Patrick Widdess reports on Jonny - The Haymakers 4 February 2011

The Haymakers

Jonny is Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub and Euros Childs from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. They became friends when they toured together in 1997. Since 2006 they have spent odd times writing and playing together culminating in the recording of a full band album last year. Tonight it’s just the two of them performing songs from the album the way they were created. They effortlessly combine words, rhythm and melody harmonising over keyboard and acoustic guitar accompaniment. It is only their fourth gig but they have a relaxed rapport. It often feels as if they are playing for each other's enjoyment and the audience are lucky enough to be listening in.
    Opener Bread is sung over a catchy keyboard refrain with a harpsichord sound giving it a classical feel. Wich is Wich is an infectious dance number whilst the album’s closing song, Never Alone is more reflective. It sounds like a song that any number of great song writers could have written over the years but never got round to until now.
    Best of all is the encore performed without the charade of walking off stage and back on again. First they perform Teenage Fanclub’s I Don’t Want Control of You. Stripped of its full band accompaniment the lyrics flourish and hang in the air. Next it’s Euros’ turn with Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci number Spanish Dance Troupe. They follow this with an accapella version of Geoff Gooddard’s Sky Men.
    Finally, as the crowd shouts for more they return to the stage. Euros pulls out a crumpled sheet of paper containing the lyrics to an Everly Brothers song. Pretending not to remember it well they shuffle up to the same mic and sing it beautifully. Truly a great meeting of musical minds.

Writer: Patrick Widdess