This year’s UK Americana Conference was as engaging as ever with its in-depth series of seminars, workshops and interviews over three days. The showcase festival, meanwhile, offered its usual array of excellent acts in Hackney venues. First up this evening, I met photographer Jonathan Stewart at the Moth Club where there was to be a focus on Canadian musicians.
A swift drink with the marvellous Alex Mann of Help Musicians UK and a set from Lennie Gallant kicked off the night in superb fashion. Lennie is an award-winning, singer-songwriter and instrumentalist from Prince Edward Island. His music crosses into the folk rock and country music genres, while celebrating the musical heritage of his home province.
Jonathan and I then walked around corner to Night Tales, where we met the talented drummer Sian Monaghan, plus enjoyed performances by Judy Blank and Danni Nicholls, whose line-up included the charming bassist, Mark Lewis.
Jonathan had to head home and so I dropped in at Paper Dress Vintage, where I met Tom Bridgwater of Loose Records revelling in a raucous performance by the entertaining Peter Bruntnell. It was also a pleasure to meet former MU employee Lisa Simpkins in the downstairs bar and exchange stories from her time with the Union.
My thanks to Stevie Freeman, Americana UK CEO for the Conference and Showcase passes.
If you would like to sample some of the atmosphere of the day’s events, a highlight reel of the Conference Programme is available.