Friday 14th January – Tingewick Village Hall nr Buckingham. The musical year started off well at Empty Rooms Promotions with the, what looks like , annual visit from Kevin Montgomery but this year with a band, hastily named The Endangered Livers. The line up as originally billed should have been the 10th anniversary of his band The Roadtrippers, Robert Reynolds and Paul Deakin from The Mavericks and Mike McAdam from Steve Earle’s band, unfortunately the two Maverick guys pulled out at the very last-minute, leaving Kevin to piece together a band with days to spare. Still he managed it, as was still picking up people as temporary replacements as he travelled around the UK.
A reasonable turn out with a few walk ups made for a good atmosphere and lively audience, though as is becoming normal, most prefer to sit and listen rather than stand or dance. This didn’t stop the band rocking, after the initial acoustic set from Kevin and there was even some dancing in the seat especially on the Buddy Holly covers. Mike McAdam was suffering from a bad cold, though this didn’t hinder his excellent flowing slide guitar playing. As always Kevin was at ease and relaxed with his audience most of whom have become friends, which allows him to joke and tell more stories, though this contributed to the late finish of 11.30pm, still the 2 and a half hour set seemed to fly by and the audience went away happy after another great night of music and probably anticipating next years visit and the promise of a new CD, which we all agree is long overdue.
Kevin also has the knack of finding some very talented female support acts to open the shows, two years ago it was Andrea Glass, last year Jill Jackson and this year was no exception. Opening the show tonight, and for most of the tour, was London-based, Tasmanian singer, Ange Boxall, singing tracks from her current CD Writing Letters with contributions co-written with Jim Lauderdale and J D Souther and some wonderful steel guitar playing from B J Cole. Tonight though it was just Ange and her guitar and we were treated to the stripped down acoustic version of her songs. With her crystal clear voice and the occasional faint tweak of her Australian accent along with her confident stage presence I think the people of Tingewick warmed to her quickly, she even mentioned she wasn’t sure where she was only that it was north of London and someone cheekily pointed out “and south of Scotland” which helped her narrow it down a bit. The 30 minute set was far too short and all these new songs, to most of us, came over extremely well, though a stand out track for me was one of her own composition Electric Blue.
You can always tell if the audience enjoyed it, not only by the reaction at the end of the set but the queue for the merch at the interval, so I was kept busy this night, especially when the first batch had sold out. Let’s hope we can entice Ange back to Buckingham very soon.