"Saw you for the first time in South Petherton tonight. What a night. YOU BLEW US AWAY. did not expect that! Best night ever. Thank you xxxxxx." Kate, Yeovil
"First time I have come across you guys and very much enjoyed the concert. Will look out for you again when local to Wiltshire. Having seen Dylan four times, one for each decade from the 70's it was a pleasure to hear his songs presented with such quality.." Andy Slade
"You were all brilliant the other night at the Junction in Cambridge and what you brought to Bob Dylan's work last week was the best. His songs have always benefitted from good re-workings and you did them proud. Especially brilliant versions of Not Dark Yet and Man in the Long Black Coat and Ballad of a Thin Man." Brin Hughes
"Saw the band last night. Loved it. You were on top form. As I said to Dave Pegg, you are the only band in the world who could play "Sweetheart Like You" at that speed without me reaching for a sub-machine gun. You get away with it, somehow. And the rest was just brilliant." Neil Roberts
…with Sally Barker, Vicki Genfan, Dave Pegg and Anthony John Clarke
Sally Barker’s voice ‘made Sir Tom Jones cry’. So what? At school, my voice made the music master cry. However, that’s where the similarity ends. When we saw Sally on Monday Night 15th September, I had to agree with Jones the voice, her singing was beautiful in the September Festival at St Ives Theatre but, first, special guest of the evening, Vicki Genfan.
To say Vicki plays guitar is to say USIA Bolt runs … true but a massive understatement. Vicki was voted ‘Guitar Player’ magazine’s ‘Guitar Superstar’ in 2008 playing her own composition, ‘Atomic Reshuffle’ which she played for us. Wow! When she was signing my CD, I counted her fingers: she has just the ten, so I don’t know how she does it. As we arrived, Vicki, with her attractively tuned guitar, was introducing her arrangement of ‘Norwegian Wood’ which displayed so many things you can do with an instrument that there might have been three or four people on stage. She gets tunes, chords and percussion from the one guitar and all complimenting the rich timbre of her voice.
Ms Genfan has easy going audience rapport between songs that moved effortlessly from the explosive power of ‘Atomic Reshuffle’ to the bluesy, evening Jazz of ‘Blow out that Flame’. She shared a wacky rapport with Sally Barker when performing John Denver’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ before Vicki left the stage as Glen Hughes (keyboards) and Ian Crabtree (guitar) joined Ms Barker, her voice and her guitar.
Sally Barker has done her time as a talented and productive singer songwriter and as a member of allwoman folk group, The Poozies. On Monday she displayed a wider range and a richer palette moving from the folky exuberance of ‘Maid in England’ to the soulful Jazz of ‘Elephants’ and the audience participation of ‘Favourite Dish’, running right into the BeeGees’ ‘To Love Somebody’. Ms Barker was excellent value with an eclectic performance that perfectly showcased her considerable talents. But we had to move on to…
… The Western Hotel, where Dave Pegg and Anthony John Clarke were about to resume their sparkling double act. Dave Pegg is becoming a bit of a fixture in St Ives (Fairport Convention, The Dylan Project and now this) and we like that a lot. He’s a true gentleman and decades at the top of his game have not turned his head. He also adds musical depth to any performance. Anthony John Clarke displays caustic wit and delivery honed in the harshness of Belfast during the troubles. He’s also a talented musician and songwriter but no clown. The intelligent wit in his performance offers sharp insight to our own idiosyncrasies and idiocies.
It isn’t just the standup that’s funny; Clarke has a talent for investing his songs with gentle wit, ‘Tuesday Night is always Karaoke’, but also, when he’s a mind, to be a true poet, as in ‘The Broken Years’, his poignant recollection of sadder times and ‘Gloria’. Much of his work is “bitter sweet”, the sweet and humorous softening the bitter: think Billy Connelly without shouting and with the reverence of Father Ted – I’ll look out for Sister Mary Joseph Ferguson when I’m next on the Emerald Isle!
So much happening and so little space to record it all: Dave and Anthony’s ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ closed another magical evening at St Ives September Festival.
- John Hancock
This review appeared in the St Ives Times & Echo
Take five of Britain’s leading folk rock performers and not only give them a project but name them after a project, and you end up with the perfect recipe for an evening’s superb music.
The Dylan Project gave more than two hours of great music on Saturday, from the works of one of the 20th century’s leading songwriters, a man so inspired by the works of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas that he changed his name from Zimmerman.
The musicians – lead singer and guitarist Steve Gibbons, Fairport Convention members Dave Pegg on bass and Gerry Conway on drums, P. J. Wright on electric lead guitar and Phil Bond on Hammond organ and assorted keyboards – took their sellout audience at Lowdham Village Hall on a journey covering just about all the great man’s works.
The songs included classics such as Subterranean Homesick Blues, Highway 61 and I Shall Be Released, alongside some of Dylan’s less well-known works, such as To Be Alone With You and It’s Not Dark Yet.
The lineup neatly side-stepped the notorious “Judas” moment at the Manchester Free Trade Hall by including both electric and electric-acoustic guitars, and gave the performance a great roundness of sound, making it a sort of musical equivalent of a Jack Kerouac novel.
The band had that unmistakable folky sound, with guitars that sparkle and shine to the extent of sounding almost, but not quite, too sharp. In the finale, Dave Pegg managed to turn a gentle reggae beat into a hornpipe, but if special mention should go to anyone then it must be to Leicester’s own P. J. Wright, who gave a rich and varied guitar show of a kind not often heard outside of a major stadium.
- Frank Chester
This review first appeared in the Newark Advertiser.
Saw the show last night. Excellent performance by all concerned! Introduced my wife to Dylan music and she thoroughly enjoyed the range of songs. Great to be part of a small fortunate gathering who witnessed a truly professional set of musicians.
Thanks for making a great night!!
- Des Green
|20/11/2015||The Citadel, St Helens||01744 735436|
|27/11/2015||Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek||01538 385260|
|28/11/2015||The Mill Arts Centre,Banbury, Oxfordshire||01295 279002|
|29/11/2015||The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere||08445 040604|
|27/12/2015||The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham||0121 444 2081|
|18/12/2015||The Borderline, London||Buy tickets here|
|19/12/2015||The David Hall, South Petherton||01460 240340|
|20/12/2015||The Convent, Stroud, Gloucester||Buy tickets here|