There can't be too many of English folk acts who could pack out Dublin's top roots/rock venue on a Tuesday night, but such are Waterson: Carthy - guitar god Martin Carthy, Mercury prize nominee Norma Waterson and "folkbabe" daughter Eliza. Eliza has a hell of a lot to live up to - not just the parents' reputation but a rainforest of drooling press profiles last year. Glad to say then that as a musician and singer she really is worth all the fuss. But what makes the Waterson: Carthy experience special is their musical and personal chemistry onstage that second-guesses weird timings, compensates for little mistakes, creates volleyball with the introductions and quite simply adds mightily to the sum of the parts.
They make English traditional music feel as sensual to the listener as its Celtic cousin. Material from Norma's solo album - including a truly beautiful reading of Ben Harper's "Pleasure And Pain" - mingled with older faves and new songs. Among these, "Rackabello" is a classic example of the sort of thing Martin Carthy has been peddling for decades but which now sounds wholly commercial. Top track of the night, though, was Eliza's ethereal "The Bonny Fisher Boy" - due on the June debut album from her and Saul's "other band", The King's Of Calicut. Is there no end to these people's versatility?
Colin HarperReuse content