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Night of Music at FortyFive Vinyl Café-York Saturday 4th November 2023

Situated at the bottom of Micklegate in York is FortyFive Vinyl Café, an independent café bar and record store that was established in 2017. The café was developed 'to fuse good music, good food and good coffee with a welcoming relaxed atmosphere right in the heart of York' . They offer delicious signature coffee and famous grilled cheese sandwiches as well as a range of other beverages including Yorkshire tea, hot chocolate, non alcoholic beer as well as alcoholic beverages from beer, cider, wine, spirits and cocktails. They have a small but delicious menu which has a range of meat and vegan options which you can enjoy surrounded by a range of records and art that are available to purchase.

The café is a small and intimate venue which is beautifully decorated with some great posters of music gigs from the past and fairy lights on the stage creating a great back drop for musicians to showcase their talents. There is a lovely ambience and fantastic acoustics creating a cosy and fun atmosphere. They 'host regular live music nights from upcoming and more established artists from across the county'. Tonight's artists were Joel Gardner, Harrison Rimmer and Lewis Ross-Robson.

Harrison Rimmer, a good friend of ours notified us that he would be playing at FortyFive Vinyl Café as part of Joel Gardner's Winter tour as his special guest. After researching the music night we decided to listen to some tracks of Joel and also Lewis on Spotify and we instantly liked their music. Already being a Harrison fan and knowing that we liked both Lewis and Joel's music we purchased advanced tickets for £8 to attend FortyFive Vinyl Café for a night of live music. Tickets could also be purchased on the door for £10. When we arrived we bought a bottle of Erdinger Low Alcohol 0.5% Beer (£3.80) and a bottle of diet coke (£1.75) and settled down, ready for the music to begin at 8pm.

We spoke to all three artists and asked them some questions about themselves and their music. We recorded small snippets of the artists music on the night to create videos to give you a taste of their music.

Lewis Ross-Robson - He started the evening with a calm and mellow vibe the room was quiet and relaxed listening to his harmonius voice and great acoustic guitar skills.

How long have you been a musician? Other than playing drums in the school band in primary, I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 15, so that’s over 8 years ago now.

Who are your music influences? When I first started writing music I listened to a lot Indie music like Oasis and Arctic Monkeys, but now I’m older I’m influenced a lot more by folk music. Adrianne Lenker from Big Thief has been a huge influence on me these past few years. I’ve also taken a lot of inspiration from Stephen Fretwell who’s best known for writing the Gavin and Stacey theme tune. What instruments do you play? Just guitar really. I can come up with a few nice things on piano but I wouldn’t say I play it.

How would you describe your music? I’d like to say folk music but it’s acoustic pop really. I think the fact that I sing in my accent might make it slightly more distinctive than other artists within the genre, but it’s not reinventing the wheel so to speak.

What albums/ singles have you released? I have an early EP from 2019 on SoundCloud called I Bicker I Mend. And this year (2023) I’ve released 3 singles that are all available on Spotify.

What's your favourite song you have released and why. Can you tell us a little bit about it? I think my song Black Again is my favourite. I released it in January and I think lyrically it’s my best so far. I think sometimes when I’m writing I stray from the original subject matter a bit, but with Black Again I managed to write about the same experience throughout the whole song, which is an achievement for me.

What's your favourite colour and why? I’d have to say blue, especially a navy blue, I spend most of my life in that colour in all honesty, a bit like someone’s Dad.

Do you play computer games? If so what game is your favourite and why? I’m not gonna lie I’m a FIFA boy, which a lot of people find boring. When I was younger I’d spend hours a day playing career mode on there.

Who is your favourite wrestler and why? Not a wrestling fan if I’m honest. My housemate likes to wrestle me. Does he count?

Who is your favourite superhero and why? Spider-Man’s story is pretty cool. Although I did feel bad for him when his uncle got killed.

What do you do in your spare time to relax? I spend a lot of time playing guitar, whether that’s trying to write or just playing about while I’m relaxing. I’m a york city fan so I’m often listening to podcasts about them or reading about them, although that’s more frustrating than relaxing. Upcoming gigs: Wine and Wallop in Manchester on the 9th of December is my next gig.

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Harrison Rimmer - he was next on stage. Harrison performed a variety of songs which had more of a rock feel with fast strumming patterns on his acoustic guitar. We were lucky thats Dave who accompanys Harrison playing the cajon drum was available to make the night and add to a great performance.

How long have you been a musician? I started playing music at 14 years & my first show when I was 15.

Who are your music influences? Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Marvin Gaye, Frank Turner, Elvis Presley & Nickelback.

What instruments do you play? I play Guitar, Drums, Bass & Sing.

How would you describe your music? A large musical wall with random bits of graffiti on it.

What albums/ singles have you released? I’ve released 1 album, 5 Eps & 8 singles.

