My interest in Mostly Autumn was inspired, I guess, by snippets I read in the Classic Rock Society magazine, Wondrous Stories. They were likened to a folky Pink Floyd and, having an interest in folk rock (with bands such as Wolfstone and Avalon - the Edinburgh based band), I wanted to find out more.
A friend in Edinburgh (thanks John) had the two CDs available and sent me a sampler tape to see if I liked the music. I did and the tape co-incided nicely with the short notice announcement that the band were to support Blackmore's Night on the brief (5 date) UK tour in May 2000. The first date was in York and I assume that the band were initially a 'local support' act. The reason I assume this is that the support dates were only announced on the 'net the day after the first date of the tour - York. York also happens to be where the band are based.
Anyway, I found out about the support slot the day before the London show. I'd known about the tour since the tickets had gone on sale but, having a copy of the first Blackmore's Night CD and having heard the second, I was in no rush to buy tickets. Finding out that Mostly Autumn were also on the bill spurred me into going along - they don't play many shows this far South!
The Blackmore show started late and Mostly Autumn were mostly still in York, an acoustic three-piece was not quite what I expected of an electric seven-piece band. Still I enjoyed the short set.
My next chance to see the band was a month later as part of the bill at the Horses Head Soup V festival (see left) hosted by a local bunch of reprobates, Jump. MA followed local evening openers Cadre and were all electric this time, all seven of the band making the journey for an enjoyable 45 minute set.
Barely six weeks later the band were even further south for another support set (very similar to the HHSV one) at the Whitchurch Festival in Hampshire. This time they were on a big stage and had a large and clear PA to blast out their vibes. They impressed the crowd and I was impressed enough to make a rather longer journey for my next experience of the band less than a fortnight later. Having heard tales of extremely long gigs on their home turf I felt a trip to York was in order. Unfortunately the 'home turf' I'd been told about is a small pub in the middle of the moors, not the extremely echoey De Grey Rooms in central York. A 90 minute set with 3 covers was rather a letdown after the two hundred plus mile drive north.
The next gig our paths crossed was again a support slot in London, this time with Jadis in the Astoria 2. The band seem to have little luck with these London supports as they arrived after we did so instead of a full band show we were lucky to get a 30 min acoustic performance.
Since then my I've seen them headline the same venue (though it has changed name to the Mean Fiddler now), once to record a DVD (late June 2001) and once in a joint headline show with Classic Rock Legends label mates Karnataka (my first gig of January 2002).
Four months on and I think I've just been to the best Mostly Autumn show yet, Southampton Brook on May 1st. Support was provided by John Young and both acts had a great reception with an audience there to listen to and appreciate the music rather than drink and talk through it. I missed the band last time they played the Brook but was informed that the crowd was larger this time. I guess this was due in part to having localish lad John supporting.
Almost six months on and another tour covered the country from Glasgow to the South coast where once again I caught the band at the Brook. No support act tonight (though Damian Wilson would have been the man had an early curfew curtailed plans) but the engorged crowd were here to see Mostly Autumn and showed their appreciation from the off.