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Willy Clay Band till England och Skottland igen
Datum: 2006-03-23

Willy Clay Band spelar på prestigefyllda klubben Borderline i London den 17 maj. Den 24 april släpps albumet »Rebecca Drive« officiellt i Storbritannien och mängder av uppmärksamhet i press och radio är att vänta.

I samband med London-spelningen gör Willy Clay Band ännu en kort sväng till Skottland. Efter de framgångsrika spelningarna i februari har arrangören av Big Big Country-festivalen i Glasgow fått så många förfrågningar från allmänheten att han bokade in Willy Clay Band den 16 maj trots att festivalen egentligen var fullbokad.

Miniturnén inleds i Dumfries i Skottland den 14 maj.

Engelska Maverick har i nya numret för övrigt en hygglig recension från Willy Clay Bands spelning på the Famous Bein Inn i Glenfarg, Skottland:

»When you’ve travelled for the best part of a whole day to get to the gig and the trip has involved transfers at four different airports, it’s only natural that you might be interested to know if anybody in the audience has put in some extra effort to get to the venue.

And, so it must have been encouraging for the Willy Clay Band to learn that some in the crowd had travelled from far-flung corners to get their first taste of this stylish Swedish five-piece that has been creating more of a buzz than a battalion of bees.

It was entirely appropriate for bassist Björn Pettersson to be enquiring where they had materialised from at a place so tucked away from houses, nestled in the trees in its back-woodsy location.

The full breadth of the widespread appeal was easy to judge when he heard the responses. Some had driven from Dumfries, over two hours away, one had travelled up from the north of England and others made the trip down from Moray (quite a long haul).

When the band gets started, it’s instantly clear what has drawn them all here like moths to the brightest light.

Right now, this band is positively radiant.

Yes the every-one-a-gem REBECCA DRIVE album, due to get a UK release any day now, is a stunner.

But that is only half the story.

When you know the songs and want to hear them performed, it’s simply magical to find a group of musicians so “at one» with each other and able to deliver the goods.

With a touch one minute feather-light, and knock-out punches too that are as ballsy as any - and three singer-songwriters all wanting to shine in different ways up front - they are a joy to behold.

The material, so strong it’s hard to imagine that anyone wouldn’t like it, comes bursting into life with a vitality that few can conjure up on stage, with the possible exception of Springsteen.

Rocking the house like Neil Young Pretenders on the rampage one minute, then super-delicate and tender, as sharp three-part harmonies bring CSN&Y and vintage Eagles to mind, this is the kind of act that is a festival promoter’s dream - good-time music that also connects on a whole range of different levels, but most of all is instantly memorable right across the board.

It’s tough to single out highlights as there are so many diamonds spread so evenly throughout the night that the over-all effect is more pavé-set than containing isolated peaks of brilliant sparkle.

The twangy Stay The Night, a track that along with Soldier has been picking up a lot of radio airplay, came charging at us up with such a happy bounce, the audience was instantly bopping along. It is, according to husky-voiced Tony Björkenvall, “our Guitar Town,« and when the mandolin intro subsides to let guitarist Örjan Määki flex his muscles, you see why.

Määki, shifting between lap steel, dobro and Strat, adds much of the atmosphere to the multi-faceted pieces that visit everyday subjects such as cherished moments and longing, examine what it is to be homesick and a thousand miles from loved ones, and give rich flavours of honky-tonkin’ lifestyles, Kiruna-fashion.

Percussionist Fredrik Elenius, solid and sensitive with a stand-up-to-play minimalist “cocktail» kit, is the bonding factor with clever, inventive touches that are never showy and always smile-enducing.

The quiet man of the band, Reine Tuoremaa, with a self-assured Mike Nesmith (back then) on-stage presence may come over as Mr Serious, but it’s more likely he is just head-up proud of the job he’s done, contributing so much to the song-writing pool.

Co-writers Pettersson and Björkenvall cajole and prod him to “lighten up« just a little and, a man of few words, he snuffs out their jibes with dignified defiance so loveable you wonder if maybe it’s a well thought-out routine.

There is a healthy chemistry at work here that has just enough of a balance between tension and good vibes to keep the all-important energy source fully charged, and a powerful over-riding feeling that it’s mutual respect - as well as that thumping good rhythm section - that is holding this all so solidly together.

Tonight they gave us everything and more, showcasing all the tracks from the much-talked-about new CD; three covers, including a tribute to The Band’s Garth Hudson who guested on the Hendersonville, Tennessee recording sessions, with a powerhouse version of The Weight; and unveiled four completely new tracks one of which, Time, received its first public airing.

The new ones served notice that there’s much more to come and it might be getting better.

These miners’ sons from the Arctic north have struck a very rich seam.

…And it’s gold not coal or iron ore they are bringing to the surface.

The melodies are so infectious that they do a takeover job on the brain.

Prediction: They will be hummed from Kiruna to Kendal and Kansas to Kirkcaldy once this band gets the worldwide recognition it deserves.

Loudon Temple.«

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