Live review: Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting, and Nancy Kerr
Support: Charlie McKeon
Date: Wednesday 8th June 2016
Venue: The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
Reviewer: Alan O’Hare – Liverpooletc
The legendary folk singer and guitarist, Martin Simpson, is midway through an anecdote to introduce the ballad ‘Ruben’ and a busy-enough-for-a-Wednesday-
The murder ballads are losing their meaning the more of them there are and the anecdotes before each tune grow as stilted as the stifling heat rising in the atmosphere. Nancy Kerr’ stinging tale of bees, Coke and dark honey (the brilliant ‘Dark Honey’) livens up the proceedings and, indeed, it’s Kerr who’s emerging as the star of the show, with shades of Eliza Carthy and the promise of, at any moment, going her own way and offering an edge.
Following an interval, a shocking idea on such a warm evening to half a house, the gig ebbs and flows, but loses its grip. We’re listening, but the tunes aren’t going in any more. They’re not connecting and the talented trio know it. Consequently, Simpson’s pre-song vignettes get more caustic and cynical and it could be argued that he’s now preaching to the converted. Perhaps. Or perhaps the room was just ill chosen, as the music is brimful of brilliance and blue notes, while never leaving the stage completely.
Folk music is supposed to hover, and not soar, but it needs to leave the ground occasionally, too..
Live review: Simpson, Cutting and Kerr @ The Epstein 08/06/16
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