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Date: Friday, 6th of August 2004 1091775600 (12 years 298 days ago)
Venue: The Labour Club (Website)
Event: Masters of Budvar present
Location: 95-97 Charles St Northampton England NN1 3BG
Admission: free
With

Poster

[poster for XX]

Notes

Jesse Morningstar and band - Curtis E. Johnson - Joe Woolley

Our headliner this month is Jesse Morningstar from Bristol. Formerly with The Moonflowers, Jesse is a multi-talented singer-songwriter and guitarist, who veers from folk to gospel to midnight-hued Tom Waits style blues and soul. His band features Portishead contributors Jim Barr and John Baggott as well as two soulful lady backing singers. His latest album, My Place In The Dust (D7 Recordings) was produced by John Parish of P.J. Harvey fame.

Also on the bill is Northampton's favourite baldhead, the mighty Curtis E. Johnson. Curtis is currently an artist in transition, developing a new electronic slant on his music. Although he has promised a guitar-based set, you would do well to expect one or two mental little surprises this night.

Opening the evening we have Long Buckby's own original beat lothario, the ever charming Joe Woolley. Cool acoustic stylings with elegant guitar and expertly weighted songwriting. If you like Neil Young, Kevin Ayers or early Bob Dylan, you're in luck.

Reviews for Jesse Morningstar's last album, My Place In The Dust:

MORNING STAR
My Place in the Dust

On My Place in the Dust, Morning Star delivers a dizzying collection of night music that would be comparable to a Morrissey Greatest Hits album if his work were half as accomplished. The album is the brainchild of Bristol native Jesse Vernon, who is backed by Jim Barr and John Baggott of the brilliant Portishead. Together, their songs place soul-rousing writing inside of atmospheres drawn from a Tom Waits dream of the afterlife. Never once flinching into pop accessibility, the album flows on a cloudy drone that peaks during the stellar fuzz of "This is For You" and ends with the rousing "Keepers of the Fire." So while the nu-crooner revolution may not exactly be at hand, My Place in the Dust at least makes a good case for it.

By Matt Charlton
Exclaim Magazine - June 4, 2003

and
MORNING STAR
My Place in the Dust (D7/Dep)

Produced by PJ Harvey and Sparklehorse collaborator John Parish, and assisted by Portishead's Jim Barr and John Baggott, Bristol's Morning Star (aka Jesse D. Vernon) connects classic '60s suave with the roots amalgam. Vernon's soft, subtle croon shuffles along with his slick, finger-snapping cool, with acoustic guitar, horns and strings lounging alongside lashings of flute, organ and accordion. Elsewhere, saloon blues and twangy ballads mix with echo-laden easy listening and ambient choirs, and all the loose ends and potentially disparate styles are beautifully wrapped up in a soft-focus shadowland. 8/10

By Lorraine Carpenter
Montreal Mirror - May 1, 2003

Pat Says

Once again a fine evening at the Labour. Almost too fine, in fact. Andy and I set up the PA and soundchecked the bands in blazing summer heat. Even as we did, it crossed our minds that nobody in their right mind would want to spend and evening like this crammed into a small club like ours. It would just be too uncomfortable.

All preparations made, we took Joe Woolley, Jesse Morningstar and his rhythm section for dinner, a brief moment of calm during which we ate tortelloni, learned important things about our guests and worked the Rizla accordingly. On our return to the Labour Club, we were disheartened to see that our fears had come true. There were about 8 people in the room, 6 of whom looked as though the last thing they needed was a dose of live music.

Twelve minutes later the room was full.

Joe was first up. His guitar sound is fuller and fatter than ever before, and it proved a worthy magic carpet on which to ride. With his smart new fabrics and classy, confident performance, Joe had the punters sitting up and paying attention to just how much he has been improving as a performer over the past few months.

Curtis E. Johnson simply arrived in the building, sat down, plugged in and started. Plenty of classic originals, delivered on electric guitar in a brash, no-nonsense style. A version of The Cockroach That Ate Cincinatti really got things stirred up, before our hero was joined onstage by Psychedelic Terry Walpole (The Only One Of Its Kind) for a raging rendition of the Incredible String Band's "Dear Old Battlefield". Against all the odds, the unlikely trichological twosome brought it off large-style and left the stage to warm applause.

Then a boy with looks like Buddy Holly and a voice like John Lennon takes the stage, toting a tiny nylon-string classical guitar. The first number (during which, I must confess, I managed to leave the introductory music still playing through the poor bastard's foldback!) was halting and a more than a little on the gloomy side. Them natives was restless. But as soon as the unwanted accompaniment was removed from the monitors, Jesse and his band began to weave real magic. Soul, gospel, folk and blues all passed through their ever-so-slightly wonky West Country culture filter, gradually drawing the audience in until they were grinning like fools. Their skills and inventiveness left people breathless as they showed just what a wide range of colours three individuals can conjour at one gig. An inspired version of "Tighten Up" secured an away win for the plucky Bristolian beatniks, and from then on it was disbelieving grins all the way, as Jesse and his boys layed encore after encore upon a delirious crowd.

Needless to say, the evening ended in moronically good-natured mayhem and Spanish champagne at Shakespeare Villas.

Jesse exceeded everybody's expectations. Next month we're featuring a really exciting band from Leeds called The Echo Chamber. Damn it, I'm living my life for one single night each month - but at least that night is Masters of Budvar.

Reviews

Hurrah!
Bit late to be reviewing this I know, but I've been on holiday...

Right. Got out of the car, having parked in NN1, just round the corner from the Labour Club... this bit of Nthmptn is strangely calm, serene even. I decide to take off my socks - how right I was, as it was a hot night and especially tropical in the club.

Stand awkwardly at the bar, as is the fashion in our hometown of Oxford. Joe Woolly plays his set as I set about some guinness... mmm... extra cold... *splutter* hang on a sec... She Belongs To Me? Opening with a Dylan song? Surely some mistake?

But, try as I might, I can't write off mr W after just one song, and the one he plays next is a beauty... there's something eternally 1965 about Joe, from his gently English voice to his almost-nervous demeanour... by the end of the set I'm quite won over.

The poet Terrence Walpole introduces Curtis' set with a rendition of his own unique take on The Lord's Prayer. My favourite line is "Deslither us from drivel".

The audience is now silent, wide-eyed and open-mouthed... Curtis plays a great set, accompanied only by his guitar. His songs are beautifully unusual - one is about Space Mining, another about the political situation in the far east, all performed with his sweet, souly voice. He finishes up by accompanying Terry through a cover of an Incredible String Band, though I couldn't tell you which one (I've only got the first 3 or 4 albums, see?). Marvellous. It was well worth coming up from 'ver Ox for just Joe, Curtis and Terry let alone the headliners.

...who were fantastic. I thought that I'd be able to slough off and concentrate on my guinness during Jesse Morningstar's set - how bloody wrong I was. Morningstar took us on a whistle-stop tour of most of the styles of music of the last 100 years and then rocked us so hard that, had I not taken my socks off beforehand, they would have been off my feet like a fucking shot...

Look, if you've been thinking about visiting the Masters of Budvar but haven't so far, it's time to stop dithering and just get over there. I don't think we can afford not to become regulars!

Credit: Matt from Jericho (Monday, 16th of August 2004 - 12 years 287 days ago)
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Masayuki Ichihara

Credit: tokyo japan (Friday, 27th of August 2004 - 12 years 276 days ago)
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