If I had to compile a list of ‘top events I’ve looked forward to in 2013’, this would be fairly high up on the list. Certainly single figures. Two of my fave local acts of all time (it may well be three by the end of the night – I’ve not see Samantha Smith before) are playing a one off, special gig in a superb venue.
Karl is incredible – one man and a guitar – a format we’ve seen millions of times before, so for someone to shine, they’ve got to be doing something ultra special – and he is. Fast and powerful pick, slap, stab and thumps on the guitar with delicate yet clinically precise, haunting vocals. Described by MOJO as a Harrogate metaphysical Pop Poet delivering Dazzling acoustic guitar. I can see where they are coming from. Gob smacking stuff. Here’s an example : including Ashley on bass (who incidentally, only cited as a small world reference, I went to art college with.. ).
The lure of Poland has kept Karl away from regular gigs in Harrogate for a while now so hopefully, it’ll have a bit of a homecoming vibe to it.
Supporting Karl is the Portishead meets PJ Harvey on Jazz esque Dragonfly Tattoo who I waxed lyrical about in this blog post a while ago. In the piece, I warbled on about a Sorcer Full of Secrets styled film that film maker Andrew Lugg had created for one of Dragonfly’s songs. Turns out, this has now made it onto the interTubes:
I was speaking to the promoter – Graham Chalmers – about the event, in particular to the ‘unknown quantity’ of Samantha Smith. Graham told me “Samantha is sort of feisty soul, quite modern, she’s the contrast between Karl and Dragonfly Tattoo” which sounds like the icing on the cake if you ask me.
The venue is perhaps the cleanest sounding and most seriously good place to listen to live music in Harrogate – The studio at the top of the the theater. I’ve played there and it’s quite nerve racking. The bar is a whole floor away. Any live music room that doesn’t have a bar in it has a triple fold effect on the proceedings. Firstly, you get an attentiveness that you don’t get if there’s a bar in the room – without the competing focal point distraction, people lock into the music heart, soul, eye and ear. Secondly, you don’t get the noise of clink and hum of “did you want ice with that?” type ambiance. Thirdly, it gives the room a tension – as audience and musicians alike (perhaps this is just my own experience) have got the slight withdrawal edge of being away from the activity center of a social crutch that is a venue bar. You’re out on your own kids – just you and the music. Enjoy.
It’s this Saturday – it’ll be two thumbs fresh – Tickets are an utter bargain at just £4. Click here to visit the page on the Harrogate Theater website where you can buy An Evening with Karl Culley tickets. Go on.