Shaw Playhouse, Sunday 31st October.
It seems a little rude to spend most of an entry talking about the support act, but Jackie Oates has won the BBC Folk awards twice and is increasingly well known so she can perhaps share the attention for this entry at least. Mind you, it would be churlish not to mention the variety of her set, the effortless way in which she would switch from singing to fiddle, and the confident tone that she coaxes from her instrument. Such practised musicianship can pass easily pass unnoticed. It’s also worth noting, for the sake of those who like to check that this blog’s integrity is maintained, that her backing band contained an accordionist.
But what about Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell, her support act? I must admit, there was something about this duo that I took a dislike to when they first walked on. I don’t know what it was, maybe it was the fact that all the folk musicians look so young nowadays, but any doubts were quickly forgotten when they began to perform. There is a haunting quality about their harmonies, the steady pace to their songs which is really quite unusual. Even more unusually for a support act, they kept my attention all the way through their set. If I have one criticism of this pair it was the unvarying nature of the tempo and feel of the pieces, but then again, if all the songs must be similar, let them be this good.
I’m going to keep an eye out for this pair. I suggest you do, too.