Oh good ale, you are my darlin’

Fanfare / 7th March, 2014

mannWhat a night, the stars must have been aligned. Three top flight acts all squeezed into Ipswich ale monastry St. Judes for a night of avant folk and folly.

Hats off to the tiny St. Judes, they really know how to run a town pub, it’s full of a psychedelic array of characters quaffing the best selection of hops that Ipswich has to offer, current recommendation – Pot Belly, Pigs Do Fly. You get a lovely sense of connection and community here, artists, bikers, boat builders, makers, dogs, people with names I cannot pronounce, folk even talk to each other, what a novelty.

The evening was put on by the local Antigen crew, home of the mighty Dead Rat Orchestra and torchbearers of taste. First up was a duo of DRO’s Nathaniel Robin Mann with Nick Castell (pictured). They delivered a set of interlocked harmonies plundering the Peter Bellamy and Copper Family songbooks, all tightly crafted revival tunes with more than a sprinkling of tension. Bob and Ron Coppers ‘Oh Good Ale’ was a highlight. Nathaniel Robin Mann is currently working as artist in residence at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford on a new sonic adventure, a piece of meat cleaver music ‘Rough Music’.

Next up was Sef the musical alias of Madrid based Christian Fernández Mirón. This was pin drop stuff from a very gifted performer, think Tim Buckley in a tiny room. His performance was so warm and intimate, a real privilege to have witnessed. I had no previous knowledge of Sef and on paper I may have passed him by, but I’ll be keeping an ear to the ground for any return visits to these shores. He has his fingers in many artistic pies so I’ll be digging around for more.

The night was drawn to a blood curdling close by the dark insanity of The Doomed Bird of Providence. Like a seasick latter day Scott Walker, swilling in an ocean of fuzz guitar and accordian murder ballads. I’d missed the humour on record but their demented charisma was captivating. Death Shanties of collonial Australian convicts in a pub in Ipswich anyone? Why of course.

A magical mystery evening, well oiled and with very good company. One to repeat. Until the next time, here’s a little Sef to play you out…

Sef – Your Car from Christian Fernández Mirón on Vimeo.

Posted by: Forte