Concert Review – Chase Mist/Rosie Tunley

Concert Review – Chase Mist/Rosie Tunley – Wade Street Church Lichfield March 13th 2013

Reviewed by: Ben Macnair

A near capacity audience flocked to Lichfield Art’s latest folk concert, when the popular local ensemble Chase Mist appeared.

Support act, Rosie Tunley, known as twenty five percent of The Off-Beat played the opening slot, a set of largely her own material, fusing deft Keyboard playing with an appealing voice. Songs such as ‘Electric Mess’ ‘Running Backwards’ and the glacial ‘Lionheart’ showed talent that deserves a wider audience.

Chase Mist are a local five piece, made up of Tessa Tunley on vocals, flute, pecussion and guitar, Glenn Tunley on vocals, guitar, mandolin, and mandola, Robin Draper on bass and vocals, Catherine Gough on accordion,melodeon, whistles and percussion, and fiddle player Jemma Geoghan, whilst Rosie also joined her parents in the group during some of their performances.

The band started their set with a couple of songs ‘Blow the Candle Out’ and ‘A Thousand shades of Green’ with showed their pedigree both as musicians and writers, whilst a cover of Karine Polwart’s ‘Daisy’ was a well received ballad. They showed their musical abilities during ‘The Autumn Hornpipe’ and their cover of ‘My Heart’s where my home used to be’ was well sung by Robin Draper, and was a bitingly political song, the nature of which is now sadly absent from mainstream music and the radio.

‘The Mermaid of Senna’ was a close harmony song about a Mermaid beaching herself due to the beauty of the singing she heard, whilst ‘The Shaking of the Sheets’ was a sombre death ballad that was lifted by the Morris dance tune that formed the coda.

During the second half of the concert, the distinctive ideas of the group were much to the fore, with songs such as ‘The Northern Lights’ and ‘Lady Jane’ proving to be ensemble pieces, whilst ‘The Julius Slip Jigs’ featured accordion and fiddle to the fore, with strong backing. The group’s vocal harmonies were tested during Louise Petit’s ‘The Tree’ whilst Jemma Geoghan proved here vocal prowess during the traditional ‘The Blacksmith’. ‘I want my Rochdale Coconuts’ fused bass from the Jackson five to more traditional music to good effect, whilst the eerie, unnamed piece that finished the set was a brooding duet for flute and accordion, before more and more instruments were added to the mix.

An encore of Lindisfarne’s ‘Meet me on the Corner’ was another display of close harmony singing.

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