Concert Review: Colvin Quarnby

Concert Review – Colvin Quarmby – Lichfield Guildhall – January 25th 2013

Reviewed by: Ben Macnair

The critically renowned folk rock band Colvin Quarmby returned to Lichfield Guildhall to play to their loyal local audience. The group, led by energetic singer songwriter Gerry Colvin on guitar and vocals and bass player Nick Quarmby also featured lead guitarist Allan Maslem, drummer, vocalist and percussionist Martin Fitzgibbon and the multi instrumentalist Marion Fleetwood on mandolin, fiddle and violin.


As well as folk music, the set also included elements of a more melodic rock orientated approach traces of blues and jazz, particularly in the evocative lead guitar parts.


The concert started with the Cajun flavoured ‘Alcohol and me’, before the stately, Pink Floyd like ‘A Broken man’ was played, featuring delicate drumming, and a slow ballad ambience. ‘The Poacher and the Highwayman’ was a classy folk song, featuring a haunting violin part, whilst ‘The God’s don’t work’ was a political protest song, examining religious fervour. ‘The house of the setting sun’ was a slow song, which looked at the stigma that is attached to certain groups within society, whilst set closer Our own personal not OK corral’ was a relationship song that used images from the Wild west.


The second half continued in a similar vein, with ‘The Ocean’, and ‘Giants’ looking at personal relationships, whilst the sing along ‘Dylan Thomas’s Pen’ was a mid paced folk song, full of lyrical and melodic invention. ‘Just a bone in a Dinosaur’ was a song of existential angst, that was married to a beat, mandolin part, and chord progression that sounded like REM during their commercial peak.

An encore of ‘Watching Feather’s Fall’ a slow ballad that featured touching five part harmony singing and delicate instrumental support was an ideal finish to this concert which had managed to pack pathos, humour, and high quality musicianship into one evening.

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