Monday, May 19, 2014

Live Music 2014 - Martin and Eliza Carthy

These are my thoughts on Saturday evening just gone, spent at The Cheese & Grain in Frome. I have long liked traditional folk music. Although that is no secret it was often one not mentioned in public, more kept to a circle of like-minded friends and family.
The support act was Amelia Orgill and The Teazle Folk Ensemble and my attempts at photography got off to a curious start.

I had no prior knowledge. I suspect they may not have seen themselves in a psychedelic light.

This was entirely down to a lack of forethought on my part although, looking on the bright side, less of a disaster than a flat battery. I had forgotten to reset my camera after using it outside in brilliant sunshine earlier in the day. It was nothing that, with a little thought and a pint of Milk Street Brewery '15' (it's just had a birthday!) on hand, I couldn't quickly overcome. Here is Amelia Orgill and The Teazle Folk Ensemble in the real world and indeed an unusual case of two bands that include father and daughter on the same bill.

I can't even start to imagine how terrifying this must have been. To open for one of the heroes of the first folk revival would be hard enough; add a heroine of the second and it is uncharted territory. I could hide, largely unseen, behind my camera whilst they could not and I was very aware of that. 
There is little that I can say about the Carthys other to say that it was a object lesson in traditional folk. The stories about the songs and where, by and from whom, they were collected might prove tedious to some --- too many tales of violent bailiffs, starvation and mining disasters.  
A certain northern sense of humour might help. They have it, and it is humbling.
Martin Carthy was born in St. Albans, which is not notably northern, in 1941.

 Eliza spent many years in Scotland. I think she said fourteen and it matters, as it so happens.

She sat out the occasional song, leaving her Dad alone on guitar and vocals.
The LP that much, but certainly not all by any means, of this set came from is 'The Moral of The Elephant'. That song is a warning that judging anything, based on just a part of the whole, is likely to be flawed.

This is another album, released 2 June 2014, that I feel is likely to make the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards list in 2015 and neither Martin or Eliza Carthy would be strangers to that.

This is a very interesting, yet concise, guide to the thinking behind the album.

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