It was a bit of a light relief to attend this show and to be thoroughly entertained (and at times laugh out loud) by the very dapper two piece Two Man Gentleman Band who are, interestingly enough, a two man band. The two members, Andy Bean (guitar and American four string banjo) and The Councilman (double bass, kazoo) sang about food and beverages, girls, guys and food and beverages with Bean wisecracking with a terrific comedic sense of timing while the Councilman was the perfect foil. The problem with being seen as a comedy act is that folk might end up more interested in the jokes than the music but The two Man gentleman band proved they were no one trick pony as they blitzed the audience with a dazzling display of virtuosity on their instruments and a great vocal rapport. The humour was merely the topping on a very tasty cake.
Working in the same vein as the late Slim Gaillard’s celebrated duo line ups there was little of Gaillard’s hipster slang ( although one song did celebrate reefer), rather it was as if two Connecticut Yankees had turned up at the Cotton Club as opposed to King Arthur’s court. And while most of their songs did refer to food and drink with Pork Chops getting some belly laughs from the audience we were invited to join in songs about President William Taft’s girth and were regaled with some fine mock trumpet on Bye Bye Blues. All in all a great set and a fine night.
Support was provided by another two piece, The Kilcawley Family from Tyneside. With autoharp, guitar and harmonica they delivered a fine set of old time American folk songs that portrayed their influences such as the Reverend Gary Davis and Doc Watson. Somewhat trepidatious at times they did win the audience over with renditions of 500 Miles, Railroad Boy and Dink’s Song. A particularly spirited Wildwood Flower showed them at their best while a self penned lament based on the reflections of an elderly Morecambe woman (they currently reside in the faded Lancashire resort) showed some promise with the intimations’ of mortality contained within showing that they have learned from their forebears.