STEPHEN DUNN @ Brickyard, Carlisle

2nd May 2003

Happy birthday to me! My God - 20 years old! Goes to show - I'm getting old! But my taste of music has not and this gig shows it. After a day of waiting for buses in the rain and pizzas, it was time to go to my college, but tonight, it's not to finish my IT assignment on databases or Business work. When I arrived, the support act was setting up and sound check was beginning. It is good to come to a place like this in college (£1.00 for a pint of Worthington!!!!!!!)

What started the night of music turned out to be an extra support act! Nice! It was in fact two members of Stephen Dunn's band. The crowd of almost 100 (a very packed bar!) were treated to half an hour of acoustic music. They definitely had good range of vocals and were very talented blokes! It was a surprise to have a second support act, but after the set, I wasn't complaining. Good start to the night, and the music was a definite setter for the rest of the gig. - 7.5/10

I have to forget that I know the frontman of this band - Jude! He used to live in the bed-sit next door to me. And his landlords were my parents!! I know he is a hell of a songwriter and during my time at Trinity School's own radio station, Trinity Radio, Jude came on to showcase his music! And now I get to see him in this group. I got to talk to Jude for a minute and he mentioned they came off the heels of a very good gig at Biddy Mulligan's, but after the sound check, I knew they would end up with the same reaction as their last gig. Starting off the night was a song called "O", and watching Jude playing the guitar (and his bottleneck) showed the crowd that they have talent. The best song was "Imaginary Friend" - very 60's-esque, with some Lightning Seeds. They had a 60's flavour - a bit like The Coral, except the Kites were ten times better!! Ending the set with "Feel The Rain", they finally got some people dancing, but a little too late! Jude is an amazing guitarist and the bassist, Alex was great. Normally I can't hear the bass at some gigs, but their mixer and drummer, Dave, made sure we heard! I would definitely want to see them again! - 8.5/10!

Time for the headliners! The band with the same name as the front man got on stage and Dunno (Stephen Dunn) seemed to be excited tonight. And right he should be, but the Kites were a tough act to follow! The first song, "Witch", got the crowd going. The rest of the set showed a lot of influence from acts like Beautiful South and the Housemartins - anything Paul Heaton was present in songs like "Something's Bothering Me" and "Satellite". I liked their Spaghetti Western song "Patient As A Tree". Halfway through the set a lot more people came and danced, even blocking my view of the band. New songs were played as well, and two encore songs were played, much to the approval of the crowd. I could tell everyone loved Dunno and I definitely liked the brand of music he and his band played! - 8/10

Great night out for a guy who just turned 20! Top bands and cheap booze! It is a good venue, the Calva Bar, and I would definitely go and see both bands in the near future. The next stop is the Fierce Panda gig this coming Friday.

Until then...