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  • Chris Farlie

My Darling Clementine - West Hampstead Arts Centre

It was to be our first visit to the West Hampstead Arts Centre - a slighly strange venue in that the bar is upstairs, where the walls are filled with various gold, platinum and silver disks and where the merchandise will later be sold, while downstairs is a venue the could give tinned salmon packers some tips in how to squeeze people in, with every available space taken. Everyone is seated in this compact venue for what will prove to be a very entertaining night. It is rare that we dip into a UK tour twice and even less often that we touch bases three times with an act, however such has been the enjoyment each time with My Darling Clementine that it seemed churlish to turn down the promise of an additional band member and the odd Christmas tune or two.

Tonights show is the winding down of a tour the has criss crossed the UK and Europe in a year that has also seen the release of Michael Weston King's exceptional solo album "The Struggle", Tonight MDC will be joined by guitarist Preben Raunsbjerg, who took to the stage a good few minutes before his bandmates looking to all intents and purposes as if he was about to deliver a solo set of his own. He cut an imposing figure standing impossibly tall with hair as long as his beard and his beard is best described as fulsome! Preben changed the dynamic from the previous shows that we'd seen, his presence meant that the pressure was no longer on Michael to generate all of the guitar sound, while his guitar flourishes and and solos would make some songs become much mo