Concert Review – Maddy Prior Lichfield Guildhall – 12th October 2012

Folk music legend Maddy Prior took her audience on a magical mystery tour of world music when her latest project performed at Lichfield’s Guildhall.

With accompaniment from singers and multi instrumentalists Giles Lewin on Violin, bagpipe and recorder,and Hannah James on Accordion, and clog dancing. The trio performed music from Ireland, England, the Borders, Bulgaria, and Canada in a set that also encompassed Chinese dance and song from two guest performers, and clog dancing.

They started with an acappella reading of ‘The Brisk young widow’ with its close harmony sound showing the perfect blend of the three voices, whilst ‘The Collier’ was a love song with a stronger beat. ‘The Black Leg Miner’ was a minor tonality narrative story, whilst ‘Daker’s gone to war’ explored similar territory. ‘Isabel’ and ‘Lock the Door in Lavistone’ were story songs that explored both love, and the dangers that the Border Reiver’s posed to farmers and families. A Bagpipe tune ‘Oh my Nanny’ explored a more melancholic mood, whilst ‘The Raiders’ closed the first half.

The second half saw the trio leave the country, and head for foreign climes. Russia was represented by ‘Naah de nah’ with its simple, but haunting refrain, whilst ‘An Underling World/The Plain Bolga’ were Bulgarian songs. The Appalachian genre provided ‘Factory Girl’ and ‘Wondrous Love’. The trio returned to these sceptred isles for ‘The Doffing Mistress, ‘The Servant Girl’s Holiday’ and the encore of ‘Of all the Birds’

Review by Ben Macnair

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