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It's the band that Bob deserves...

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Hare and Hounds - Thanks!

Saw the show last night. Excellent performance by all concerned! Introduced my wife to Dylan music and she thoroughly enjoyed the range of songs. Great to be part of a small fortunate gathering who witnessed a truly professional set of musicians.

Thanks for making a great night!!

- Des Green
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REVIEW: Lowdham Village Hall

Take five of Britain’s leading folk rock performers and not only give them a project but name them after a project, and you end up with the perfect recipe for an evening’s superb music.

The Dylan Project gave more than two hours of great music on Saturday, from the works of one of the 20th century’s leading songwriters, a man so inspired by the works of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas that he changed his name from Zimmerman.

The musicians – lead singer and guitarist Steve Gibbons, Fairport Convention members Dave Pegg on bass and Gerry Conway on drums, P. J. Wright on electric lead guitar and Phil Bond on Hammond organ and assorted keyboards – took their sellout audience at Lowdham Village Hall on a journey covering just about all the great man’s works.

The songs included classics such as Subterranean Homesick Blues, Highway 61 and I Shall Be Released, alongside some of Dylan’s less well-known works, such as To Be Alone With You and It’s Not Dark Yet.

The lineup neatly side-stepped the notorious “Judas” moment at the Manchester Free Trade Hall by including both electric and electric-acoustic guitars, and gave the performance a great roundness of sound, making it a sort of musical equivalent of a Jack Kerouac novel.

The band had that unmistakable folky sound, with guitars that sparkle and shine to the extent of sounding almost, but not quite, too sharp. In the finale, Dave Pegg managed to turn a gentle reggae beat into a hornpipe, but if special mention should go to anyone then it must be to Leicester’s own P. J. Wright, who gave a rich and varied guitar show of a kind not often heard outside of a major stadium.

- Frank Chester
This review appeared in the Newark Advertiser.
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REVIEW: And all in one evening...

…with Sally Barker, Vicki Genfan, Dave Pegg and Anthony John Clarke

Sally Barker’s voice ‘made Sir Tom Jones cry’. So what? At school, my voice made the music master cry. However, that’s where the similarity ends. When we saw Sally on Monday Night 15th September, I had to agree with Jones the voice, her singing was beautiful in the September Festival at St Ives Theatre but, first, special guest of the evening, Vicki Genfan.

To say Vicki plays guitar is to say USIA Bolt runs ... true but a massive understatement. Vicki was voted ‘Guitar Player’ magazine’s ‘Guitar Superstar’ in 2008 playing her own composition, ‘Atomic Reshuffle’ which she played for us. Wow! When she was signing my CD, I counted her fingers: she has just the ten, so I don’t know how she does it. As we arrived, Vicki, with her attractively tuned guitar, was introducing her arrangement of ‘Norwegian Wood’ which displayed so many things you can do with an instrument that there might have been three or four people on stage. She gets tunes, chords and percussion from the one guitar and all complimenting the rich timbre of her voice.

Ms Genfan has easy going audience rapport between songs that moved effortlessly from the explosive power of ‘Atomic Reshuffle’ to the bluesy, evening Jazz of ‘Blow out that Flame’. She shared a wacky rapport with Sally Barker when performing John Denver’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ before Vicki left the stage as Glen Hughes (keyboards) and Ian Crabtree (guitar) joined Ms Barker, her voice and her guitar.

Sally Barker has done her time as a talented and productive singer songwriter and as a member of all­woman folk group, The Poozies. On Monday she displayed a wider range and a richer palette moving from the folky exuberance of ‘Maid in England’ to the soulful Jazz of ‘Elephants’ and the audience participation of ‘Favourite Dish’, running right into the BeeGees’ ‘To Love Somebody’. Ms Barker was excellent value with an eclectic performance that perfectly showcased her considerable talents. But we had to move on to...

... The Western Hotel, where Dave Pegg and Anthony John Clarke were about to resume their sparkling double act. Dave Pegg is becoming a bit of a fixture in St Ives (Fairport Convention, The Dylan Project and now this) and we like that a lot. He’s a true gentleman and decades at the top of his game have not turned his head. He also adds musical depth to any performance. Anthony John Clarke displays caustic wit and delivery honed in the harshness of Belfast during the troubles. He’s also a talented musician and songwriter but no clown. The intelligent wit in his performance offers sharp insight to our own idiosyncrasies and idiocies.

It isn’t just the stand­up that’s funny; Clarke has a talent for investing his songs with gentle wit, ‘Tuesday Night is always Karaoke’, but also, when he’s a mind, to be a true poet, as in ‘The Broken Years’, his poignant recollection of sadder times and ‘Gloria’. Much of his work is “bitter sweet”, the sweet and humorous softening the bitter: think Billy Connelly without shouting and with the reverence of Father Ted – I’ll look out for Sister Mary Joseph Ferguson when I’m next on the Emerald Isle!

So much happening and so little space to record it all: Dave and Anthony’s ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ closed another magical evening at St Ives September Festival.

- John Hancock
This review appeared in the St Ives Times & Echo
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Go Sober for October

Go Sober
Peggy writes: "My partner Ellen and I have joined the Go Sober for October campaign to raise funds for the MacMillan Cancer Trust. This organisation does so much good work and the idea of getting friends to sponsor you to help their fundraising is such a good one. Can you please help us?

It will not be an easy month and shares in brewery funds may fall significantly on the stock market!

gosober@macmillan.org.uk is the address if you wish to sponsor us.

Thanks so much, Peggy."
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A message from Dave Pegg

Peggy (Dylan Project bassist) here, sending you a big 'thankyou' to everyone who attended our recent concerts.

