Review: My Darling Clementine, The Maze, by Peter Palmer
Country music can be many things, but few performers bring such fun to the doleful ballad as Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, the husband and wife who together form My Darling Clementine.
Duets are their speciality. Gram Parsons, of country rock fame, and Emmylou Harris were their primary inspiration, but they also pay tribute to other great duos like June and Johnny, Dolly and Porter.
No mean thespians, the Birmingham-based couple sniped at each other like Shakespeare's Beatrice and Benedict, between vibrantly charting romantic relationships in song.
Having produced the set list from a red handbag, Lou exchanged her flower posy for a cool tambourine. Michael did the energetic guitar work, superbly backed by Alan Cook's pedal steel and Martin Cox's double bass.
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There were moments – as in the brand new song There's No Heart In This Heartache – when they seemed close to sending up the whole genre. Only to draw furtive tears with an intensely sincere I'll Be There For You, after the magic of Lou's solo Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream.
Dynamic songstress Danni Nicholls, sounding rather like Caitlin Rose in a deeper register, opened the gig.