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Posts Tagged ‘Neil McSweeney’

There was certainly an early present for anybody who was lucky enough to be at The Greystones with us last night for a typically fine show from Otis Gibbs. Thanks to Otis and Paul McClure for a great opening set, plus of course all of you who joined us.

WagonWheel Presents… has one more show to go for 2018, Friday November 16th finds us back at The Greystones with Stoney and Neil McSweeney. It will certainly be something special to round the year off. You can find a full preview for this show here, or grab yourself a ticket here to guarantee your place. See you there?

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On Friday November 16th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Stoney to The Greystones for a long overdue Sheffield headline show. Stoney will be accompanied by a small troupe of excellent local musicians for a stripped back and intimate show, revisiting some of the more tender moments from his extraordinary and eclectic body of work spanning 15 years, in addition to debuting brand new songs to be released in the new year on Hudson Records. Support comes in the shape of Stoney’s long time pal, Neil McSweeney; one of Sheffield’s finest songwriters, and award winning Newcastle singer/songwriter Cortney Dixon. Advance tickets priced at £10 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/449803 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the night will be £12. Doors open 7.45pm.

 

***STONEY***

It’s astonishing to think that it’s been 12 years since Stoney’s much celebrated genre-defying debut “The Scene & The Unseen” was first released – it’s a testament to the timelessness of Mark Stoney’s unique songwriting & production talent that it still sounds fresh today. The highly eclectic record established the precocious multi-instrumentalist as a prominent if peripheral figure in the “New Yorkshire” Scene (as the NME then labelled it) and his reputation as an exciting live performer found him frequently frequently sharing the stage with a diverse range of artists ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Laura Marling. 

Stoney’s keen ear for classic melody combined with unique production and a sharp lyrical potency opened doors for the gifted indie juggernaut on both sides of the Atlantic; and following a performance at the SXSW festival in 2008, Stoney left Sheffield and hopped the pond to set up home and studio with “Some quirky poet and painter friends” in a rickety old house in Austin, Texas. However, what was expected to be “a year or two of sunshine” to work on new material turned into seven. During this time, a musical diversion led Stoney to co-found the much lauded high energy “Dirt-Pop” trio Bobby Jealousy, who released two critically acclaimed albums, and toured the US extensively for two years.

Stoney describes this period as “an exhilarating, volatile, beautiful, ugly and unsustainable mess that imploded as quickly as it arose”.Reeling a little following the demise of the band, Stoney resumed work once again on his next full solo album, and things started to take a darker, albeit more sophisticated turn; poetically documented in his last full length release, the fearlessly passionate “More Than Animals”.  Combining hauntingly beautiful lyrics, soaring melodic arrangement and profoundly intimate vocals, the record was met with a flurry of critical praise upon it’s Stateside release and led to many major US film & TV placements. But with his personal life in array, it was to also bookmark the end of his time in Austin.

“To cut a long story short; at the end of 2014 I left Austin very much a broken man. I returned to Sheffield alone with my marriage over and just a suitcase and a guitar. I cringe a little at the cliche of that, but it’s true. I was in a lot of pain, causing a lot of pain and drinking to oblivion. I’d also developed severe carpal tunnel that rendered my fingers numb if I tried to play for more than a few minutes at a time, and making music, my primary channel of release and expression started to became increasingly synonymous with sheer frustration. I was rudderless and a bit of a sorry mess.” 

“…The last 3-4 years for me have been about rehabilitation, spiritually, mentally and physically.. Being back in Sheffield, where it all started, has provided me again with haven to wrestle the fog with my feet on the ground and look for some answers. That process began with writing with others and getting out of my own head for a bit. The new songs emerging I think reflect the death, surrender and eventually the hope & resurrection that precede new beginnings with a vulnerability I’m still learning to get comfortable with..”

“..One moment the gifted lone operator affects the kind of trenchant rock-riff panache associated with the younger Bowie, the next he’s rattling off urban nightlife images with the droll elegance of The Kinks…” **** The Independent

“More than Animals is triumphantly Poetic and Diverse – both beautiful and devilishly menacing” The Huffington Post

“…Everything blends for one entirely gratifying experience, More Than Animals is easily likely to be one of the year’s best records…” The Big Takeover Magazine

“The British Singer songwriter at times recalls a younger David Bowie with the dapper swagger of the Kinks. He can easily switch between coy rock songs about nightlife and Elliot Smith-inspired bedroom folk to great effect” NPR

