Concert Review – Katriona Roberts and Jamie Gilmore
Katriona Roberts and Jamie Gilmore – Lichfield Guildhall – December 21st 2013
Reviwed by: Ben Macnair with photographs by Dave Jones
A fast rising folk duo played a set of intricate, inventive music when they appeared at Lichfield Guildhall.
The duo of mandolinist, violinist and singer Katriona Roberts and virtuoso guitarist and singer Jamie Gilmore played songs from their well-received albums, as well as more traditional folk songs. Combining innovative guitar, some of which was played over the lap, a number of different tunings, well placed sampling and looping pedals, pitch perfect vocals, and strident fiddle and dextrous mandolin the pair packed a lot of music into their two hour set.
The first song ‘The Stealing Arm’ looked at an unusual subject, that of an amputated arm that steals, whilst ‘Silverscreen’ was a love song dedicated to a satnav. These songs were not of the usual boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and any number of variations. ‘The Bookseller’s story’ was a eulogy to a passed time, whilst ‘Louis was a boxer’ looked at the damage that the sport can cause. A fast paced reel ‘Salmon left for Dead’ was a showcase for the duo’s musical talent.
During the second half, more traditional music was played, with ‘The False Knight’ being an early highlight. ‘Letters’ looked at the hope bought by the written word, whilst Bluegrass fervour featured in the instrumental set of ‘Tennessee Green’.
The final song ‘Scarecrow’ took the traditional figure of the Scarecrow and turned it into something sinister, before becoming the instrumental ‘Isaac’s Farwell’.
The encore was a complete surprise, with a stately, melodically pleasing rendition of Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’ which showed both the range and vision of this pair of talented musicians.
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