Month: May 2016


Tiny Ruins – The Harley, Sheffield 17.5.16

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Tiny Ruins – The Harley, Sheffield 17.5.16. L = Hollie Fullbrook, R = Hamish Kilgour. Picture by M.C.

by Michael Canning

Tiny Ruins played in Sheffield yesterday as part of their current European tour and they were a joy to behold with such an implicit sense of space and lightness of touch. It was a wondrous concert to have witnessed. Tiny Ruins just have the knack of creating work with fundamentally clear and resonant tonal colour. The first time I heard ‘Wandering Aengus’ from the ‘Hurtling Through’ EP it brought about a powerful surge of emotion that hit me in my throat and jaw. It was instantaneous and a potent reminder to what a powerful medium music can be. The German music theorist Hamel once wrote that tonal colour is achieved through a relative proportion of ‘upper sounds’ of a harmonic series which corresponds with corresponding parts of the body and our inner aspect.

Fullbrook utilised various tunings on her guitars and played them immaculately, her arpeggios literally glistening. Her beguiling and beautiful voice weaved effortlessly around the chord changes and the intrinsic space that an acoustic guitar provides. When Hamish Kilgour  took the stage for the second part of the set to play the songs from the Hurtling EP he played very minimally and softly on a drum kit, mostly leading on the kick drum. It was a very different form of playing to when I first saw him play with Bailter Space in 1988 yet just as graceful and filled with warmth.

The whole show seemed to pass by very quickly. Tiny Ruins had woven transcending musical spells. The last song was ‘Reasonable Man’, a request from an audience member. Fullbrook unplugged her guitar, moved away from the microphone, asked the audience to come closer, and played the piece acoustically. Her voice and guitar carried across in the space perfectly. She finished and left the stage to loud applause. It was an unexpected ending to an entrancing show of gentle and innately complete music.


Podcast 4. David Wolfenden. From the Pistols to beyond the Iron Curtain (part 2)

by Michael Canning

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Red Lorry Yellow Lorry at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 29.8.15. Wolfie on the left, Chris Reed in the centre and Ding on the right. (Pic. MC)

Episode 4 of the Sentient Seas podcast series is part 2 of an interview conducted with the Leeds based musician David Wolfenden aka ‘Wolfie’. Our conversation in this episode covers writing in the Lorries, the difference between playing in England and elsewhere, getting to New Zealand with the Mission, bumping into Alan Vega at the Danceteria in NYC 1985, Yugoslavia pre the collapse of the Iron Curtain, life in the cold war, the English press, favourite Lorries tune, the reality of life and artistic themes, psych-rock delights, the craft of the song and the economics of the playing within Tamla Motown.



Podcast 3. David Wolfenden – From the Pistols to beyond the Iron Curtain (part 1)

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Wolfie performing with Red Lorry Yellow Lorry at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 29.8.15 (Pic: MC)

by Michael Canning

Episode 3 of the Sentient Seas podcast series is part 1 of an interview conducted with the Leeds based musician David Wolfenden aka ‘Wolfie’. Wolfie began playing publically in 1978 with the Expelaires, then joined Red Lorry Yellow Lorry in 1983, and later played guitar for the Mission. Our conversation covers his background and first encounters with music, seeing the Sex Pistols at Leeds Polytechnic in late 1976 on the Anarchy tour, the Leeds music scene of the late 70’s, the path of the Expelaires, music as a language, top 5 artists, the MC5, and joining Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Part 2 of this interview is in episode 4.