The Revival Tour

We’re gonna need a bigger stage!! That was my first thoughts upon seeing the 3 fiddlers, a double bass, the 2 guitars, a banjo, keyboard and not forgetting the tambourines and harmonicas.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

The Revival Tour is not your typical gig, there are no supports, it’s just 3 hours of tag team stripped down music with the show kicking off with everyone on stage. Nine musicians and a host of instruments on the tiny stage that is The Other Room, at Birmingham Ballroom, made for some jostling about. There is no designated headliner and everyone pitches in on each other’s sets and so you’re guaranteed to see something you won’t ever get on another tour.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

Last year’s line-up saw Brain Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), and Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) accompanying Chuck Ragan on the tour. It felt like a big band name tour in larger venues and so to see new names and a more intimate venue as the port of call I felt like the real Revival Tour had arrived.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

After a triple song ensemble with everyone performing the first act up is Cory Branan. With a quick witted tongue and fast paced rocking you can’t help but make comparisons to Ed Hamell of Hamell on Trial along with Craig Finn of The Hold Steady. With some badgering fans in the crowd he played a mix of old and new with him declaring “I promised things tonight, musical things”, that meant he forgot some of the words but the improvised ones provided great amusement.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

Cory finished his set with some help from Emily Barker who was next up. A BAFTA award winner after her song ‘Nostalgia’ was used for BBC’s Wallander you can’t deny the talent of this young lady. With 6 music picks and sold out shows with her band ‘The Red Clay Halo’ you may wonder how she ended up on such a line-up but as an old touring partner and collaborator of Frank Turner’s and with the DIY ethic of self-financing albums she certainly belongs. Emily’s set was at it’s best when the complexities of her songs and haunting melodies were enhanced by the music and vocal support of her touring mates, making such collaborations the reason why this tour is so great.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

Following Emily’s set was Jay Malinowski, of Bedouin Soundclash, and he was the surprise of the night for me. Opening with an old sailor’s song and finishing on a old calypso number the set couldn’t have been more varied when combined with hauntingly edgy violins and the thunder of Joe Ginsberg on the double bass.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

Rocky Votolato was the next act up and as each act helps out the previous on their last song the changeover is always seemless. With some straight up, country influenced acoustic goodness there isn’t anything not to like about Rocky Votolato. He brings to the stage a sense of timeless storytelling and sharing that easily fits into this line-up of artists.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

Chuck Ragan, of Hot Water Music, was the man to draw events to a close before the final group ensemble. The conceiver of this tour of grassroots folk and collaboration, he’s the guy that pulls the different artists together each time and it guarantees the likes of the very talented Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg. As standard the three of them delivered a passionate, rousing set with some friends to help them out.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

To remind you, The Revival Tour is not your typical show but an experience of unique collaborations that changes each time the line-up performs. With each new venue a new harmony or guitar part is learnt, someone else brings an inspired melody or new collaboration to a song. This show is a great way to be exposed to some new music, hear songs you love presented in a new way and feel like you are part of something exciting in that the artists aren’t sure what will happen. This show is something to experience and not just read about, if you missed it this time be ready for the next tour.

The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour
The Revival Tour

Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer
Gig Photos by Lee Allen

2 Responses to “The Revival Tour Featuring Chuck Ragan, Cory Branan, Emily Barker, Jay Malinowski, Rocky Votolato and More @ The Ballroom, Birmingham, UK – 16th November 2012”

  1. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo @ Union Chapel, London, UK – 21st November 2012 Says:

    […] Gig Review by Chloe Gynne Gig Photos by Lee Allen taken at The Revival Tour, Birmingham, 2012 […]

  2. Thibaud Says:

    Great read, would have loved to be there ! My brother was, in Paris !

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