“…It’s real talent that does what it wants. It doesn’t ask for permission to push the boundaries or try to meet up with anyone’s expectations at the local bar. It says “fuck you” with a lovely lilt all its own. Meet Mark Stoney. An underground artist who has decided to explore the upper regions of the earth’s crust and share his musical musings…” Rockworld Magazine

http://www.facebook.com/stoneystuff

 

***NEIL McSWEENEY***

Folk singer-songwriter Neil McSweeney emerged from the flowering of Sheffield music that gave the world the likes of Slow Club and Richard Hawley and has since established himself as ‘a songwriter of rare ability’ (R2). Setting lyrics that deal with the contrasts and contradictions of life to romantic melodies as hopeful as they are melancholy, McSweeney’s finely crafted songs have been championed by his peers as well as across national radio and mainstream and specialist press. Since the release of his last album, Cargo, McSweeney has made increasingly big waves on the English folk scene picking up main stage festival appearances and collaborating with the likes of Jon Boden and Fay Hield.

This is neu folk, dark and deep – the late Robert Fisher would have smiled and recognised a kindred spirit 9/10Americana UK

Deeply felt, brooding songs rich in imagery…he has the tools to make a real impactThe Guardian

http://www.neilmcsweeney.com

 

***CORTNEY DIXON***

Cortney Dixon is a 21 year old singer-songwriter with big hair and a pink paisley telecaster.

With a unique voice and distinctive style, Cortney performs and writes an eclectic mix of music with beautiful melodies and catchy guitar riffs, whilst incorporating elements of ska and big pop vibes. No doubt this comes from growing up listening to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, The Specials, David Bowie, and most recently getting into the likes of St Vincent and Sigrid.

Cortney has spent the last 3 years working on her craft, playing gigs around the UK with her 5 piece band and writing with others such as Mark Stoney. This young Geordie is getting ready to release her very first singles in the new year.

http://www.cortneydixon.co.uk

 

Facebook Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/739566859715919

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lots of thanks to The Payroll Union, The Fargo Railroad Co., The Sopranistas, Neil McSweeney, Ash Gray, Roaming Son, William Barstow, Richard Kitson, Quiet Loner, E.R. Thorpe, Steve Roberts, Rod Picott and Mat Wale & Friends for a whole weekend of great music at The Greystones. Plus of course to those of you came along, many for more than one gig too (i think the record was three?). It was really rather good, even if i say so myself.

So that’s our 2016 for WagonWheel Presents… well and truly kicked off. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard this weekend, take a look at our listings for the months ahead here. Next up we’ve got Austin Lucas and Adam Faucett at Shakespeares on Tuesday March 1st. We’ll be back at The Greystones on Tuesday March 15th with Rachel Ries plus support from Tom Baxendale and Yellowcake.

See you then?

WWP WW Weekender

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plenty of rain, a slight change of plan, but our Tramlines show at Shakespeares yesterday still delivered 14 great acts over 2 stages that all added up to 1 pretty damned fine day. Big thanks to Neil McSweeney, Ash Gray & Couch Fire, Mat Wale & Friends, Walton Hesse, Joe Solo, Anytown, The Janskys, Pete David (The Payroll Union), Robert Chaney, Pete Gow (Case Hardin), Richard Kitson, E.R. Thorpe, William Barstow, Blue Rooster and everybody that came along throughout a very busy day and made it a special one.

WagonWheel Presents… returns to action in our regular monthly Saturday slot at Shakespeares on August 29th when we’lll be in the company of King Quentin, The Sea Whores and The Ragged Edge. More details can be found on the Gigs page. We hope you can join us then.

Don’t forget you can keep up to date with the latest gig news on our Facebook page where you’ll also find a few more photos from yesterday.

WWP 26.07.15

 

 

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There is no tractor day in Sheffield. Instead we have an annual Otis Gibbs day. It works a little something like this. You bring your favourite Otis Gibbs to town. He’ll sing a few songs. Tell a few stories. Everybody has a mighty fine time. That’s pretty much how things went down at The Greystones last night. Thanks to all the nice folks that came along, Otis, and Adrian Bates for opening the show. Keep your eyes peeled for Otis Gibbs day 2016.

WagonWheel Presents… has got plenty more of the good stuff to come before then though. Not least the small matter of a 14 act Tramlines special at Shakespeares on Sunday July 26th. If you like the sound of hearing Neil McSweeney, Ash Gray & Couch Fire, Mat Wale & Friends, Walton Hesse, Joe Solo, Anytown, The Janskys, Pete David (The Payroll Union), Robert Chaney, Pete Gow (Case Hardin), Richard Kitson, E.R. Thorpe, William Barstow and Blue Rooster all for absolutely free, then take a look here for full details. The show will start at 3pm and you don’t need any fancy wristband, just bring your ears and enjoy. We’ll see you then?

