Saturday, 3 May 2008

Culture 101 (1)

Lesson 1: a fun Steeleye Span concert last week in the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

You know you're getting old when you go to a Steeleye Span concert and come out grumbling that it was too loud, too 'rock' and not enough 'folk'. It was the old man's birthday pressie from me and I could understand him feeling that way, but me? Yes, I am now officially old, even in the presence of my dad.

The connoisseurs roll their eyes at it but I was glad when they pulled out All Around My Hat as an encore. There were some other great songs and a sublime all-round performance by Peter Knight the violinist (and mandolinist, and guitarist and keyboardist and vocalist...) but overall the verdict stands - past their best and out of balance. Still, they gave it their all, Maddy Prior's slightly lower and less flexible voice notwithstanding - she made up for it by dancing around unselfconsciously, which was almost enough to make the casual observer believe in the innocence of electric folk and folk in general! There are many great recordings around, and I look forward to borrowing them from some friends at Rock who are great fans.