Live Review: Goldheart Assembly with The Shooting Of… and Cattle and Cane at Newcastle Cluny – 22nd October 2013

By on Wednesday, 30th October 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Local troubadour Paul Jeans has had more musical lives than a cat, and opens proceedings tonight with his most recent incarnation, The Shooting Of… featuring just him on acoustic guitar and piano (not at the same time), and drums (at the same time!). There’s a morbid edge to his songwriting, with one song about a serial killer, and another probing the inner workings of a terrorist’s brain. Despite the sometimes uncomfortable subject matter, the music is upbeat and catchy: ‘Captain Of My Soul’ brings things back to a more conventional topic and is the standout song tonight. Jeans is always good value as a superlative songwriter and multi-instrumentalist; one wonders how many more skins he must shed before the world wakes up to his charms.

The Shooting Of... Newcastle live

Cattle and Cane are from the rock metropolis of Middlesbrough, but clearly aspire to sound as if they’ve never left Tennessee. Appropriately enough, they’re all related to each other, further reinforcing their backwoods/backwards credentials. Even though they are capable of radio-friendly country-influenced pop-rock, occasionally they manage to conjure a brew so heady it wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack of a remade Deliverance, the stunning vocal pairing of Joe and sister Helen Hammill melt together like two candles on a sunlit porch, there’s twangy Fender action and even an enthusiastically-bowed fiddle at the end. All the appropriate genre boxes are faithfully ticked, and when set highlight ‘The Poacher’ comes to a climactic end, the question on every sensible member of the audience should be – can Goldheart Assembly top that?

Cattle & Cane Newcastle live

To which the answer is – yes, but with a sidestep into more considered, perhaps even self-confidently aloof territory, rather than the genre-led intensity of the previous act. There’s a strong reliance on harmonies, with the vast majority of the lead vocal lines shared in an intimate bromance between James Dale and John Herbert – indeed, the whole performance relies on their rapport. That, and Dale’s habit of standing on one leg, a habit not seen since the glory days of Jethro Tull. This isn’t a performance for those looking for the ultimate in excitement – everything is very civilised, with the occasional whiff of gentleman’s club (and not the raunchy kind either). At one point Dale gently heckles the audience, whilst gently sipping from a cup and saucer – no risk of a G ‘n’ R-style Jack Daniels breakfast for these chaps.

However, what may seem a little tame from a rock ‘n’ roll perspective does suit the easy-going yet complex material. Old favourites like ‘So Long St. Christopher’ still sound fresh; there’s a decent selection from excellent début album ‘Wolves And Thieves’, including ‘Hope Hung High’ and set-climaxing ‘King Of Rome’, along with the expected inclusions from recent release ‘Long Distance Sound Effects’. The sound does roughly belong in the folky-rocky camp, which description could apply to a great number of new acts around at the minute, but the songwriting is top drawer, complex yet supremely listenable and laden with melody and hooks, which makes them stand above the crowd of also-rans. In summary, then, this is a thinking man’s band, perhaps themselves no stranger to the pages of The Chap magazine, who appreciate a lovely melody or two. All washed down with a nice cup of Earl Grey.

Goldheart Assembly Newcastle live

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6 Responses

2:03 pm
30th October 2013

Live Review: Goldheart Assembly with The Shooting Of… and Cattle and Cane at Newcastle Cluny – 22nd October 2013: http://t.co/si278BrAP1

2:16 pm
30th October 2013

New post: Live Review: @GHAmusic with The Shooting Of… and @cattleandcane @ Newcastle @thecluny – 22nd October 2013 http://t.co/si278BrAP1

2:33 pm
30th October 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Live Review: @GHAmusic with The Shooting Of… and @cattleandcane @ Newcastle @thecluny – 22nd October 2013 http://t.co…

2:54 pm
30th October 2013

Review by There Goes the Fear Blog of our Last Show http://t.co/Yu52s4HojX

6:56 pm
30th October 2013

Live Review: Goldheart Assembly with The Shooting Of… and Cattle and Cane at Newcastle Cluny – 22nd October 2013

http://t.co/Vtsp9VuL1o

10:48 am
31st October 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: Goldheart Assembly with The Shooting Of… and Cattle and Cane at Newcastle Cluny – 22nd October 2013: http://t.co/s…

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