A few months back, Boston was very fortunate to be treated to a visit from Boo Radleys guitarist/songwriter Martin Carr, who was making some extremely rare U.S. appearances. In fact, the short five-show tour marked his first North American dates since the Boo's breakup way back in '99. Our good fortune was not exactly by chance: it was due in no small part to Martin's friend and musical collaborator Corin Ashley, longtime Boston resident, solo performer, and member of the Pills. Corin not only assisted Martin on bass and backing vocals, but helped flesh out his backing band by recruiting fellow Boston musicians Ad Frank on keyboards and local DJ Jim "Ning Nong" on drums.
After a night at the Manhan Cafe out in western Mass., the assembled quartet played among friends at Allston's Great Scott as part of The Pill. The room was full of appreciative fans (including massive Boo-phile Mr. Clary, who drove down from VT), and provided the band a relaxed place to play before heading slightly south. Their next stops included an in-store at Brooklyn's Fix Cafe / Soundfix Records (which was put together by Jack Rabid and his essential Big Takeover Magazine), along with a couple of other club dates to finish out the trip.
The shows came just after Martin had decided to officially abandon the Bravecaptain moniker that he'd been recording and performing under during the 7 years since his former band packed it in. When I read that he was retiring the name, I was worried he'd stop making music altogether... and instead we get treated right away to his first live appearances under his own name. Hopefully a sign of more recorded material and return visits to come.
So here's Martin Carr and his Boston-flavored backing band performing at Great Scott back in November. The eleven-song set is made up not only of Bravecaptain songs, but two ace Boo Radleys numbers: "Lazarus" from 1993's "Giant Steps", and "The Old Newstand at Hamilton Square" from their final album, 1998's "Kingsize". Scroll below the set for lots of links, including where to download many more Martin mp3s...
All previously released Bravecaptain studio material is listed here, where you can find links to several more free mp3s. The full discs can be purchased through the Bravecaptain shop.
The 10th anniversary of the Boo Radley's phenomenal album "Giant Steps" was marked with this commemorative minisite, which includes commentary on every track from Boo-members Martin, singer Sice, and bassist Tim. Martin's commentary is particularly candid: one track is "shite!", another is "fucking ace!", and that's just the tip of it. There are also several demo and live versions of the tracks to be streamed within the descriptions, and here's one of 'em...
Corin Ashley's own website can be found here, although it's been down for a little while, so you're much better off visiting his MySpace page. Check out some of his solo songs over there, including, and I kid you not, a ukulele cover of Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" that totally works. You can pick up Corin's 2006 solo album "Songs From the Brill Bedroom" (which includes a guest appearance from Martin) over at CD Baby or via iTunes.
As I mentioned, Martin and the band headed down to Brooklyn after their Boston show, and you can check out a review of their Big Takeover party appearance over at Sound Bites, and some words from BT-publisher Jack Rabid right here.
the ever-present fine print... If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (contact info in the 'nac faq). Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. Tracks are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.