Tag Archives: Doris Brendel

Doris Brendel show announces headline at The Borderline

Doris Brendel, who supported Wishbone Ash on an extensive tour last year, has announced a rare headline gig. It’s at The Borderline in London on Sunday, May 14th.

She is promising a steampunk-themed show, with lasers. Which is what we’ve come to expect from Doris Brendel’s live shows.

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Doris Brendel – The Devil Closed the Door on Me

A hilariously sllly video for the song from Doris Brendel’s most recent album “Upside Down World”. Doris will be supporting Wishbone Ash in October and November on the following dates:

  • Friday 14th October 2016 – Haymarket, Basingstoke
  • Saturday 15th October 2016 – Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford
  • Tuesday 18th October 2016 – Princess Theatre, Hunstanton
  • Friday 28th October 2016 – The Jam House, Edinburgh
  • Saturday 29th October 2016 – The Lochgelly Centre, Lochgelly
  • Sunday 30th October 2016 – The Iron Works, Inverness
  • Wednesday 2nd November 2016 – ARC, Stockton-on-Tees
  • Thursday 3rd November 2016 – 53 Degrees, Preston
  • Sunday 6th November 2016 – Pontardawe Arts Centre, Pontardawe
  • Tuesday 8th November 2016 – The Arts Centre, Swindon
  • Wednesday 9th November 2016 – Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea
  • Saturday 12th November 2016 – Cheese & Grain, Frome
  • Wednesday 16th November 2016 – Harpenden Public Halls, Harpenden
  • Thursday 17th November 2016 – The Flowerpot, Derby
  • Friday 18th November 2016 – The Picturedrome, Holmfirth
  • Saturday 19th November 2016 – Ashcon, The Grand, Clitheroe
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The Violet Hour – The Fire Sermon

The Violet Hour - The Fire SermonOriginally released way back in 1991, The Fire Sermon is the sole album by The Violet Hour.

Though they toured extensively in support of Marillion on their “Holiday in Eden” tour, a combination of internal divisions and the band being dropped by EMI saw them split. The album soon went out of print, and had been unavailable for many years. More recently it’s seen a reissue, and is now available once again from their former singer Doris Brendel’s website.

It was a chance conversation at the Cambridge Rock Festival a couple of days after Doris Brendel’s excellent live set when was told the The Violet Hour were a significant early influence of Mostly Autumn. That was more than enough to make the album worth checking out.

It’s an album of two halves. The first side is atmospheric and folk-tinged, with Doris Brendel’s emotive bluesy vocals they come over as a rootsier version of All About Eve. Doris Brendel’s flagolet, a woodwind instrument that sounds a lot like low whistle, is prominent on several songs and gives a strong Celtic flavour. The lengthy opener “Dream of Me” and the dark, brooding “Could Have Been” are particular standouts.

The second side of the original vinyl record shows a completely different side of the band, and sees them rock out. There’s the Supertramp-like “Falling”, the power-ballad “This House” featuring Sam Brown on backing vocals, and the hard rockers “Ill Wind Blowin’” with evocative use of flagelet on the intro, and “Better Be Good”, with blasts of Hammond organ, and Martyn Wilson cutting loose on lead guitar. The 2009 CD reissue includes three bonus tracks, all of which reflect the harder rocking side of the band’s music, with the funk-tinged “Cross That Line” a standout.

It’s an impressive record which leaves you wondering what might have been had they not been chewed up and spat out by the old-school record industry. Their style of celtic-tinged crossover progressive rock was out of time in the early 90s, though you can indeed hear how they influenced Mostly Autumn a few years later. Doris Brendel was and still is a fantastic vocalist for whom comparisons with the likes of Janis Joplin are entirely appropriate, and she’s still recording and touring as a solo artist, playing a similar eclectic mix of styles. Though The Violet Hour proved to be a short-lived band, something of their spirit lives on.

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Violet Hour

A couple of songs, “The River” and the single “Could Have Been” from The Violet Hour’s album “The Fire Sermon”. The album had been out of print for many years, but is now available again via former singer Doris Brendel’s website.

Doris and her band played the  Cambridge Rock Festival and were one of the highlight. They didn’t play any Violet Hour songs, but after finding out Violet Hour were an early influence on Mostly Autumn made the album worth getting hold of.

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2016 Cambridge Rock Festival – Part One

Voodd Vegas

The Cambridge Rock Festival is a great little festival specialising in blues, classic rock and progressive rock. It’s always had a reputation as a friendly intimate event, and with all three stages under cover the music takes place in the dry even if the great British summer does its worst. Though it missed a year in 2015, it was back in 2016 for its twelfth event, held again at its usual site at Haggis Farm Polo Club just outside Cambridge. And it promised a strong bill, with a good balance of regular favourites and intriguing-sounding new names. Continue reading

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