What's your favourite song you have released and why. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Hmm at the moment it’s “The South”. Mainly because that song combines all my musical loves of Punk, Rock & Rockabilly. Plus it’s just so much fun to play.

What's your favourite colour and why? Currently…Blue. I don’t Know why I Just think of the sea when I see it.

Do you play computer games? If so what game is your favourite and why? I play the odd one but my all time favourite game is Pokémon Red OR WWE Smackdown Here Comes The Pain.

Who is your favourite wrestler and why? Undertaker, need I say anymore the guys a genius when it comes to how he presents himself both in & out of the ring.

Who is your favourite superhero and why? Iron Man.

What do you do in your spare time to relax? When I’m not gigging I like to go out running/gym mainly to help with my mental & physical health. Also love researching historical events & people, always love a road trip too. Ooo also when I can love painting (a big influence on my painting is Rothko) & of course nerding out over things like LPs, cameras, Pokémon & all that nostalgic stuff. Upcoming gigs: I’m currently on tour in Germany but my UK shows look like this:

23rd November. 24th November in Bristol

25th November Worcester

15th December: Common Kitchen Blackpool

22nd December: Jolly Sailor, Cawood

23rd December: The Bootleg, Blackpool

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We also asked Dave a few questions;

How did you and Harrison meet and how did you become musically involved? He supported my old ska band a few times so I came to watch him do an acoustic set at the snickleway, halfway through his set his drummer had to go leave to play another gig and he saw me and announced over the mic that I played cajon, new his songs and would take over. I got up and he promptly launched into a George Michael cover without telling me. I haven't looked back since.

Do you play computer games? If so what game is your favourite and why? The mass effect trilogy is the best game series because of the depth of characters and story.

Do you play computer games? If so what game is your favourite and why? The best wrestler is drew mcintyre because he has a sword and does a ton of work for men's mental health.

What do you do in your spare time to relax? Music is what I do to relax

Joel Gardner -the headlining act! Joel continued the entertainment with a mix of fast, high energy paced tunes aswell as some slow tempo tunes. He kept the crowd entertained with great back stories about the lyrics to his songs. He finished off a great night of music.

How long have you been a musician?

I’ve been playing guitar since I was 8. I used to cycle round my estate and hum ideas for songs long before I could sing or play guitar. I was in bands through my teenage years and became a singer songwriter when my band split up! I think this is my 7th year as a solo act

Who are your music influences? I’m influenced by all sorts. I grew up on rock and metal, then discovered some more folky styles which is more coherent with the music I currently make. I’m massively influenced by guitar virtuosos like Andy McKee and John Gomm, but my songwriting has come a long way, so it’s that sort of style embedding within contemporary style songs.

What instruments do you play? I play guitar and sing. I can play a little bit of most instruments but only really the guitar to a high standard.

How would you describe your music? Flamboyant acoustic guitar orientated groove rock with a heavy folk influence - always tricky.

What albums/ singles have you released? I’ve released a few EPs and most recently two singles, Still Not The Same - which did really well on Tik Tok, and God & Star Signs which is a song centred around themes of dementia.

What's your favourite song you have released and why. Can you tell us a little bit about it? I think the best song I’ve put out is God & Star Signs, but Still Not The Same and More To Life stick out too. More To Life is one of the more honest and relatable songs that a lot of people catch on to. It’s just about getting over a breakup / event. It’s about the precise moment when you realise you can move forward.

What's your favourite colour and why? I like deep rich colours usually. Mainly because they’re flattering on a person of a paler complexion who spends all his time indoors (me).

Do you play computer games? If so what game is your favourite and why? I used to, but I have a really addictive personality with that sort of thing. I’d find myself up til crazy o’clock trying to complete a mission or take Macclesfield Town to the Premier League or something, so I had to stop and I haven’t really gamed since. Occasionally with friends but never alone.

What do you do in your spare time to relax? I try and be as active as I can be! I’m a decent tennis player, so I play a lot of that. Also just standard things like going on walks and chilling out with friends.

Upcoming gigs: I’ve got my biggest ever gig in December in my hometown where I’m headlining a 400 cap room. It’s insanely big for me at this stage of my career, but we intend to have a good run at selling it out.

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What a fantastic night of music we had! We will definately be keeping ourselves updated with all of the musicicans gigs and we will certainly attend future gigs in York!. We recommend FortyFive Vinyl cafe for a small and intimate night of live music or a quick afternoon drink and bite to eat.

FortyFive Vinyl Café Links

Since we attended this event, it has been announced that the FortyFive Vinyl Cafe have new management. A statement has been made that 'The new managers Ian and Rebecca plan to continue to build the foundations and pinciples Dan and Dom have created, developing new ideas and intiatives and keeping some things exactly the same as they are'. We wiss Dan and Dom good luck in their new ventures and we will look forward to seeing what FortyFive Vinyl Cafe have to offer in the future.


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