The night was opened by Andy Gaines and friends whose chat was as easy to listen to as their music, and their experience showed. Andy fiercely strummed his guitar, in the tuning of Open D, making it sound like a freight train which had us tapping our feet and nodding our heads like they were the main event. There was a little swing and some skiffle going on too, which helped create a real party atmosphere with songs filled with humour and heart-break. They have just what it takes to make a great album and I hope they do, and soon because they left me wanting more – rumours of them supporting The Orb this summer haven’t been confirmed.
By Martin Frank
Gill Landry, a Louisiana singer songwriter originally, tells us that he used to live in Nashville but moved to Los Angeles because of Nashville’s sudden commercialisation, “Nashville was becoming like L.A. so I thought I might as well move to the original one.” His dry humour made watching him a pleasure, different to the rueful tone of his songs and kept everyone smiling. With his mournful baritone Gill sings songs dripping with life’s experiences, sounding somewhere between Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and York’s own Boss Caine. He skillfully fills the room with the sound of his guitar like a true master. He doesn’t seem to intentionally play chords and strum, but coaxes his guitar to sing out in harmonies perfectly suited to his voice with his head back and his eyes closed, re-living the inspiration for the song. Sometimes he raises up for a moment almost on tip-toes as he stands rocking back and forth totally absorbed in long introductions, which are mesmerising as he takes us in one direction and then another almost seducing his guitar in front of us before arriving seamlessly at the start of his next song.
Effortlessly he played Emily, Between Piety and Desire, Funeral in my Heart, Denver Girls and many others. He comes from a different part of the world but we know heartache and lost love so he’s singing for us too – life’s tough but he’s smiling, inside at least because he’s an optimist busking on Hope street. He has the blues with lyrics like “I don’t need you to be mine, I need you to be you” and “sometimes the only thing that carries me on, is knowing someone like you is alive”, he’s not going to make you dance. Although having said that I didn’t come to see Gill to strut my stuff to some funky music, but to listen to an amazing entertainer and he did that and more.
Gill’s huge personality washed over us revealing a cheeky, great to have a drink with, regular guy and you want to listen to his stories, but that doesn’t come across on his records making his live performance much fresher than his albums. We totally recommend seeing Gill live, he’s a great singer songwriter, a genius guitar player, and he’ll make you smile along the way.
Gill Landry played the Crescent Community Venue 31st May 2018