WWP 15.07.15

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On the afternoon of Saturday February 6th, WagonWheel Presents… returns to The Greystones for the second part of our WagonWheel Weekend. Day two begins with music from Neil McSweeney and Sheffield’s own Texan troubadour, Ash Gray.

Advance tickets priced at £6 for Saturday afternoon’s show are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/f/9440 and the venue (12-6pm) or entry on the day will be £8. Weekend tickets are also available from http://www.wegottickets.com/wagonwheelpresents and include entry to all five shows across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Doors open 3.15pm for a 3.30pm start. Show finishes 6pm.

 

***NEIL McSWEENEY***

Neil McSweeney

Neil McSweeney (born Irvine, Scotland) is a songwriter and musician based in Sheffield, England. His acoustic guitar playing style combines folk, blues and country influences but it is his voice, likened by The Guardian to a male Tracy Chapman, and his direct and personal lyrics for which he is most recognised.

McSweeney’s debut album, Remember To Smile was released in 2006 by Sheffield independent label, LM Music. Tracks from the album attracted national radio play from BBC Radio 2 and the digital station BBC Radio 6 Music. This led to Postcards being released as a single by Kids Records, the singles arm of Warner Music UK subsidiary 14th Floor Records. Further national radio exposure followed including the track being playlisted by XFM. Around this time Neil also accompanied his friend Stoney both on record, on tour and in session for BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary at Maida Vale Studios.

Extensive touring in the UK followed before second album, Shoreline, emerged in 2009. This was self-released and attracted positive reviews in the national press as well as the attention of fellow Sheffield musician, Richard Hawley. Following support sets at The Crucible in Sheffield and the Royal Festival Hall, McSweeney accompanied Hawley as main support on the European leg of his Truelove’s Gutter tour.

During a hiatus from touring in 2011 and 2012, to spend more time with his young family, McSweeney developed friendships with musicians from the English folk and roots scene. This developed into collaborations which formed the basis for an EP (The Seventeen EP, May 2013) and a third full length album (Cargo) released on Harbour Song Records in 2013.

Late 2015 saw the release of EPs from two new projects, a duo recording with Vera Van Heeringen, and the Gluepot collaboration with Lucy Farrell and M.G. Boulter.

Deeply felt, brooding songs rich in imagery…he has the tools to make a real impactThe Guardian

http://www.neilmcsweeney.com

 

***ASH GRAY***

Ash Gray

At long last Texas songwriter Ash Gray finally gets around to releasing his debut solo album. The title Once I Got Burned is hopefully not a comment on his nigh-on twenty year career fronting The High-Class Family Butchers and Ash Gray & The Girls, or holding down the lead guitarist’s job in various rock bands in Austin and New York. But it does see a shift away from the gypsy punkgrass of the Butchers and the psych-pop of The Girls as Ash turns in an album of stone Texas country-rock.

Born in the US to parents form Yorkshire, Gray first began to make inroads into the UK music scene when he assembled the Anglo-American ‘punk-grass’ band, the High-Class Family Butchers during a late-90s sojourn in London. Achieving notoriety (and not-inconsiderable airplay) with their back-porch covers of pop classics and guerrilla-gigging, the Butchers have continued over the years with a flexible line-up including members of Menlo Park, The Ralfe Band and folk poster-boy Seth Lakeman’s band. For a time they even included Harper ‘Son of Paul’ Simon, oddly enough.

Relocating to New York with short-lived hard rock throwback band Cycle Sluts From Hell, Gray began shifting gears after realising that his female guitarist KG was a great harmony singer who blended perfectly with his backing vocalist Helen. He formed Ash Gray & The Girls in late 2008 as an acoustic trio, with him on vocals and guitar and these two singers. After some fine-tuning and the occasional personnel-change, the band launched the album Born In The Summer with a four-night stand at SXSW in Austin in 2012. Returning to the UK at the end of 2013, Ash is currently residing in Sheffield, the land of his forefathers. The circle remains unbroken.

Consistently high quality and faultlessly performed.” **** R2 magazine

An excellent uplifting album that reaches back to the sounds of the summer of love but twists it enough deliver a set of tracks that are home in the present.” Beat Surrender

http://www.facebook.com/ashgraymusic

 

Facebook Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/630769793732866

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Over the weekend of February 5th, 6th and 7th, WagonWheel Presents… brings our first mini-festival to The Greystones, Sheffield. After celebrating our 250th show at the end of 2015, we’re kicking off our 10th year with five great shows in three days. We’ve a line up featuring the usual mix of local, UK and international talent that you’d come to expect from a WagonWheel show.

