NEWS: Hat Fitz & Cara @ The Cluny, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Words: Martin Sharman

Where would the region’s fans of country, folk, roots and reggae be without the enduring and hugely popular efforts of Jumpin’ Hot Club? Specialising in promoting a brand of music best described as ‘authentic’ (Americana remains their stock-in-trade, but they’re not afraid to dabble as far afield as hip-hop at times), JHC celebrate their 30th birthday this year – an impressive achievement given the inherent instability of the promoting lark. By way of celebration, they were planning the third instalment of the Jumpin’ Hot Jamboree, but legal wrangles scuppered such high-falutin’ ambition. What we’re left with is a diminished, if still noble, night at the humble Cluny on Saturday 20th June. Thus are the perils of festival planning.

The main attraction remains Hat Fitz & Cara, a husband and wife team from Australia and Ireland respectively. He’s massive, and massively bearded, growly of voice mean of guitar, not unlike everyone’s favourite hobo Seasick Steve and she’s a songbird in the classic Celtic mould; their sound varies between foot-stamping blues and proper folk songwriting, their styles separated by thousands of miles yet perfectly complimentary – the true sound of the Celtipodes. Support is from Bluebell Cajun Dance Band, Leeds’ David Broad Trio and Kentucky Cowtippers.

Intriguingly, there will be a real pre-war 78rpm Presto lathe on hand, so one lucky punter can take home their own souvenir aluminium disc by which to remember the event – an idea that sits perfectly with the JHC vintage ethos but is still bang up-to-date, given the renewed, dare I say fashionable, interest in bands making direct-to-disc recordings these days. Plus ça change…

Hat Fitz & Cara, Bluebell Cajun Dance Band, David Broad Trio and Kentucky Cowtippers play The Cluny, Newcastle on Saturday 20th June.

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