Haunted Highway Tour
Edinburgh, The Caves, September 24th 2015
Well the first night of The Daintees Haunted Highways Tour, and what a great
night. The venue is one of the more unique venues in Edinburgh, and the
sound reflected the intimate surroundings. The band launched into some old
favourites from Boat to Bolivia and Gladsome, with a few from the new album,
which fitted well in the set. Oh, and it wouldn't be a Daintees gig without
a few stories casually thrown in from Martin, to an appreciative audience,
including local author, Ian Rankin.
It's a short journey to Glasgow for tonight's gig at Oran Mor. Tickets
available at the door.
Glasgow, Oran Mor, September 25th 2015
Day two of the Haunted Highway see The Daintees play to a near capacity
Oran Mor. If Edinburgh was good last night, the band seem to step up a gear,
perhaps slightly intimidated by the good natured Hen Party assembled at the
front of the stage.
torming versions of Slaughter Man, Crocodile Cryer precede a first airing of
Stanstead Ground. An encore of Duck Billed Blues, complete with guest
Donald Duck vocals, before Wholly Humble Heart with Monica Queen on
backing vocals ends the gig.
Tonight it's The Sage, Gateshead. Some tickets are available on the door.
Gateshead, The Sage, September 26th 2015
Saturday evening sees what can only be described as a “home”’ gig at The Sage,
Gateshead. From the load in, sound-check, staff, everything is done to such a level
of professionalism; it really does make it a joy to play.
Helen McCookerybook kicks off the evening with a set of songs, precise playing,
wonderful singing including a lovely version of Love on The Wind, before finishing
with Heaven Avenue. After the interval, Martin and The Daintees take to the stage.
It’s a different set from the raucous night in Glasgow the previous day, perhaps
reflecting the more, let’s say, salubrious surroundings. That’s not to say, songs such
as Tremolo Men, Running Water, Salutation Road, Neon Skies were out of place
amongst Slaughter Man, Colleen. A version of Rain with just Martin on guitar was
well received, before the encore of Wholly Humble Heart, and finally a poignant
version of Home, were thoughts of Martin’s dad who is in deteriorating health.
On Sunday, Martin found time to call into BBC Radio Leeds to record an interview
and play a few songs live in the studio, which can be heard by clicking on this link.
This coming week sees gigs in Leeds on Wednesday, Sheffield on Thursday,
Bury on Friday and Liverpool on Saturday.
Tickets for all these can be purchased from:
http://www.daintees.co.uk/#!gigs/c6w8 or will be available on the door.
Sheffield, Greystones, October 1st 2015
I have lost count of the number of times I have seen Martin play, but it is a
stupidly large number. I was chatting with his good buddy and fellow fan Pete
Ollerenshaw afterwards, who reckons he has seen MGS play over 100 times, and
we were in agreement that this may well have been the best of them all. In a
lovely little seated venue with circa 120 folk, the night got off to a great start
with Danielle Howle’s support set. A very special, engaging performer with a
great voice, she is way too good to be doing support slots. The audience loved
her to bits. Then Martin, John, Chris and Kate kicked off a 2 hour 20 minute set
with Neon Skies and Tremelo Men, from the pen of a teenage MGS. The set
went all over the place after that from Boat To Bolivia/Gladsome classics to a
cover of the Pistols’ Submission…but all along there was a an emotional
undercurrent that kept all on stage very focused…and really came out when
Martin asked for the house lights to be switched on as he dedicated Rain to his
recently departed Dad Alfie. The stories and laughs at his own and the audiences
expense were all there but really took second place to other, deeper feelings.
I’ve still never seen any other performer who can make me laugh out loud and
then have a bit of dust in my eye within the space of a couple of minutes.
And all with the finest band in the land.
The Daintees are at Bury, The Met tonight and Liverpool, Arts Club on Saturday.
Bury, The Met, October 2nd 2015
A lovely drive over the tops from Sheffield, to Lancashire, well Greater Manchester,
but you get the feeling Bury prefers it’s Lancashire status. No time to check out the
historic market or purchase some black pudding for which the town is renown, as it’s
sound check time at The Met, and what a lovely venue it is. Situated in the heart of
Bury, the former town hall retains all the Victorian features, although the more recent
history now relating more to the arts and music, the venue playing host to the now
infamous Joy Division riot in 1980.
