kick the plug

Kick The Plug February 4th 2009 w/ Birdengine + Blacklands + Rodney Fisher
January 19, 2009, 5:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

feb09_eposterFollowing on from the oddity that was the January show (two bands canceled on the day, but we still put on a good show!) Kick the Plug returns triumphantly to Clerkenwell’s Wilmington Arms. This time around we present sparse nu-folk from the excellent Birdengine with Rodney Fisher & his band, and Blacklands performing material from their brand new EP recorded in a shed in the North Yorkshire Moors,
Expect musical brilliance, with culinary treats and badges aplenty, with musical interludes provided by Mark and Tom of Neednowater.

Here’s some additional info on the acts:

Birdengine is Lawry Joseph Tilbury who comes from a tiny village in Dorset called Winterbourne Steepleton. This is dark and sinister nu-folk from the backwoods of deepest Dorest. Accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, tape crackle and the occasional snatch of birdsong, Birdengine’s murmured vocals tell tales of strangeness and charm, darkness and mystery.

“Tilbury displays the same quiet understatement and backwards weirdness as Bonnie ‘prince’ Billy, but transposed to Dorset. Listening to I fed Three Rabbit Water is like visiting a museum of curiosities packed with shelves of malformed foetuses and two-headed dogs pickled in jars; the songs are full of rustic-mythic weirdness, with Tilbury singing about dead mermaids, feral children, “beast folk” and sewing his eyelids shut”
Andy Gill, The Independent

“nervy pastoral loneliness and recorded entirely on 4-track cassette – is a reminder of how much of an intrusion digital meddling with music can be; the birdsong on *The Evil Twin* sounds as far from affectation as it could be. There’s a witchy weirdness to this all – titles like *You Gave Birth To A Horse* give that away – but it’s a very beautiful record”
Joe Muggs, Word Magazine

Blacklands  is Al Murphy & his revolving roster of musicians: James Knowles (guitar, engineering), Ed Shipley (Bass), Jamie Bridson (Drums), Jonny Ogle (Vocals and harmonica) and Tom Syson (guitar). Al has been making music on the side since 2000 whilst carving out an incredibly successful career as an illustrator, finally producing the delightful first official release The Wytchwood EP.

Under their former moniker Murphy Kid & The Bad Luck Band they’ve shared the same bill as Bob Dylan, Athlete, and Tunng. On re-launching as Blacklands last year they played a triumphant come back show with Sons of Noel and Adrian, to be followed by more live shows in the upcoming months with artists including Alessi’s Ark and Birdengine amongst others.

Traditionally Al would self-record in the garden shed of his sister’s house. These new tracks, however, were written in Berlin (where Al went for 3 months and came back a year later) and recorded on the North Yorkshire Moors, in an old farmhouse where Al got to live out his American Werewolf In London fantasies. Ever the nomad, Al is soon to be packing up and roaming again, this time returning to New York to pedal his wears and sing for his supper.

Rodney Fisher

Its almost as if Johnny Cash met Don Henley in an alleyway one dark night, they both cut their thumbs with boy scout penknives and made a lifetime commitment to writing tunes together in the lyrical style of Smogs Bill Callahan. For all the lyrical and musical turnings Rodney takes you never once lose interest because you feel you are in safe hands and that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will be full. This is because Rodney serves the songs, finding out how they want to be presented and then doing just that. To put it simply, hes in it for the long haul, in the business of turning out instant classics.

“a gentle brand of folk music-gossamer-like songs lifted by a sympathetic five-piece combo and Mr. FisherÂ’s fragile voice…
… Mr. Fisher and his troupe have a humble, winning presence. At one point, he tried to move across the stage and inadvertently bumped into a trumpet at its player’s lips. At the song’s end, he shook the trumpet player’s hand. ‘We’re having fun,’ he said to the audience. ‘Thanks for being so quiet.’ ”
– Jim Fusilli (The Wall Street Journal)