John Fairhurst + Heymoonshaker @ The Magic Garden

Last Sunday I was a bit gutted to be missing Secret Folk Club up in Manchester but then SOMETHING WONDERFUL HAPPENED!

One of our fellow guardians works for The Magic Garden in Battersea and he let us know about a sick ass gig they had that night.

The Magic Garden is a gorgeous place. It is the only venue in London that I had really wanted to go and visit. This is because of the absolutely banging line ups they seem to consistently have. Some of my favourite bands have played there since I moved to London and it took ages for me to make it over. I first visited in the early evening a few months back for some dinner (they make a killer scotch egg) and then discovered that they have a beautiful outdoor area. What an idiot. The place is called ‘The Magic Garden’ and it hadn’t even occurred to me it meant that there was probably a decent place to go for a cigarette.

This time John Fairhurst is playing. Coincidentally, I think he used to live with some of the Secret Folk Club lot up in Manchester. Even though it’s a school night we decide to mosey on down and see him and this other band that our group seem excited about, Heymoonshaker.

We get in and Heymoonshaker have just started their set.  Fucking incredible. I’ve listened to an album of theirs since and it just does not capture the absolute dirty blues magic that these two birth, build and then bastardise on stage.  It is deep primal blues woven together with beatboxing. It works so well. Watching them on stage fusing two juxtaposed art forms into something with such depth and energy you can understand why the chemistry between them is so strong. Building a sound with such potency must take a lot of effort, and a lot of knocking about together.

This should give you an idea:

John Fairhurst and his band were up next. Before they came on, Heymoonshaker (one of them, both of them?) said ‘We usually like to say we’re a blues band, but we don’t say that when we’re playing on the same bill as these guys…’. I was a bit confused by this, having just had my socks knocked off by them. They were on to something though as John Fairhurst and his band play big boy blues. Gravelly, pulsating and reeking of power.  At the end of their set they were joined by Heymoonshaker and we were all witness to a glorious love in/jam session between the lot of them.


This picture was taken by John Morgan – check him out here –

Best gig I have been to in a long time. You know when you’re watching a live act and you suddenly get this warm glowing feeling where the music reminds you that you are a spectator of something bigger than yourself? Something beautiful and terrible that can express things inside you that you had never been able to give words to. That this could be the first time and the last time that these sounds, these vibrations are made and you are there to experience them.

Watching those guys jam together made me feel incredibly lucky.


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