Washington Irving @ The Basement In York 28th July 2011


We here at The Northern Line have decided to hi-jack this phrase as our own. We know it was the catch phrase for Postcard Records in the early 80s who brought us great Scottish bands like Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and Josef K. Well, this week we have seen two great new Scottish bands; Admiral Fallow at the Deershed on Saturday and Washington Irving in York last night. Added to those two are The Last Battle and Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers and we have a new wave of young Scottish bands drunk on Irn Bru, waving acoustic guitars like young Roddy Frame’s.

The Basement is a fantastic little venue in the beautiful city of York. It is situated in the City Screen Complex on the banks of the river Ouse. It holds about 100 but was nowhere near full which was a great shame as there was plenty of talent on show. The sound was superb and the bar well stocked. Great atmosphere from all support groups who stayed to support Washington Irving. I’m sure they are glad they did.

PLANS: An acoustic duo who we only caught the end of. They did give away free CDs at the end so we’ve got to say nice things about them. A bit Stephen Fretwell (good) a bit Snow Patrol (bad).

JOHN STAMMERS: Great guitarist, lovely voice but needs to be a bit more communicative with his audience. We didn’t even know who he was without looking at the poster. Reminded me of Elliott Smith mixed with a bit of John Denver. Some lovely tunes and some brilliant guitar playing. A name to look out for.

JAMES LAWES: A game of two halves!!!! He began as a solo, acoustic guitar wielding troubadour. And I enjoyed his set. A gruff voice with interesting lyrics and a bit of a swagger. Then just as most were begining to think he’d finished he brought on a full band who launched into a Miles Kane cover. Now I like Miles Kane. I enjoyed James’ solo set and his band sounded ok but why? Why play a set longer than the main artist. Why introduce the band two thirds of the way through? Questions, questions, questions……..

WASHINGTON IRVING: This was the third time that I’ve seen these young upstarts from over the border and I’m already looking forward to the fourth time. Next Saturday (6th August) at the after show gig at The Georgian Theatre as part of the Stockton Weekender. Don’t miss it as these boys (and a girl) are superb. Great tunes, lovely musicianship, great people and a real love of what they’re doing. Despite the small audience Joe managed to cajole everyone into moving forward, standing up, even dancing by the end. Their infectious enthusiasm spread throughout the crowd and I’m sure everyone was wanting more by the end. 10 songs is not enough. Highlights a-plenty; latest single Abbey Gallop was speeded up from the studio version but better for it. Sisi and Islands from the first EP are absolute classics but my favourite was a stirring version of Dear Liza. Kept till last it finished off a great set and we were lucky enough to catch it on film. (link below)

As I’ve said I cannot wait for the show next week brought to you by The Kids are Solid Gold, who also organised our trip to York. A big thanks to Andy Carr for both. Get your tickets soon as it may well sell out. (Bear Driver are on as well) This is after the main event with Maximo Park, Cast etc. See our feature from a few days ago and snap up those tickets. The Kids are Solid Gold have more great events coming up in the Autumn and we will be doing a special feature on all of those events so keep your eyes peeled.


DEAR LIZA (on YouTube):         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44xw8bzodFI

WASHINGTON IRVING:          http://www.myspace.com/washingtonirvingband

JAMES LAWES:                          http://www.myspace.com/jameslawesmusic

JOHN STAMMERS:                   http://www.myspace.com/johnstammers

PLANS:                                               http://www.planstbc.co.uk/

THE BASEMENT:             http://www.thebasementyork.co.uk/

STOCKTON WEEKENDER:      http://www.stocktonweekender.co.uk/

THE KIDS ARE SOLID GOLD:       http://www.thekidsaresolidgold.co.uk/

By peter on July 29, 2011

Check out all the pics

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