I thoroughly enjoyed last night at the Malthouse. The guests, Alan Rose and Lynda Hardcastle, are frequent visitors to the Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club and usually give a song or two, and I was very much looking forward to see them as the guests doing a full evening.
Alan and Lynda have been singing together for more than 4 decades and they gave a spirited performance of songs that they have got to know and love over that time, including some that became ‘classics’ in the 1970’s and some that have been written in the last couple of years. So it was a lovely selection of songs presented with total delight and infectious enthusiasm to an audience who were loving it. If Alan and Lynda’s performance last night could have been transported back in time to when I first started getting interested in Folk Music, I would have regarded them as the genuine article – singers who had grown up with their music and song as a way of life and inspiring younger generations.
Songs by writers as diverse as Bob Pegg (Instructions to a Young Larkman), Sally Ironmonger (Foodbanks and Ferraris), Rudyard Kipling / Peter Bellamy (The Land), and Gilbert O’Sullivan (Nothing Rhymed) sat alongside more familiar songs (Daddy Fox, Sheep Crook and Black Dog, Threescore and Ten, and their encore – The Parting Glass). For some Alan and Lynda were accompanied by Den Miller on guitar and harmony vocals, and on “Dixie darling” they were joined by Pete Coe on banjo and Sue Coe stepdancing. Wonderful.
There was music from the pit band and plenty of songs from residents and floor singers –Annie Dearman and Steve Harrison, Tim Edwards, Sue Burgess, Chris Manners, Phil Cerny, and a short solo performance from Den Miller.
So thanks to all who came and sang or played, and those who made up the audience to sit and listen, but biggest thanks to Alan (in a very smart suit) and Lynda for a lovely evening.