I went to see Michael Chapman play at The Village Pump in Trowbridge on Friday night.

The Village Pump is my favourite venue in the entire world and it was awesome to see him play there (I know he's a much loved favourite of the people who began the folk club back in the early 1970's and are still as dedicated to it today...) after witnessing him for the first time at Union Chapel back in May, supporting Thurston Moore.

As expected, his set was a weave of mind-fucking guitar-work, fingers moving at the speed of hearts and with his fine deep, gravelly voice rich with the truths of time. He jokes between the songs, seasoned.

He's just had a record out on Ecstatic Peace, called The Resurrection And Revenge Of The Clayton Peacock - limited to 500 copies, a stunning exploration through drones n tones which though a completely different thing to the shows I witnessed, when he plays live you can hear some of those nuances and influences coming out, in richness and subtleties crafted out of the acoustic-thru-pedals execution.

Pops and reverberation, warm and deep, soul-meditation, ;;; repetition and shimmer / beautiful guitar improv (right up my street...) I recommend you try and seek out this record via whichever means you can.

Back to that Union Chapel show...

After MC's wonderful support set, Thurston Moore ... I was looking forward to this gig for a long time, naturally... not least because the new album Demolished Thoughts is one of my favourites of the year and a lovely... progression from 2007's "Trees Outside The Academy".

The sound of bittersweet nostalgia soaked in sunshine, thoughts trailing back to all those times, pleasurable hurt, pure, and clean rivers flowing through...

"whisper I love you one thousand times into his ear"...

another record that is full of subtleties that run away and come back to you constantly.

"needle hits black laquer, speakers forgive lies" 

now and again it spins off into a sonic storm, delicate raw power falling out, intense and humid, this is something that was an absolute highlight at the show each time it happened... capturing and unleashing the absolute intensity of those outpourings, so CRUSHING, a la Diamond Sea but organic and just as whole... I was moved deeply.

I am in love with this LP and to see it live in such a gorgeous setting was really special.

The drummer was stand-out incredible... Mary Lattimore's harp playing as lovely as it is on the album, I'm a huge fan of Samara Lubelski's string playing (tangibly warm as always), Keith Wood / Hush Arbors joining on guitar also.

TM also played a song from Psychic Hearts and one from Trees...
but a special highlight for me was when he read some of the poetry included in the booklet that comes with the double vinyl (a nice surprise to find inside...)

Part of what he read was one of my all time favourites, something that always makes me smile and was included in his "Sensitive / Lethal" CD artwork... I'll leave you with that.

My heart was bursting joyous. Perfect gig. Thanks.