcroft (Chris Farlowe), 10cc drummer Paul Burgess, Dr. Feelgood guitarist Mo Witham and guitar player Jim Holmes.

Towards the end of 2007 Sharp, having spent most of his recent time playing solo acoustic, was ready to form a new band again. He was put in touch with Henry McCullough and, after a few days together in Ireland, the nucleus of The Hard Travelers was formed. The concept of the band's music was the intention to bring the songs of Woody Guthrie to a new public. To complete the lineup, Sharp and McCullough brought in Zoot Money on keyboards; Gary Fletcher on bass; and Colin Allen on drums.

2008 Sharp launched his own version of The Alarm, AOR - Spirit of The Alarm, to showcase the band's American setlists from the late 1980s. Together with North West musicians Wayne Parry, Dave Black, Tom Szakaly and Si Smith, AOR played their debut show and went on to support The Damned in support of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

Over the years Sharp has worked alongside most of the artists he has long respected and admired.

Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash have appeared on his recordings. He has performed alongside Kris Kristofferson, Bill Munroe and Porter Wagoner. A regular performer on Decatur Street, New Orleans, whether solo or with a band,guitar in hand Sharp delivers the Spirit of Rock & Roll.

Dave Sharp's solo albums have received critical acclaim both in the United States and here in the UK where he performs continuously on both sides of the Atlantic.

Wednesday 19th October

JON ALLEN £10.00

The new ‘Dylan’ has been the tag line of many emerging artists over the years. More often than not this is misleading because these individuals have only a passing connection to Bob. So let’s just say, for the record, JON ALLEN is NOT the new Dylan! However it can be said without hyperbole that his music contains a natural link with Dylan’s: They both share influences that can be traced back to pop music’s birth in the 1940’s & 50’s with the collision of blues, jazz, soul, gospel & country.

Allen has toured with Damien Rice, KT Tunstall, Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris and Jose Gonzalez among others. “Mark Knopfler has very kindly offered to play guitar on one of my tracks called Sarah” says Allen who describes his own sound as “soulful, slightly gravelly voice and I’m into roots, blues and folk music.”

“The first music that really captured my imagination was The Beatles. At a friend’s house I found a copy of Sgt. Peppers on cassette. After I’d stretched that tape playing it constantly I went in search of the rest of The Beatles back catalogue. From there my interest spun off onto Led Zeppelin, then onto singer songwriters like Dylan, Neil young and Tom Waits. My parents bought me a 4 track recorder for my birthday one year and that really turned my interest on to the way that songs and arrangements were constructed, and the way the different instruments interact with each other. I started experimenting with recording myself, layering vocal harmonies and generally exploring the multi-track recording process.”

“When I finished college I thought it would be a good idea to get out of Devon. It had become a claustrophobically sleepy place and I wanted to be somewhere where there were other musicians and some kind of scene. I applied for and got a place on a degree course at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. During my time there I became a stronger and more focused songwriter. In my third year at LIPA one of my demos received a five star review in a magazine called ‘Making Music’. From that I got some offers of London Management so the decision to move there after graduation seemed natural.” Says Allen.

Friday 4th November


The Travelling Band’s shimmering blend of cosmic-country-pop, understated psychedelia, vocal harmonies and nu-folk has made them one of the most talked about artists to emerge from the Manchester music scene – “If you consider the term Mancunian Americana to be an oxymoron try listening to The Travelling Band. Brilliant.” Marc Riley BBC 6 Music.

A recording project in New York City in 2006 led a collective of like minded souls to record what was to become ‘Under The Pavement’, their debut studio album. Released two years later, the record was very well received by the UK media, gaining BBC Radio 6 ‘Album of The Day’, BBC Radio 2’s ‘Single of The Week’ and a featured song in the Ian Dury biopic ‘Sex Drugs & Rock n Roll’.

Thursday 24th November


THE GRANDE are a six piece band from Liverpool with their sound firmly immersed in Americana & Alt. Country whilst never forgetting their UK roots.

After the break-up of their previous band, lead vocalist Ben & drummer Phil Stevens set about puting together a band that would allow them to fully embrace the music that had influenced them so heavily since youth, with traces of Neil Young, The Band, James Taylor & Bob Dylan weaving thier way into The Grande's enduring melodies.

After months spent working tirelessly on Ben's new material their first port of call was to bring bassist Paul Davenport into the band followed soon after by lead guitarist Joel Lynch in late 2008. Early 2009 saw Melissa Parker join the band, instantly adding dusty, blues drenched vocals that shimmer throughout and provide the standout harmonies that are sure to set The Grande apart.

You might think you know what to expect from the record of a lad from Liverpool, who grew up on a council estate and got lost in music like so many others like him. But if you're thinking that NEVILLE SKELLY’S latest album draws upon The Beatles or The La's or anything like that, you'd be wrong. This particular lad draws from a different source, namely that of jazz, of crooners and of big bands. Neville's musical ancestors are not Lennon or McCartney, but Cole Porter and George Gershwin.

