From old to new: Alejandro Escovedo, a birthday and Jake Houlsby

Busy weekend this one, centred largely on music.

Alejandro Escovedo at the Cluny 

 On Friday I was at the Cluny (dedication considering the downpour that was going on outside) to see Alejandro Escovedo (double dedication as I’d never actually heard of the guy until last Wednesday).

Anyway, a friend had a spare ticket , and following some googling I unearthed this:


Yes, the guy is a friend of Bruce Springsteen, so on this basis alone I decided to give it a go. And it was okay. Perhaps a bit ‘rocky’ for my folk music taste.

I’d like to say I was too old for the gig, but I was possibly one of the youngest in there. I enjoyed maybe 70% of the gig, the band was spot on, Alejandro seems like a nice man, he had some great tracks, just the overall package wasn’t quite my thing.

Birthday fun at As You Like It 

Saturday night saw me at As You Like It, a bar/restaurant in Jesmond, Newcastle. This was for a friend’s birthday and while the music wasn’t the focus tonight there was a great house band on called The Imposters. Some funky covers were played, there was much dancing and there was even an impromptu striptease (not in our party I hasten to add).

Jake Houlsby – Bones EP and gig at O’Neills, Newcastle 

Jake’s EP Bones

Final gig of the week was up and coming North East based singer songwriter Jake Houlsby. The Birthday Girl had sent me some links to his saying that I would probably like him. And I did. When I heard he was doing a small (free) gig at a pub in Newcastle I was in there like swimwear (as the Birthday Girl might say 😉 ).

Bonus was the promise of a few pints and a free EP – sold!

My arrival was marred only slightly by the drunken letch at the bar who kept stroking my arm and saying “sorry pet” because he’d pushed in to get served.

 Never mind, I was soon settled in with a pint and a comfy seat as Jake played a cover of Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark – good choice so far and well played.

He sang a mix of his own tracks – stand out for me was Cracks which he dedicated to the Birthday Girl – and further covers. We had everything from a stomping sing-along to The Killer’s Mr Brightside (I was transported back to clubbing on a Saturday night at Ku Club, Sunderland) and a delightful take on Jose Gonzalez’s Heart beats (yes the song from the advert!).

Jake has a lovely tone and some great guitar skills. Watch out for him gigging in the North East or busking around Newcastle, stop and say hi, either for real or @jakehoulsby on Twitter. More ways to get in touch– http://www.jakehoulsby.com/

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