It has been quite a year for live music. With Cayamo, The Rock Boat, the Americana Music Award’s and with gigs around the country (UK) the Ironbath has seen something like 200 sets, from hot new bands like The Lone Bellow & St Paul & The Broken Bones to established acts like Van Morrison & Rosanne Cash. Bands you might not have heard of like Scars on 45 & Saints of Valory and some you might not ever hear again (best left un-named!). This is the Ironbath’s personal choice of favourite sets during the year. Where possible actual concert video is shown.
10 Saints of Valory – The Rock Boat, Feb 2013
The energy and excitement from this 4 piece rock band was a revelation on The Rock Boat. (Actual concert video)
9 St Paul & The Broken Bones – AMA Festival (The High Watt), Sept 2013
Music is a feeling, and this midnight show in Nashville was the perfect end to one of the most perfect days of music. (Actual concert video)
8 John Fullbright – St Bonaventures, Bristol, April 2013
The Ironbath saw John Fullbright three times in 2013. The first time was in a small club, and he was sat just at the side of the stage where you could hear a pin drop as this 26 year old sang the most intense, deep songs.
7 The Lone Bellow – AMA Festival (Downtown Presbyterian Church), Sept 2013
The Downtown Church, made famous by Patty Griffin’s album of that name, was the most spectacular backdrop for the Communion Records showcase that featured The Lone Bellow. As they belted out their songs the sound filled the church.
6 Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires – Thekla, Bristol & The Bodega, Nottingham, Nov 2013
These 2 shows, both in small clubs, separated by a few days and 150 miles showcased songs from Isbell’s Southeastern along with his previous work, with just the accompaniment of Amanda Shires on fiddle. (Actual concert video)
5 Scars On 45 – The Rock Boat, Feb 2013
Although from Bradford, Scars On 45 have made a bigger splash in the US. And they made their biggest splash on The Rock Boat when they performed twice in the Atrium, and put on a great set in the Stardust. (Actual concert video)
4 Rosanne Cash – AMA Festival (3rd & Lindsey), Sept 2013
Rosanne Cash played her forthcoming album in full during her showcase set accompanied by John Leventhal & Cory Chisel. It was truly a wonderful, unique experience. (Actual concert video)
3 Amy Speace – AMA Festival (The Rutledge) & The Musician, Leicester & The Tunnels, Bristol, Sept 2013
Within a week, or so, the Ironbath saw Amy play with her full band in Nashville, then solo in a pub in the UK, and then dueting with John Fullbright in Bristol. Listening to the mixture of sets and arrangements was a really amazing experience.
2 The Milk Carton Kids & Joe Purdy – Cayamo, Jan 2013
The interaction between Joey & Kenneth, with Joe Purdy was one of the most unexpected highlights from Cayamo. The Ironbath bumped into The Milk Carton Kids, just after their Atrium performance on the first day of Cayamo, and they seemed amazed that anyone had come to see them. By the end of the week they’d appeared on so many stages with so many performers and were clearly really enjoying the experience. (Actual concert video)
1 Ethan Johns – The Glee Club, Birmingham, Feb 2013.
Ethan Johns is son of Glyn Jones producer of The Rolling Stones etc, and producer in his own right of Ryan Adams & Laura Marling. He had one of his first live performances on a snowy night in February. The Ironbath nearly turned back for fear of getting stuck, and twice his car skidded dangerously on the ice. Once inside it felt as if he was sat in Ethan’s studio, where the audience was so quiet they held their breath during this intense collection of songs. It was, in so many ways, the most amazing, hair raising, experience.