Tag Archives: Lincoln

WARD THOMAS: THE ENGINE SHED, LINCOLN – LIVE REVIEW

Credible British country music artists tend to be somewhat thin on the ground but with the arrival on the scene of Hampshire based duo Ward Thomas, (made up of sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas) it certainly looks as though UK fans might have some top drawer home grown talent to cheer about for once. Call it the Nashville effect or the C2C effect, call it the Whispering Bob effect, but British country music is on the up.

Ward Thomas have two excellent albums to their names including Cartwheels, a UK number one album earlier this year, (and not the UK country charts either, the real proper chart), recorded in Nashville with Bobby Blazier and Chris Rodriguez, who have worked with Wynonna Judd and Shania Twain respectively and they have a deal with Sony who appear to be prepared to invest some serious effort in them. It’s pretty clear where Ward Thomas see their trajectory and it’s right up there where Taylor Swift is leading the way.

They certainly write terrific country pop songs, not those huge lumbering epics that some country artists prefer but sweet little songs about love and aspiration and their voices are superb, with just the right amount of heartache and Southern twang without it getting silly. So for my part their show at Lincoln Engine Shed on Thursday 25th May is about finding out whether they can carry it off live and the answer is that they can do it in style.

Extra security checks mean that we only get to see the last couple of songs from openers Wildwood Kin which is a shame because from what little we heard their harmonies were terrific, particularly on their cover of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Helplessly Hoping. They’ve got a packed schedule of summer festivals on the way and if you get the chance to see them you should definitely take it.

Whatever the little bit of magic is that turns country music into gold Ward Thomas have oodles of it and then some. They take turns at lead vocal and their four piece band are as sharp as you could wish and they switch between the Roadhouse style bluesy swingers and the softer ballad style numbers easily, performing an acoustic section mid show by way of variety.

Highlights include Town Called Ugley which recalls The Mamas & The Papas Creeque Alley, Cartwheels and the new single Material and they round the show off with Push For The Stride, the opening track from 2014’s From Where We Stand, probably the first Ward Thomas song that many of the crowd tonight heard and just about the perfect way to finish. It’s a song full of platitudes, I’ll give you that, but it’s a song that gets even the most curmudgeonly of us, (that would be me), tapping their toes and as we leave we’re all smiling and singing as we scour the pavement for an authentic looking stalk of corn to chew on.

Lincoln Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival

Blues

Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack top the bill for a fantastic day of blues at The Engine Shed

There’s a terrific line up at the 3rd Lincoln Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival which takes place at The Engine Shed on Sunday 15th May.

Topping the bill are the always excellent Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack, firm favourites of rock and blues fans everywhere! Webb put the first incarnation of the band together back in 1965 and they’ve been playing, with some variations in the line up, ever since. They show no sign of slowing down, continually touring the UK and Europe to packed houses and rave reviews. In 1997 Stan received the Blue Heart Award for services to Blues in Germany, the previous recipient had been BB King. During his career Webb has played and recorded with the very best, including, Stevie Wonder, Howling Wolf, Taj Mahal, Peter Green and Canned Heat, whom he joined on guitar for a UK tour following the departure of the band’s guitarist…………what else is there to say!

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The bill will also includes –

Corky Laing – legendary Mountain drummer, songwriter, singer and raconteur.

The Stevie Nimmo Trio – featuring one half of Scotland’s highly respected Nimmo Brothers. Stevie Nimmo has been a well known and respected figure throughout the blues and roots world for over 20 years!

Albany Down – with their stripped-down-to-the-waist no nonsense rock and roll mixed with a bit of R&B, jazz and funk, all with a heartfelt vintage sensitivity and contemporary aggressive energy!

Red Butler – winners of the UK Blues Challenge in 2015, this year will see the band represent the UK in competition with 20 other European countries, at the 6th European Blues Challenge in Italy!

The Rainbreakers – a melting pot of musicianship, blending classic blues with modern styles.

Tickets are available via www.lincolnbluesfestival.co.uk, at The Engine Shed or at Solid Entertainments in Wellowgate, Grimsby. There’s also a card hotline, details on the poster opposite.

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This feature also appears in The Peoples Issue 41 Web Edition