Monday, 21 November 2016

Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band

Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band
Whitby Pavilion
Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band's Big Machine Tour produced one of the gig highlights of 2016 with a simply stunning performance at the Whitby Pavilion.

Support came from Marry Waterson (Eliza's cousin) and David A. Jaycock, who offered choice cuts from their new album, Two Wolves. The songs are unusual and demand further investigation. Fortunately, they were selling CDs in the foyer.
Eliza (whom I last saw as part of the Songs of Separation project back in September) and the band - 12 people in total - took to the stage and launched straight into Devil in the Woman, a very strong track from the forthcoming Big Machine album.
Unfortunately, the fast tempo was then brought to a halt when the amp for one of the guitars needed changing. Amp duly replaced, the performance continued with Fitter's Song, after which it was full steam ahead for the rest of the evening.
The range of instruments was extraordinary, moving from strings (stage left) to brass (stage right) with just about everything else in between. Eliza's magnetic stage presence held the main focus of attention but the musicianship was of the highest quality and it was fascinating to see how the 12 performers came together to create the big sound.

After several dark songs, such as Turpin Hero - 'a song about a scumbag and a chicken killer' and Good Morning, Mr Walker - 'a song about marrying an ugly woman for her money' we eventually got on to Gallant Hussar, a song in which nobody dies, acting 'like a sorbet to clean the palate.'

Meanwhile, other big-hitters from the forthcoming album included a reworking of Hug You Like a Mountain, The Sea and You Know Me, the latter being a positive reaction to the hysteria surrounding the refugee crisis.
Best of all was Fade and Fall (Love Not), which is their current single. This was saved almost until the end and was one of the absolute high points of the evening.

There are still one or two dates of the tour still to come. If you have the opportunity to see Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band in action then make sure you don't miss out. The experience is quite unlike any other.

Big Machine - a must-buy - will be available as a single CD and as a deluxe 2CD version from the usual places, including the ever-impressive Propermusic site, from 3 February 2017.

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