The Last Two Shows Of 2013 – Chris Difford, Jenny Boyd, Mark Nevin, Goldheart Assembly, Roddy Hart, Michele Stodart (The Magic Numbers) and more…

The last two shows are here – both are free… and it’s two very different nights… Merry Christmas!
Monday is our Soho Christmas showcase – we’ve saved up our karma pennies all year to treat you to three absolute stunners in our usual 3-Act showcase format down at the Phoenix Artist Club. Then on Wednesday, it’s the now infamous Wood Green Xmas Ding Dong. Our great pal, double Ivor Novello winner Chris Difford is coming along to do a set, as well as an interview with the lovely Jenny Boyd. For info on guestlist places, email rsvp@karouselmusic.com

Jenny will be talking about her book on creativity in musicians, It’s not Only Rock’n’Roll – These days a PhD, Jenny spent many years hanging with some of the biggest names in rock history, talking to them about their craft, and eventually built up a body of work from which to write the book: She was married to Mick Fleetwood; her sister Patti was married to George Harrison and Eric Clapton; she was in India with the Beatles when they went to see the Marahrishi; Donovan wrote a song about her – and much much more. This will be followed by a Q&A session, and a book signing – then Chris Difford will treat us to some songs.

We’re especially elated to have Chris D back – so many of the working relationships and friendships we have in the collective have been forged on Chris’s writing retreats (that these days we also help curate); he is the master at lighting little bonfires and stepping back to admire the smoke from the hill. Always generous with his time, we don’t take for granted the fact that we have a multi platinum selling, double Ivor Novello winner popping in for the night to hang out and be part of the family again – and bringing Jenny along to boot! Ace! Following that, a break – and then some of our favourite acts to have played Wood Green this season (and a few friends) will be getting up to do a mix of originals and unlikely Christmas covers. Two of whom we hope will be fighting it out for the Christmas number one slot – one, Mark Nevin, also a legend in his own right as the songwriter and guitarist in Fairground Attraction, has written with everyone from Morrissey to Kirsty MacColl and he’ll be playing his new single, Christmas Cake – the vocal was done in our very own 50:50 Studios. Then there’s the impossibly lovely Samantha Whates, whose cover of Can’t Stop Loving You was the Barclays Premier League anthem – no one deserves a break more. All tables are booked for this – but there’s still room to come and hang out. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the knees up of the year!

But first – Monday down in the eccentric underbelly of Soho, at our beloved Phoenix Artist Club: Three absolute belters! We’ve been crossing our fingers for some time that the guys from Goldheart Assembly could make it. You probably already know all about them, and digging in to youtube to work out what to post has been nothing but a pleasure. This video below has been on loop all day yesterday and today. The Guardian’s 4**** review of the latest record Long Distance Song Effects was spot on. Lots of what was great about the Guillemots in here, but with their own very definite identity. AND, the guitarist is playing an Epiphone Texan – those that know, know that’s ace. (The guitar McCartney famously wrote ‘Yesterday’ on – we have a 1963 example in our studio) Fine taste in guitars GHA!

Making the trip down from Glasgow is Roddy Hart. We’ve been massive fans of Roddy’s for some years now, and it’s great we’ve finally got the chance to introduce some new friends to his stuff. A foot stomping mix of sparkling Springsteen, christmas Costello and ding dong Del Amitri baubles, all hanging from a charismatic, energetic, finely kempt tartan tree. Scotland is already in love with Roddy – he has his own regular tastemaker radio program on BBC Scotland – and we’re hoping that the rest of the UK is about to follow. This third eponymous album Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire led Uncut to describe Roddy as “Widescreen… poetic and with verve… evoking the epic rock of Springsteen. Local Hero turns contender…”; Bob Harris to declare the record “Hugely impressive…”; the Sunday Mail to describe it as “destined to be a classic”. Clash Music called it “Gorgeous… exquisite Americana with a neat Scottish touch” Check out the video for Bright Light Fever with a guest appearance by Kris Kristofferson..! We’re also digging Cold City Avalanche, here.

Finally, there’s one last big name treat. Ever since booking her we keep hearing from all and sundry how lovely Michele Stodart is in person – and just from our little email exchange when booking the show, that’s obvious for all to see. Michele is of course, best known as part of the double platinum multi-award winning band The Magic Numbers. Tonight she’ll be unwrapping songs from her solo record Wide-Eyed Crossing – a country laden, heartgrinding flower of a record that is rich with intelligent, lived-in loved-in lyrics. “Don’t be his walking stick/an easy trick/the one he knows he can come back with…” For all the manufactured rubbish out there, there are still evergreen writers who are trying to leave diamonds of truth amongst the deciduous pop detritus, and Michele is certainly one of those. Current favourites from the record are List of Don’ts and Take Your Loving Back. What a treat that she’s coming along for the last show of the year. Some seriously classy tinsel for the tree!