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My Darling Clementine at Birmingham Rep

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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They're 'Still Testifying' on UK tour
Americana duo My Darling Clementine continue to surprise and delight, leaving fans wondering in which direction they'll be going next.

My Darling Clementine, Michael Weston King, Lou Dalgleish, Still Testifying, Birmingham Rep, Americana, Country Music
(pic: Marco Bakker)


Husband and wife, Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, released classic country debut album, How Do You Plead?, in 2011. It was acclaimed in both the UK and USA and led to an American record deal and invitations to appear at the Americana Music Association in Nashville and SXSW in Austin, Texas.

How Do You Plead? was followed by the more soulful The Reconciliation?, featuring Richard Hawley's team, The Brodsky Quartet and iconic Texan Kinky Friedman, in 2013. Like their debut, it was critically acclaimed, with the New York Daily News choosing it as their album of the week.

My Darling Clementine, Michael Weston King, Lou Dalgleish, Still Testifying, Birmingham Rep, Americana, Country Music
(pic: Marco Bakker)


Two years later, My Darling Clementine pitched a real curveball as they teamed up with crime writer Mark Billingham for a story and song collaboration, The Other Half, which included an album, audiobook and a live show. The production was set in a rundown bar in downtown Memphis, with the story told through the eyes of former Vegas showgirl. The album featured guest appearances by the actor David Morrissey and singer-songwriter Graham Parker. The tour with Mark included an unforgettable performance at Birmingham Rep, a venue to which Michael and Lou return on October 17 to promote their latest album, Still Testifying. (Read Weekend Notes' review of The Other Half at Birmingham Rep here.)

This record, recorded in South London over the summer of 2016, signals another subtle change, with the duo embracing gospel and country soul, and utilising the glories of horns, strings and groove guitar. As one observer noted: ''This is more Delaney & Bonnie than George & Tammy''. What is not in doubt is that the duo's songwriting skills remain present and correct.

My Darling Clementine, Michael Weston King, Lou Dalgleish, Still Testifying, Birmingham Rep, Americana, Country Music
(pic: Marco Bakker)


Tracks like Since I Fell For You (where the sin of pride is redeemed by the love of a good man or woman) and Friday Night, Tulip Hotel (the tale of a doomed, on-going, secret liaison that, naturally, ends in tears) are fine examples of their classic country compositions.

One of the most talked about songs on The Reconciliation? was No Matter What Tammy Said (I Won't Stand By Him), Lou Dalgleish's rebuff to Tammy Wynette as she contradicted the queen of heartache by urging women everywhere NOT to stand by their man. On Still Testifying, Lou colludes with another country icon by assuming the position of Dolly Parton's protagonist "Jolene" (Jolene's Story) and we get to hear that she did, indeed, take Dolly's man.

Two Lane Texaco portrays the demise of small-town America, courtesy of the oil industry. And, in recounting the halcyon days of early broadcasting — the Shreveport radio tower and such iconic figures as Alan Freed and Wolfman Jack – the song also honours the sad end of a musical golden age.

My Darling Clementine, Michael Weston King, Lou Dalgleish, Still Testifying, Birmingham Rep, Americana, Country Music
(pic: Marco Bakker)


My Darling Clementine 2018 UK tour dates:

October 11: Hawth Theatre, Crawley;
October 13: The Music Room @ The Phil, Liverpool;
October 17: Birmingham Rep;
October 18: Night People, Manchester;
October 19: Musicport Festival, Whitby (with Mark Billingham);
October 20: The Ent Shed, Bedford;
October 31: St Pancras Old Church, London.


My Darling Clementine, Michael Weston King, Lou Dalgleish, Still Testifying, Birmingham Rep, Americana, Country Music
Venue: Birmingham Rep
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Why? British country music at its best
When: October 17, 2018 (Birmingham Rep)
Phone: 0121 236 4455
Where: Birmingham Rep and touring
Cost: From £15
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