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Music: On The Beat: Rob Nichols.

Byline: Robert Nichols

SATURDAY was the first of the Marron Knights, SUZANNE ELIZABETH MARRON's residency at The Knights, Middlesbrough.

What an awesome singer and superb songwriter she is.

I was so impressed I followed her to the Waiting Room, Eaglescliffe the very next evening.

She switched between guitar and keyboards, both of which she plays expertly, accompanying that gorgeous voice.

Lyrical gem after gem trip off her tongue in clever compositions.

Make sure you get to the next Marron Knight appearing with BOO HEWERDINE on November 10.

Former Hope Springs Eternal singer BILL ANGUS kicked off proceedings at last Saturday's Knights affair with a rare solo outing.

Always an impassioned performer I hope there aremany more gigs to follow from this richly talented singer/performer.

THE KIDS ARE SOLID GOLD crowd absolutely fell in love with gentle giant ANDY WHITE.

Billed as the "Belfast Dylan", ormaybe that should be "a tall man with an unfeasibly small guitar", the singer/songwriter cast a bit of a spell with his Celtic magic.

By turns politically cutting to the bone, or tender and endearing, uplifting and singalong, he seemed to enjoy the show every bit as much as the crowd.

Which seems to be the secret of success for Knights gigs.

BENJAMIN WETHERILL played a wonderful tender and thoughtful set at the Waiting Room.

The quavering voice, the delicate acoustic refrains. Like the petals of a flower that he sometimes sings of.

There is pain in his tales of the Press Gang and sadness for the loss of William Franklin.

See him tomorrow night at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton playing with ELAINE PALMER, NANCY ELIZABETH AND THEE, STRANDED HORSE.

FASTCAKES: LIVE YOUNG DIE FAST. Have you sampled the delights of Fastcakes? The name on the CD sleeve is the alter ego of a musical maestro who has been making waves for many years now.

JOHN HODGSON, the former Blitzkreig Bop'per and Basczax keyboardist surfaced as Red Sky to twice herald Boro cup finals now he's recorded a full fledged album provocatively titled Live Young Die Fast.

He cuts a formidable presence staring out moodily fromthe albumartwork, but there's nothing unapproachable about the content.

It's a real delight.

A gateway track recreates an entrance into Japan, through Narita Airport terminal, Tokyo. It's a comfortable and courteous entrance into the world of Fastcakes.

It's a world where the former punk has found pop.

All delivered though one of the truly great Teesside voices. I'm finding it hard to stop whistling along to "Lucky Face", a two-faced song in that its upbeat rhythm partly disguises a song of relationship breaking scheming and duplicity.

The album signs off with a powerful three-parter, "Soul Soldiers", the battle for minds and souls.

You can listen to excerpts of the albumand buy it, aswell as awhole lotmore, by clicking on

Robert Nichols
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2007
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