Jeffrey Lewis had just played a gig with Jarvis Cocker to celebrate 30 years of Rough Trade up the road at new venue The Picturehouse (used to be ned knife crime magnet Revolution). Those aware of his secret gig afterwards in tiny venue Henry’s Cellar Bar alongside sets by Stanley Brinks, aka Andre Herman Dune, Ish Marquez, and local antifolk heroes Withered Hand, were probably, like me, reluctant to pay £20 to see him in a big soulless venue (I went to karaoke instead).
Of course a lot of the people there did come directly from the Rough Trade gig, and feck me, was it busy. In fact the event suffered from the same problems as the recent Fence Club, where due to the venue layout, not many people could see the stage – and so instead, they talk – LOUDLY. Hence why I was trying to get everyone to be quiet during Stanley Brinks‘ excellent set, which I’m a bit embarrassed about, but it seemed to work a little bit, for a little while at least, even if people did look at me like I had two heads for telling them to shut it.
Jeff Lewis was of course, fantastic. (See my review of his 2006 Edinburgh gig) He was selling his comics on a stall beside the stage so I bought issue 1 with a free “history of punk” mini-CD and he was very approachable and friendly. I’d never heard, or heard of Ish Marquez before, but his set was a bit of a revelation – he was very very good indeed. The ridiculously talented Stanley Brinks even accompanied him on guitar like he did with the Wave Pictures when they played Edinburgh recently, and then played what I believe is an oboe (correct me if I’m wrong) with Mr Lewis.
Withered Hand, joined by friends including Neil Pennycook of Meursault, was excellent as always and obviously revelling in having two of his heroes watch him from the side of the stage – a momentous occasion indeed for the Edinburgh wing of anti/alt-folk, which just seems to go from strength to strength at the moment.