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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Bella Hardy and O'Hooley & Tidow do rock'n'roll

Mostly this is a photo essay of Sam Lee's Nest Collective gig at The Old Queen's Head in Islington last night, where Bella Hardy & Ewan Macpherson played alongside O'Hooley and Tidow. They'd all driven a long way to get there but it was properly memorable.

And not just for the music...

For early on in the set, which was two mini ones by O'Hooley and Tidow, sandwiching a longer one by Hardy & Macpherson, Belinda O'Hooley became so passionately involved with her piano that the instrument - let's call him Roland - crashed to the floor in a rock'n'roll moment that excited a competitive streak in the others.

"I'm going to wait until the end of our set before smashing my guitar up," volunteered Macpherson indicating the back wall.

"And I'm going to smash my fiddle over my own head," added Hardy in a spirit of one-up-manship that showed the big city had certainly raised her blood. You go girl!

Fortunately there was a spare stand and O'Hooley and Tidow were able to return to their first number, Hidden from the Sun, without causing any further alarm among the more conservative members of the audience.

Or perhaps that was her.

Anyway, David Firn, of the camera, had only just arrived when the piano smashing incident happened and I was afraid he was getting entirely the wrong idea about this folk music stuff, what with all the loud noises and sudden movements. But then he went and took these pictures, which have a kind of loving quality to them, I think.

That's Bella H in the foreground. They are his copyright, although if anyone's looking for a photographer I'll take the credit for having discovered him when he was only a struggling editor at the Financial Times.

I should say that there was also an appearance by Tom Paley,

whose fiddles those are, tuned differently from each other - in case you wondered why he needed two. And that in a weirdly prophetic moment David took this one of Bella's feet

which is both a reflection of his wide-ranging and artistically literate interest in ladies' shoes (honest) and a throw-forward to my next blog post.

They're waiting for it avidly (isn't that a great pic?)

A search was undertaken for a version of Mein Deern on YouTube to insert here because it's my favourite song from their last album, The Fragile, but all I could find was this. And I find myself wondering: is it really possible that there is a Mein Deern ringtone? Really?

So here's Gentleman Jack instead.

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