For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Sparkle And Shine In Leicester

I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham/Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem Jerusalem STEVE EARLE

To the Big Session Festival at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, yesterday to see Steve Earle and Allison Moorer. We arrived at 2 pm and spent a relaxing afternoon picnicking on the grass, drifting round the hippie stalls selling tie-dyed clothes, healing stones, little buddhas and Nag Champa incense sticks, and listening to bands.

After a mesmeric, ear-splitting set from Seth Lakeman (his brother Sam plays keyboards for and is married to Cara Dillon - it's a small world the folk world), Steve came on stage at 9.45 pm. He's always charismatic (I've seen him twice before) and he had the audience in the palm of his hand from the start. Earlier his new wife Allison Moorer, a great singer-songwriter herself, played her own set (ex-heroin addict, ex-jailbird Earle, "the hardcore troubadour", previously married 7 times and twice to the same woman, married Moorer in 2005). She joined Steve for a couple of songs during his own performance. They seemed besotted with each other! He sang a mixture of old and new - favourites like Galway Girl and Copperhead Road, and some new songs from his latest album Washington Square Serenade. The new love song Sparkle And Shine, sounding just like early Bob Dylan, blew me away.

If anyone doesn't know the amazing Steve Earle, there are plenty of YouTube videos. Here are just 3: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_7-PM_4aeE4; http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dc86_Weoye0; http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=As0XCEjFxpQ

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