Danielle Howle kicks of the evening with a wonderful set of songs, making full use of
dynamics, both with voice and acoustic guitar. If you’re hoping to see The Daintees
later in Liverpool tonight, you really must catch Danielle’s performance.
Martin and the band take to the stage to an expectant, sold out auditorium. Songs
culled largely from Bolivia, and Gladsome, the now finely drilled band run are as tight
as ever, although John finds time to give Martin an on-stage guitar lesson on how to
play the solo in Colleen. Martin’s voice, despite suffering slightly from man flu, is as good as I've heard it, perhaps responding to a receptive audience, but Rain is a stand out tonight. A 12” version of ‘In Love for the First Time’ ends the set, before the encore of Slaughterman.
It’s on to Liverpool tomorrow. This is an early finish as the venue has a curfew of 10.00 so Martin and The Daintees will be on stage at 8.30pm. Tickets available on the door.
Liverpool, Arts Club, October 3rd 2015
Date number seven on the Haunted Highway tour, and a short trip down the M62
to The Arts Club in Liverpool. As the venue doubles as a club as well as gig venue,
we are all aware of the 10.00pm curfew, and the necessary prompt start, and strict
stage times. Danielle kicks off proceedings, and although many of the audience
choose to remain in the bar downstairs, she delivers a fine set, highlighting her
extraordinary strong voice.
By the time Martin and The Daintees take to the Arts Club stage, the standing only
venue is packed to the rafters. I think the playing at this gig is perhaps the strongest
so far, which bodes well for the remaining three shows from the tour. Although the
gig has to finish at 10.00pm prompt, Martin still has time between songs for the
usual stories, to admonish the bar staff and their ever present bottle smashing.
Danielle joins the Daintees half way through for an unprompted, unrehearsed song,
which is a delight, as she is due to fly home to the States on Monday, with Helen
McCookerybook taking over support slot duties for the last leg of the tour.
Running Water closes the show, before Hobo Trains ends the gig. Well half of
Catch the band on the last leg of the tour at Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
on Thursday, Hope & Ruin Brighton on Friday, and Marlow Studio Canterbury on
Saturday. Tickets will be available on the door at each venue,
Birmingham, Hare and Hounds, October 8th 2015
“Where’s the set list John?” Asked the man in the hat.
“Somewhere in 1985” answered the man with the Telecaster…
And so it began – and stayed – largely in the canon of the Daintees' first two seminal albums and preceding years. And why not? There were absolutely no complaints from the 100 or so faithful who lapped up every note, every hilarious story and every heart string plucked through the ensuing couple of hours.
Proceedings were kicked off with a rollicking rendition of ‘Neon Skies’ penned by a 15 year old Martin, followed by the equally bouncy homage to Sunderland’s punk scene in ‘Louis', a name checking ditty roll calling the café hang out of the same name. Away from his own extensive catalogue, was the sublime sunshine reggae splash of Helen McCookerybook’s 'In Love for the First Time' Get well soon Helen :)
Over the ensuing set, there were delicious helpings of gladsome, copious amounts
of humour and, touchingly, a broad brush of blue in 'The Old Church', ‘Home' and ‘Rain’.
This clutch of songs were read for Martin’s parents who will no doubt be looking down
on their lad thinking, “He’s not too shabby at this song writing lark is he!”
“My dad liked this one”, said Martin teeing up the 'Old Church is Still Standing’ - “He
thought all my others were shite!"
Such are the joyful idiosyncrasies of Mr Stepehenson, that only one tune is outed from
the album whose name they are touring under (lol). A rip roaring 'Hobo Trains' signalled
how bloody good this band are – John, Kate and Chris were totally on the money on all
night. Hats off Daintees!
Amongst the last tunes of the night was “Wholly Humble Heart” – a sentiment that
sums up this fella and his band perfectly.
Get to the last couple of shows if you can peeps, you won’t be disappointed. Tickets for
Brighton on Friday and Canterbury on Saturday will be available on the door.