Tom McRae joins Sweet Billy Pilgrim at Their Alexandra Residency

Live From The Lowlands
Tom McRae at The Alexandra last night

Tom McRae joined Sweet Billy Pilgrim‘s residency at The Alexandra last night.

Fresh from supporting The Futureheads at The Shepherd’s Bush Empire and a session on John Kennedy’s Xposure XFM show (both on Wednesday) Sweet Billy Pilgrim (and Tom McRae) played to a crowded Alexandra.

That’s two Mercury Prize nominated acts. For free. In a North London boozer. It was possibly the greatest musical line up since I bought a front row seat to see Guns N Roses supporting Aerosmith (only for the whole thing to be cancelled). Possibly. (well – what’s better? Take That and The Pet Shop Boys? Oh no).

“There’s something here – I don’t want to call it a scene. Perhaps it’s a community.” declared Tom McRae before the singer-songwriter wowed a noisy crowd with songs like Jet Engine Lullaby (which morphed into Simon and Garfunkel‘s The Only Living Man In New York) and (from his debut album) Boy With The Bubblegun. Impressive stuff – if you haven’t heard McRae’s records I recommend them highly.

Maybe it is a scene….?

As the lights collapsed around him (I’ve spent every penny I’ve earned from Spotify on these lights” he quipped) and he reminded us how good Paul McCartney is (“I’d like to remind everybody that he wrote Yesterday. What the f- did you do?!”) McRae played a blinding acoustic set including songs from new album From The Lowlands.

As for Sweet Billy Pilgrim? They looked delighted to have Tom McRae join the fun this week. There was a nice new version of Archaeology in their all-too-short set, whilst Blakefield Gold and Kracklite both got an airing and (as is becoming a tradition) the whole pub sang along to Blue Sky Falls. But then you knew that would happen, didn’t you…?

Live at The Alexandra 2012
Tim Elsenberg of Sweet Billy Pilgrim

Sweet Billy Pilgrim play Upstairs at The Garage, London on the 10th October 2012. Their residency at The Alexandra continues for two more weeks.

You can download a free track from the Crown and Treaty album Blakefield Gold from the Sweet Billy Pilgrim website

Tom McRae’s is on tour in France and the UK in October and November. For dates see his website.

Record #93: Tom McRae – Boy With The Bubblegun





One response to “Tom McRae joins Sweet Billy Pilgrim at Their Alexandra Residency”

  1. Avatar

    Wow! This sounds like a great time. I’m jelly.

    And he’s right about McCartney….he’s genius.


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