Live: Alessi’s Ark, Left with Pictures and Tristram aboard The Tamesis

Moonshine Jambouree started out a little under a year ago with free shows in The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. The gigs have come a long way since then and now promoter Antony Chalmers is part way through a run of shows on the Tamesis. A split level boat docked on the south bank of the Thames.

It is in this picturesque setting that FFS finds itself watching Tristram. We first saw him live eight months ago and his delicate vocals and quiet acoustic guitar have since been transformed into assured jangly pop by his backing band of a cellist, keyboard player and percussionist. Tristram’s vocals have a lovely timbre and the cheery glock and pretty harmonies contrast with a melancholy in his voice reminiscent of Nick Drake. Although he seems almost embarrassed to be watched and applauded, Tristram is a real storyteller who had the crowd hanging on his every word.

Left With Pictures have some great tunes. Demonstrated tonight by the fact that they chose not to play single Every Stitch Every Line, but still managed to fill their set with catchy folk-pop. The highlights for FFS were the brilliant Secretly, a cover of Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightening and the fact that the Tamesis could barely contain LWP’s violinist Tom Walker, whose vigorous bowing got him perilously close to poking one of his fellow band members in the eye.

Headliner Alessi’s Ark was joined for her set by Marcus Hamblett from the Wilkommen collective on the double bass. Playing songs from her album Notes from the Treehouse, Alessi is an intuitive performer whose movements and intonation seem involuntary. The audience were treated to favourites The Horse, Constellations and Over the Hill as well as a Jake Bellows cover and a recommendation – we should all buy his band Neva Dinova‘s album You May Already Be Dreaming. It’s always lovely to see Alessi, her songs and voice are beautiful and the lady herself is unfailingly charming, but nothing could be more fitting than watching her play aboard the good ship Tamesis.

Words: Lynn Roberts


The Moonshine Jamboree will be at The Tamesis Dock again:
— July 22nd – Mary Epworth and the Jubilee Band plus The Zetland Players & Jamie N Commons
— July 28th – David Cronenbergs Wife, Erin K & Off Ground Touch
For more details see The Moonshine Jamboree’s Myspace.

Read For Folk’s Sake’s interview with Alessi here.

Follow FFS on twitter @forfolkssake for news updates and music recommendations.