Much like the music contained within, the musical genesis of 'Poet The Dreamer' has been far from typical of the path trodden by most young Liverpool musicians. Or indeed, any modern British musicians. Neville cut his teeth not in the traditional dingy gig venues, but in working men's clubs, bars and cruise liners, and in a succession of big bands. This though, did not satisfy the young troubadour, and he returned home in search of something more personal, something musically deeper. He formed a friendship with some of Liverpool's most famous modern sons - The Coral - whose influence and encouragement to write led to a fresh batch of songs and a new, confident direction. Now, only now, Neville Skelly is ready.

The songs on 'Poet & The Dreamer' are drawn from over two decades of writing and are therefore, as you might expect, both varied and strong. The album takes the listener far from its performer's native Liverpool, placing its audience in a lush, melancholy soundtrack of their own imagination. Lap steel guitar glides next to gently strummed acoustic guitars, capturing a languid world-weary beauty. And above all of this, characterising these beautiful songs sits Skelly's winter dream of a voice. Conjuring a world of Cash and Sinatra filtered through a McCartney-esque ear for melody, these are songs which sound lived in, grown rather than simply written. It is testament to the writing on 'Poet and The Dreamer' that original songs like 'Will She Hold Another' (co-written with James Skelly) hold their own next to imaginative covers, like the audacious take on Eleanor Rigby, which is given a dream-like stamp all of Skelly's own.

Favourable reactions have already been forthcoming from MOJO magazine, Ian Broudie and a man you might know by the name of Noel Gallagher. Shortly, it will be your turn to sing his praises. Because make no mistake, Poet & The Dreamer is a simply classic record that will stand the test of time.

Friday 25th November


A new band project brings together some of the finest talent from the European blues scene. THE MOTIVES draw their musical inspiration from 40's New York, 50's Chicago and 60's London. January 2011 saw them take to the recording studio and their debut album is in the pipeline, scheduled for release in the late summer of 2011.

Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Matt Taylor has worked with a huge variety of artists in many genres from French superstar Patricia Kaas, Gary Barlow, Tony Hadley, Belinda Carlisle, Shelby Lynne, Lulu, Jamie Cullum, Shane McGowan to Joe Bonamassa,

Voted ‘Best Bass Player’ in the inaurgural 2010 British Blues Awards Andy Graham grew up in South Wales and did a degree in classical music but has always been happiest playing bass in a band. Playing with Ian Siegal since the mid '90s, he has been the constant in various band line-ups alongside Ian, playing all over Europe. He has also worked with Imogen Heap and Martine McCutcheon (playing with both at their Hyde Park performances for The Princes Trust in front of a crowd of 150,000), Grace Solero, Dana Gillespie, Lee Sankey's Cool Grey 5ives and international blues artists including Phil Guy and Sugar Blue, amongst others.

This project sees Matt collaborating once again with Snowy White Blues Project drummer Roy Martin. Matt and Roy met in 2003 whilst touring with Patricia Kaas with whom Roy has worked since 1997, traversing the globe many times. Prior to that Roy spent 5 years living in New York where he had the opportunity to work for a wide variety of artists including Aretha Franklin and David Sandborn. More recently he has been seen on the road and in the studio with Barclay James Harvest and Thea Gilmore and in the past has shared stages or studios with artists as diverse as Jack Bruce, Joan Baez and Robert Palmer.

Joining them is undoubtedly one of the UK’s best keyboard players, Jonny Dyke who first made his reputation with Brit-blues heroes Out of the Blue, going on to work with US bluesmen Larry Garner and Bob Kirkpatrick and the legendary Memphis Horns. Pop session work followed including appearances with Victoria Beckham and Dolly Parton, UK tours with Elkie Brooks and two world tours with Patricia Kaas, during which time he played in China, the USA and Russia including a performance for President Putin’s birthday at The Kremlin. Jonny has worked with folk-pop singer Amy Macdonald, Judie Tzuke Coco Montoya and the Ruf Records Blues Caravan. 2011 also saw him touring the UK with Ben E King and Gary US Bonds.

Liverpool band XANDER & THE PEACE PIRATES have played alongside Keith Richards, Steve Cropper, Jeff Beck and Albert Lee and supported Bon Jovi at Old Trafford stadium back in June.

Drawing influences from Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Bill Withers, Foy Vance and Stevie Ray Vaughn, the band is an eclectic mix of guitar lead blues-rock with whispers of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. With two superb vocalists, a lead guitarist with one arm, and performances to wow you his band is a must see.

Saturday 26th November


As the prime movers in the soul scene that emerged out of England's North West at the end of the 1980’s, THE CHRISTIANS were originally formed by three brothers Garry, Russell and Roger Christian, the band was simply their surname with absolutely no religious connection.

Along with other iconic bands, they brought a slicker, more sophisticated, soul sound to the charts at the end of that heady decade. Renowned for an acapella sound the band were compared to the Temptations.

Now Garry Christian is back, still sporting the Ray-Bans, the incredibly rich and sultry voice and the string of gorgeous songs that made a million women swoon. Expect the hits including Harvest For The World, Words, Hooverville, Forgotten Town and of course, the massive Ideal World.

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