Due to our other musical activities, we don’t get the chance to play that often as The Dylan Project. We do it for the 'craic’ really, and therefore the size of the venue and financial viability of shows is to some extent less important than us wanting to be in your neck of the woods to play stuff to you. On our recent outing we had some super gigs in venues that we hadn’t played before - Upper Poppleton Village hall being a great example.

Due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. the venue in York forgetting that they had booked us) I thought that we would have to treat last December 1st as a day off in York. Between you and me, Ellen my partner and I were quite looking forward to doing some Christmas shopping at our favourite deli, the Hairy Fig, and enjoying some of York's finest hostelries. However, this was not to be. This was thanks to the amazing organisational prowess of one John Watterson(aka Fake Thackray) who found an alternative venue in the shape of Upper Poppleton village hall and sold all the tickets within 24 hours. Let joy be unconfined!. We had such a great audience that we instantly demanded a return gig for 2014 which John went on to sell out within 24 hours - so he added a second night which he also sold out in 24 hours! The Dylan Project is big in Upper Poppleton, and now we are going to have to tolerate John and his dear wife Carol's amazing hospitality next December 11th and 12th.

So, as the band's unofficial (and as yet) unpaid agent, this has inspired me to come up with some more gigs around December time. Gerry our drummer and myself were playing with Fairport Convention at last years St Ives festival, a fab event which luckily Alan the organiser has invited the Dylan Project to play at on Saturday September 13th. I will also be appearing at the St Ives Western Hotel with my good chum and wonderful singer/songwriter Anthony John Clarke on September 15th, so do get down to Cornwall all you Bobcats.

My thanks to Rob Beattie who runs our website (and is a fine bassist too) and to Mark Harper our tour manager/soundman for all his help and to my fellow band chums for being so good. It’s a joy for me to be up there “under the mast” - long may it continue.

Anyway, pop over to the GIGS page to find out what we have planned for this year. Tickets may not be on sale for a while but please make diary notes .

Cheers and a very happy new year from me and a dry martini! (One? Ed)

Peggy
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Komedia, Brighton, November 2013

I love seeing the Dylan Project because you always get a little bit more than you thought you were in for. It might be a Bob classic you just haven't heard for a long time. It might be something off one of those 80's albums you've never got round to buying. Shortly before this gig I found a newspaper cutting I'd taken from the Birmingham Mail in 1979, about Steve Gibbons opening The Girls' and Boys' Exhibition for the Boys Brigade. I took it to the show and after another great set, I approached the stage and presented it to Mr Gibbons. He said he remembered it well and loved working with Norman Wisdom that day and playing the Bugle for the boys.

So you go and see the Dylan Project and end up chatting to the legendary Steve Gibbons about Norman Wisdom and playing the bugle. Like I said. You always get a bit more than you bargained for. As well as an evening of good humour and top-notch music.

Till the next time.
- Toby Goodyer
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Hebden Bridge - November 2013

Last week I travelled to Hebden Bridge from Blackpool with my wife to see the Dylan Project, and went on to witness one of the best concerts I've ever seen. The venue - the Trades Club - is situated down a dead end side road, and initially I was not impressed by its outside appearance; the (hard) rain falling only added to the gloomy atmosphere. Inside though it was another story.

A wooden staircase took us down a narrow passage which led to the stage area the size of a tiny village hall where the 100-plus audience were crammed close together. Never seen Steve Gibbons before so didn't know what to expect from the show, but what followed was a performance i will never forget. Most of his numbers were from the 60s, - Colours to the Mast and Sweetheart Like You were typical of the set - but his voice sounded just like a young Bob, and if I closed my eyes I could imagine Dylan himself performing. Steve's version of Not Dark Yet was sung with a deeper growl in tune with Bob's ageing vocals, and other highlights were a wonderfully sorrowful version of Dark Eyes and a rousing Like a Rolling Stone, which finished off a memorable evening.

I must urge you to see this band if you get the chance. Dave Pegg and the rest of the band were outstanding.Take your partners too, This is the band to see for someone who loves Dylan songs more than the man himself. Looking forward to seeing the great man himself in Blackpool shortly.

- Ian Close, Blackpool
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New gig in Market Harborough!

The Dylan Project is delighted to add another gig to the Winter Tour. We'll be at the Harborough Theatre on December 13th. It's a vibrant space with a great tradition and we're really looking forward to the gig. The booking line is 01858 446662 and the website is at Mad Hatter Concerts. Hope to see you there!
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Colchester Arts Centre - "...massiveā€¦"

I came and saw you guys at Colchester Arts Centre a few weeks back now and wanted to just let you know how much I enjoyed it. I'm only 23 but a mammoth Bob Dylan fan and seen him many times; and also seen Jethro Tull many times, and seeing Dave live was a massive thing for me, so thank you.

If you are ever within travelling distance again however I will definitely be coming to see you. My friend and I both thought you gave an amazing portrayal of some great songs; and I personally also loved that you did some very good and very important songs that are close to my heart that maybe some other fans or people coming to see you may never have even heard before and certainly that some other performers wouldn't have thought of doing.

As I said before I hope you come within travelling distance to me again and I look forward to seeing you many more times.

Tom Thornton-Jones
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Musical highlight of the year

Hi,

Just wanted to let you know how amazing you were tonight. Such a rich sound, definitely the musical highlight of the year for me.

As soon as I got home I had to play Ninety Miles an Hour Down a Dead End Street from Down in the Groove. Not the most cheerful of songs but I have always loved it and am sure it would sound great with Peggy and PJ singing the bass part. Just a suggestion but I would love to hear you performing it.

See you next Wednesday at the Mill!

- Laura Pountney

The Dylans
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