Live Reviews

Cobalt Tales – Over Hulton Folk Club: Live Review

Cobalt Tales once again show what a vibrant, entertaining duo they are at their return to Over Hulton Folk Club.

Cobalt Tales once again showed what a vibrant, entertaining duo they are at their return to Over Hulton Folk Club well deserving their position as headline act.  The calibre of their songwriting is second to none on the folk circuit. This  blended with the intricate bass runs and tuneful pipe playing from Nuala,  warm acoustic guitar sounds from Pat and of course the wide ranging vocal style and harmony made this a memorable evening.  

The musicality was matched by the ‘blather’ which included spontaneous informative and  amusing  anecdotes between each song. They instantly built  a warm relationship with the audience, which was somewhat meagre.  Although the sunny weather may have kept a few away I doubt whether the Pink concert a few miles up the road appealed to the usual Over Hulton Folk Club attendees who didn’t turn up. Whatever the reason they missed out on one of the best headline acts invited to play here and our now Sheffield based duo deserved a bigger audience. Nevertheless they entertained those present and took Pat and Nuala to their hearts with warm appreciation of every song.

A trio of songs inspired by their times living by the serene countryside  and amongst the people of Ullapool. These songs also displayed their musical versatility. Heather in My Heart, swingy and  rocky was inspired by  the idyllic fauna. The Teller showed that Pat can have a sweet vocal style too and in delightful harmony with Nuala was appropriate for this tale of how drink can get the better of us. This was followed by the  ballad Benchers which included some intricate bass playing from Nuala.

A boop boop boop boop be doop  rhythm song followed in Stand Tall  before Ancestors which had a late 60’s Laurel Canyon feel to it with its  dreamy melody especially with Nuala’s pipe playing and Pat’s warm resonant guitar.

The next song sung in acapela harmony about the Pendle Witches displayed a penchant for the theatrical and dramatic. As yet this remains unrecorded and should be a cert for their next recording.

One Small Voice completed the first set encouraging us to listen more carefully to people who can help us change the world for the better. A powerful song with a powerful message which had a wonderful balance between bass and guitar.

A little bit of country never did anyone any harm and the ballad Cheat began the second set. Fortunately with the mouth organ carefully in position and the right way up!!

Cobalt Tales regularly visited their excellent  latest album Ever Changing Blue; John Dee, The Buck Stops Here  were included too with a seafaring song about the Pirate Queen Granuaile closing the evening. 

The performance was not only full of a variety of styles but subject matter too. The song inspired by a painting  Piano and Cello , replicated  not only  the perfect harmonious relationship between these instruments  but between cobalt Tales too. If the opportunity had been there it would have great to dance along to the scatty upbeat  Cool Cat.

The warmth between Cobalt Tales and the audience encouraged them to ‘guinea pig’ the audience with a new song, Believe This, warning us to distinguish between truth and fabrication in the media. What isn’t fabricated  within this media is the joy and spirit Cobalt Tales create in their performance, which ended with their only cover of the night, Brown Eyed Girl,  in the encore.

Harry Unsworth was given his debut support opportunity. Despite nerves and a few sound problems he battled bravely and enthusiastically through his half hour spot with his own lyrical renditions  of  The Lord’s Prayer and other familiar tunes. He added a  healthy mix of  well known covers like Kinks‘  Dedicated Follower of Fashion  and  the less well known song by Ewan MacColl , Big Hewer. Ending with the traditional version of Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls to mark their 125th anniversary.

Over Hulton Folk Club takes a two month break for performance nights but  will resume in September with Tennessee Waltz, Geoff Lakeman and Ron Mutch following in October. Then it’s the much acclaimed  Chris While and Julie Matthews in November.

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