Friday night sees us joined by a fine triple bill of bands in The Payroll Union, The Fargo Railroad Co. and The Sopranistas. The Payroll Union are a Sheffield based Americana band with an obsession for American history. The Fargo Railroad Co. have gone from strength to strength since forming in 2013 and have steadily built a reputation as one of Sheffield’s hottest live acts. The Sopranistas are a South London based Alt-Country band led by singer-songwriter Gregory S. Rees.

Saturday afternoon will be a slightly more mellow affair in the company of Neil McSweeney. His acoustic guitar playing style combines folk, blues and country influences but it is his voice, likened by The Guardian to a male Tracy Chapman, and his direct and personal lyrics for which he is most recognised. Kicking off Saturday’s proceedings will be Ash Gray. Born in the US to parents form Yorkshire, Gray first began to make inroads into the UK music scene when he assembled the Anglo-American ‘punk-grass’ band, the High-Class Family Butchers during a late-90s sojourn in London. Currently residing in the UK after releasing his latest album Once I Got Burned, today he plays a solo set.

We’ll be turning the volume up on Saturday night for evening of 100% Sheffield rock ‘n’ roll with Roaming Son. Easing us into the night will be solo sets from William Barstow and Richard Kitson. Roaming Son draw influences from the sounds of the earliest raucous rock ‘n’ roll bands of the 50’s, but add a distinct sound that is refreshingly modern. Richard Kitson is a renowned folk & Blues artist and dazzling guitarist. William Barstow has recorded and played live throughout the country with former bands The Dead Delta and The Ruby Jacks, compling a selection of bluesy folk songs that didn’t fit into the framework of a hardened rock band. 

Sunday afternoon sees an all acoustic offering with three wonderful solo artists. Quiet Loner sings songs about love and fear, life and death, despair and hope. On a live stage he is an understated yet powerful performer delivering a show that is emotional, political, occasionally angry but nearly always gentle and human. Boss Caine are a folk/Americana collective from York, England centred around the songs of front man and ‘Yorkshire Cowboy’ – Daniel Lucas (aka GT Turbo), a man described as ‘having a voice that makes Louis Armstrong sound kinda girly’. E.R. Thorpe was born into music – her mother taught her to finger-pick; Her father Kevin was well respected on the blues scene for his albums with Out Of The Blue; And her aunt managed Welsh psychedelic legends Man. Despite this heritage Thorpe has shaped her own evocative sound.

Our weekender draws to a close on the Sunday night when US singer/songwriter Rod Picott returns to Sheffield with his brand new album Fortune. It was 2001’s Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues — a debut album that bridged the gap between between folk and Americana — that officially introduced him as a singer/songwriter, kick starting one of the more acclaimed careers in modern-day roots music. With latest effort Fortune, he shines a light on himself, strips bare what he found rattling around in his heart and invites the listener to follow a deeper and more intimate journey. Opening the show will be Mat Wale. Whether working with Alt. Country behemoths ‘The Rackets’ (2006-2013 on and off), Grunge/Electro/ Folk duo ‘Arrogant Whale’ (2006-2010), Country Rock outfit ‘Big Convoy’ (2011-Present) or performing solo, Mat is untouched by his peers in terms of sheer volume of work and intends to release a new single every month in 2016.

Doors for all evening shows open at 8pm and shows finish by 11pm.

Doors for afternoon shows open at 3.15pm and shows finish by 6pm.

Advance tickets prices are:

Friday night £6
Saturday afternoon £6
Saturday evening £6
Sunday afternoon £5
Sunday evening £10
Saturday day ticket (2 shows) £10
Sunday day ticket (2 shows) £14
Weekend ticket (all 5 shows) £15

Weekend tickets, day tickets, and tickets for each individual show are available from: http://www.wegottickets.com/f/9440

Tickets for each individual show are also available from the venue between 12 & 6pm daily.

All prices will be more on the door.

Full previews for each show are available at the links below:

Friday night : The Payroll Union + The Fargo Railroad Co. + The Sopranistas
Saturday afternoon : Neil McSweeney + Ash Gray
Saturday night : Roaming Son + Richard Kitson + William Barstow
Sunday afternoon : Quiet Loner + Boss Caine + E.R. Thorpe
Sunday night : Rod Picott + Mat Wale

 

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