Concert Review – The Paperboys – Lichfield Guildhall – November 5th 2017

Concert Review – The Paperboys – Lichfield Guildhall – November 5th 2017

Review and photos by Ben Macnair

Musical fireworks were delivered by The Paperboys when they made their debut performance at Lichfield Guildhall on November 5th.
Support for the evening came from the talented singer and guitarist Sarah Jane Scouten. The Canadian singer sang songs from her recent album, ‘When the Blossom falls from the Rose’ and gave a good account of herself.

The Vancouver based Paperboys are celebrating 25 years of music making. Their albums have won them a loyal following, and many awards, and their live shows, which mix elements of traditional Irish and Celtic music, with Mexican rhythms and sounds, as well as a slight tinge of funk, blues and rock mean that their performance are always more than sterile recitals.

The ensemble, led by singer, guitar and Jarana player Tom Landa, his wife Kalissa on fiddle and vocals, founding member Geoffrey Kelly on flutes and whistles, and a strong rhythm section of Sam Esecson on drums and bassist Brad Gillard played songs from their entire back catalogue, as well as including time for a couple of covers.
Songs such as the opening ‘The Baron’ was a flute and fiddle led instrumental, as was Primevera an inventive piece that blended the Mexican sounds and rhythms of Tom Landa’s Jarana with a lilting celtic melody. The group’s more modern sounds were to the fore during California, and the love song Better Than The Last, which wore its alternative Americana influences on its sleeve. A haunting, lyrical version of Sting’s Fragile also showed what a difference a new arrangement can make to an already familiar piece.

Sarah Jane Scouten joined The Paperboys for their encore of Neil Young’s Long May You Run, which showed just a fraction of the strength of music that Canada has produced over the years.

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