The Over Hulton Folk Club faithful were treated to a double bill of quality yet different styles of folk.
First up was Steven Turner accompanying his strong vocals on concertina. His setlist covered a wide variety of topics with tales from the workhouse, the Appalachians, Cruel Mothers , forlorn lovers and children’s ballads. He performed as his colleagues ( Winter Wilson)for the evening said with charm and eloquence , telling stories in a unique manner. His whole setlist with his fascinating anecdotes and introductions followed the old BBC mantra to educate, entertain and inform.
His songs were full of social issues relevant to the day, none more so than When Ladies Go Thieving, the tale of the middle class female shoplifter who escaped with a mild reprimand whilst a lower class man was deported for stealing bread to feed his starving family. One rule for one etc… a rule that feels like nothing has changed since this 19th century tale occurred.
His performance had a brief interlude when he gave us a couple of instrumental jigs on banjo. Despite the jibes that we would have to suffer two banjo appearances these lively jigs were very entertaining.
He completed the main set with songs which highlighted the research folk artists complete to find material. His song Little Fishy which had the same lyrics as the theme tune to the popular drama series When The Boat Comes In but with a completely different tune and his song Babylon Has Fallen about slave abolition showed the same dedication. There was one song earlier in the evening which had 69 versions!! His imaginative song about going on a training run with the Bronte sisters proved all folk music of his style is not necessarily mournfully dull. His encore of the Everly Brothers’ Let It Be Me ended an encapsulating set.
It only seems like yesterday, despite the long lay off from live music and cancelled festivals we have all had to suffer, that I was watching Kit Winter and Dave Wilson accompany Fairport Convention on the Cropredy stage to sing a Sandy Denny’s It’ll Take A Long Long time to celebrate FC’s 50th year.
Here they were to thrill us with over an hour of their brand of country folk, individually they are accomplished vocalists but together they are stunning.
Black Crow opened the set reminding us that the absence of music has a darker side to it and was followed by the more bluesy Far Out On The Horizon. A song very personal to them, Angry Mother, tells the tale of Kit’s mother, who took time to adjust to her daughter’s (Kit) new partner (Dave) but thankfully the gap was bridged.
The second appearance of the banjo was introduced with a couple of amusing banjo jokes (banjokes..a new word!!) and Dave gave the audience a slight reprimand for clapping, laughing and cheering when he told them your not supposed to enjoy yourself, you’re at a folk club!
Indeed, folk songs have had their too serious side in the past and most folk songs do have morose, grim tales to tell but during the evening winter Wilson overcame that with accomplished performances. Again reflecting that times haven’t changed their song Storm Around Tumbledown about the Falkland War reflected opinions during WW1.
David’s tribute to writer Jack London, I’d rather Be Ashes Than Dust, about the dangers of an active, high life and the song Ghost again showed perceptive views of personal issues and clear philosophy of life. The set finished with a good ole ‘yee-ha’ song and showed their admiration of the Man In Black with a song reminiscent of Folsom Prison Blues.
The night ended appropriately with No Song To Sing Anymore completing a superb evening of top quality artists at the top of their game. We had superb instrumentation from Steve and Dave, wonderful self penned songs and arrangements of traditional songs but when Kit sang her voice rivalled any world class soul/blues singer you can name.
Their are many more wonderful evenings not to be missed in the pipeline at Over Hulton Folk Club on the first Wednesday of every month. You can get tickets for forthcoming shows at Over Hulton, here. September sees Geoff Lakeman (father of Seth) take to the stage; Reg Meuross follows in October with Edwina Hayes appearing in November. Bandersnatch round out the year in December.
With another Edgworth Folk Festival planned for the autumn (info here) and other folk events at The Barlow (info here) the the future for folk enthusiasts in the North-West is looking rosy for the rest of the year.
Categories: Live Reviews