Roots Vibes

Search Choose date

Review/pics Juan Fitzgerald – Sat 16th Sept , Devon Sproule + Marker Starling @ Gosforth Civic Theatre

Devon Sproule made a long awaited return to Jumpin Hot Club & was on splendid form. It’s been a good 7 years since we saw her as she had taken some time out to raise her child (Rae). Originally born in Ontario Canada, Devon grew up with musical parents and moved to a commune in Virginia USA. Maybe that’s why Devon’s music is so hard to categorize , indie folk with a country feel I suppose, all mixed together with tinges of Jazz & she’s slightly cookie, as the American’s would say…. Her Canadian pal , the rather studious looking Marker Starling opened the show with Devon Sproule joining in halfway through to help out, & Marker returning the favour & playing in her band for most of the night. Devon has recorded a track together ” I Love You Go Easy” with Marker & he reminded me of Steely Dan with “Husbands” being my stand out tune. It’s based on the film of the same name & bashing away on keyboards he had us all in a dancing mood. His songs had a relaxing 80’s disco feel especially “Saving Grace”. A very good choice opener.
Devon has had a busy week from supporting local folk queens, the Unthanks a couple times to her very own UK tour with her band. She rolled in as our first artist to play the newly furbished Gosforth Civic Theatre & it was a healthy crowd & music wise a perfect fit. Devon set featured songs of old & some of new. Of which she has an album slated for release early next year. Starting with a tune which sounded similar to her popular” Good To Get Out The House “then getting her arch top guitar in the groove for “Fan” and onto one of my favourites “Nobody Tells Me A Thing ” everybody at the tables nodding away in approval to the music ( I think it’s a Gosforth thing ) That song was all about living in the country “My cattle are escaping , nobody tells me a thing , how can I control them, nobody tells me a thing” !! The new songs in her set included “All Together In The Shadows ” which Devon said was “richy” but it had a Holly Golightly almost garage rock feel to it and “Big Foot Trail” that was so full of energy. Devon gave a shout out to her record label & of all places, Coventry, where it’s based, which was nice & was joined by Gosforth resident Paul Smith of the band Maximo Park for another favourite “You Can’t Help It”. Their voices blended together effortlessly. Apparently, Paul told Devon there was a brand new bar at the back of the hall , but his English accent meant she misheard this as an “Owl at the back of the room” ! Devon’s fascination with nature didn’t stop there, being amazed at all the Magpies we have in this country. They only seem to see Grackles over there. Bird’s also crept into the songs & in her encore after the quirky “Aint That The Way” another request “Weeping Willow ” had the beautiful lyrics ” If I was a little swallow and had little wings and could fly , I would lie in the arms of my own true lover, and stay until the day i die”
Another brilliant Jumpin Hot club event and not an owl in sight.