Monday 14 November 2022

The Lottery Winners / Dan Selwood - Mrs Boon's Tea Party - Stockport Bask - 13th November 2022

Mrs Boon's Tea Parties were a Northern Quarter Mancunian institution in the 2000s with bands playing afternoon sets in venues in town accompanied by the sale of tea and cakes baked by Charlie Boon and DJ sets by her husband Clint, of Inspiral Carpets fame. They've been resurrected out of town at Stockport's newest venue Bask so we took our manbag with us and headed to catch sets by Lottery Winners and Dan Selwood and eat cake.

Bask is a perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon gig with light streaming in from most sides of the venue and the stage set against a brick back wall illuminated by a venue sign and Mrs Boon's advertising banners. Tea is free, there's a cake stall, a merch stall and of course the bar is open. There's a few kids running around who are impeccably behaved (not always the case at such events) but mainly it's an audience here to listen to music. And, unlike quite a few gigs we've been to recently, people do actually shut up and listen while the artists are on.

Dan Selwood opens the afternoon after a DJ set of Manchester classics from Clint Boon. Clint introduces himself and points out Dan is in a band with Clint's son. Any fears of nepotism, not that we had any having witnessed a full band show last year, are swiftly allayed as Dan runs through a very impressive six song set of his own original material that's impressive both in its structure and immediacy as well as in the way he delivers it with a strong powerful voice that holds the audience's attention. Highlights are Joy and his most recent single I Need This More Than You, but it's impressive throughout and hopefully has won him a lot more fans.

The Lottery Winners are past masters at playing an audience and Thom is a natural with the kids in the front row, making them feel involved, joking with them that they're the hardest front row audience he's had. Their detractors may point to his chat between songs but their growing army of fans and the roars of laughter as he co-opts an audience member into a song, looks for sympathy for not being able to eat cake because of his diet, makes constant reference to his injured knee and the fact they're playing the show as a favour to Clint who's been a huge supporter of them is proof that it's very much a minority opinion these days.

No band can exist on between song chat alone though and The Lottery Winners have over the past decade accumulated a set of songs that feel instantly recognisable even if you've never seen or heard them before, the audience member who'd never seen them before arming herself with merch at the end being a case in point. Little Things and Favourite Flavour open the set and while Thom's the front man, the harmonies that Katie and Rob add really lift these songs. As if to emphasise that, Caravan Of Love is delivered with each of the three taking their turns before Thom gets the rest of us to join in. 

Back to their own songs, they finish with four of their best-known tracks - Much Better, The Meaning Of Life, Start Again and an encore of 21. Perfect for the event, they're songs that make you feel better, lacking in pretense and encouraging audience participation rather than striving for cool points. The Bask audience absolutely adore them in the same way they've been charming audiences across the country.

The Lottery Winners' website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.

Dan Selwood is on Facebook and Twitter.


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