Taylor and the Mason Album Launch Party
An album launch in a brewery! Taylor and the Mason kick things off in style with their own beer, hand made woolly hats, pots of jam and a tote bag full of perfect pop songs! Words, photos and beer testing: Anthony Firmin
It is not everyday you go to a gig in a brewery, and even rarer is an album launch gig in a brewery and one of Manchester’s craft breweries, First Chop Brewing Arm, (technically it is just in Salford) are playing host. The beer barrels and brewing vessels have been put away and space made for a stage and audience area. At the back of the venue is a bar stocked with their own beers as well as a beer they have brewed especially for Taylor and the Mason.
Special guests for the evening were especially chosen by the headliners to complement the ambience they were aiming for. Stephen Ballinger who opened proceedings is a local singer/songwriter who has previously played in the central park in Tablisi as well as having recorded in New York City and he was certainly appreciated by the audience.
Poppycock, formed by ex-The Fall keyboard player Una Baines are an interesting proposition. Songs like Mexico and Sacred Sister hark back to the Manchester new-wave scene but also embrace 60’s psychedelia as I detect some influence from The Doors in their songs.
Talking to Taylor and the Mason a week before the event, it became obvious that a huge amount of planning and preparation had taken place… they were going to be here early to supervise and get involved in the setting up, their commitment and attention to detail is remarkable; instead of a set list they have a set spreadsheet, I kid you not, they are that organised. Marketing is quite significant too, and in addition to the usual t-shirts and CD’s for sale there are woolly hats, jam (both knitted and made by the band) and their own beer in bottles (and the beer is very good).
This is it, the big launch and it is a full band performance from Taylor and the Mason with all eight members on the stage. Nerves are definitely in evidence as they start, not unreasonably, in front of a packed brewery, many of whom they know.
However, the nerves soon went and we are presented with the songs from the album and it becomes evident that they are not only highly talented songwriters but great performers too. This is perfect acoustic pop with all the harmonies, balance and dynamics you would expect from these two very talented ladies and their equally talented band. The set flies by with my favourite song Gin In Berlin nestled nicely in the middle. A quick encore and it was all over far too soon but there was not a single disappointed person in the brewery.
The band are on a roll now and personally I cannot wait for the next full band performance.
The album can be heard and purchased here: https://taylorandthemasonmusic.bandcamp.com/releases
Also the band has a fabulous website for you to check out: taylorandthemason.co.uk
And finally they can also be found and liked on facebook: facebook.com/taylorandthemason