Sunday, 24 May 2015

Live in 2015: Blair Dunlop live at The Convent on Sunday 24th May 2015 - via NetGig

Tonight was an opportunity to catch one of the UK's best young talents. I could not get there in person but The Convent have a series of live broadcast gigs and this was one I wasn't going to miss.

Having produced two sublime albums in 2012's Blight & Blossom and 2014's House Of Jacks, Blair is playing tracks from both albums on this current tour.

Support for the evening was Australian Jack Carty, whom Blair met while touring over there last year. With a strong voice and a good ear for a tune, you can see why Blair wanted him to come over to support him on several gigs on this tour.

I've loved Blair's music since I first heard the Blight & Blossom album, which still gets regular plays in Fleet Towers 3 years on. 

Joining him on this gig were his regular keyboard /backing vox Jacob Stoney and percussionist Fred Claridge.

The show open with gorgeous The Station from House Of Jacks. Right from the off, Blair shows just what an accomplished guitarist he has become and showcases his skills several times throughout tonight's show.

Blight & Blossom has some really beautiful love songs but the opening track Secret Theatre, is about the Shakespearean author Christopher Marlowe and proves that Blair is growing as an accomplished lyricist as well as a guitarist.

We could see this growing lyrical talent tonight were two of the highlights of House Of Jacks are two songs about a night club called 45s - one song based in the 1960s & one based in 2014.

Both were played in this show, and they have lost none of their lyricism and beauty in their live presentation.

The band then left the stage for Blair to perform a small acoustic set which included the stunning title track of Blight & Blossom and 50 Shades Of Blue, one of the gentler moments from House Of Jacks.

However, tonight wasn't all about the first two albums as Blair has decided to include some of his new songs which may well find their way onto album number 3. These included a recently revealed song, She Won't Cry For Me.

The first time I saw Blair live he was quite quiet and somewhat introverted but he has come out of his shell somewhat for this tour and his interaction with the audience tonight was a joy. Let's see more of this please Blair.

Two more new tracks followed (sorry, but I don't know the track names) but both were excellent which bodes well for the new album, before we came to the second 45 song, 45s 69 - the more uplifting of the two tracks.

Blair is never shy of producing a cover and in the past has covered the likes of Nic Jones and Jackson Browne but for tonight's encore he covered a track by a band called Lake Street Dive called Bad Self Portraits and urged the audience to check them out - so here they are. 

The band then left the stage for Blair to return with yet one more new song called No Go Zones - very hard hitting and topical.

And the very last song was the lovely Fallout from Blight & Blossom

 Blair Dunlop once again proved what an excellent musician and songwriter he is - growing in stature from year to year and album to album. with a growing catalogue of songs to choose from, the future is bright for Mr Dunlop. And more power to him.





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