Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moonlit Fingertips Folk night

The Syd Arthur crew seem to be behind this - a monthly folk/acoustic night at Canterbury's Orange Street Music Venue.

As far as I know, this (12/02/09) was the first one. It started with SA's Liam doing four songs with Raven accompanying on mandolin (including "The Berber Mountain Song" and a new one). Good stuff - and you could hear Liam's words and guitar technique much more clearly than during an electric SA set.

Next it was "Lord Sydney and Colonel Acland", from Hackney, two members of a band called Morviscous. They played some fairly free acoustic guitar duets, amelioriated by some triggered loops/samples. I was quite impressed by their ultra-relaxed approach to performing and inability to take themselves too seriously. At one point, in the middle of a delicate piece that had been written for a friend's wedding, the voice of Mark E. Smith rose up, incongruously, over the PA, reading football results (I recognised this from here, something I blogged about a few years ago).

The main slot went to Brighton's virtuousic guitarist Lee Westwood, most of his set being accompanied by flautist Phillipe Barnes. Lee's mastered fingerstyle folk guitar, as well as seemingly having a grounding in classical playing. They did mostly his own compositions (including two parts of his elaborate "Nymph Suite") as well as some folkie stuff, including "The Blackthorn Stick". I couldn't fault the music, and they seemed like really nice people, but for whatever reason (my mood probably - looking at these reviews, I think it must have been) it didn't really do anything for me - almost too polished - sort of went through me. But everyone else present seemed to be enraptured, so it was certainly worth their trip down from Brighton.

Looking forward to more of these nights...


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