Robinson & Jak Raven at the Crown Inn, Worcester
So many great gigs doing the rounds, last weekend, but I plumped again for the Crown Inn at Bransford Road, St John's, Worcester which is rapidly becoming a little musical hotspot.
Kicking off tonight was Jak Raven whose punk-folky style owes a lot to Billy Bragg, The Pogues plus Al Baker and The Dole Queue - but most of all reminds me of the wonderful Beastly Boys who were one of the great local music acts of the mid-80's - now if they ever want to reform that'll be a gig-and-a-half! Jak Raven and his band, though, are a decent-enough bellow-along type of outfit of good-time geezers who I'm sure will get a whole lot tighter (and hopefully a bit less swearier) in the months and years to come.
Strange story of the week - I got talking between sets with Tyler Massey, who'd played the Globe Theatre in Hay-on-Wye the week before with his new project May Dolls - I mentioned that I'd been there a year, or so, ago during the HowTheLightGetsInFestival and seen one of my faves from 30 years ago Richard Strange - frontman of the Legendary Doctors Of Madness - apparently Colin Bentley (drummer with Tyler's band The Pull) in another life was Stoner - drummer with Doctors Of Madness - I think I can be forgiven for not picking that little local connection up straight away...another one for the Music Map?
The main act of the night was yet another incarnation of the ever-changing outfit that is Robinson - fresh from their rush-hour gig on the platform of St Pancras station in London a couple of days before. The core of the floating ensemble is Andy and fiddle-player John-Joe who uses his bow to conduct the crowd as they sing along to numbers like That Girl, England's Bleeding and the klezmer-ish You'll Never Be Her - a few appearances this year at some of the 'medium-sized' festivals under their belt - but surely next year they've got to play one of the biggies.