Ten years in the making from their earliest open mic slots and debut EP release, contemporary folk acoustic duo, Katrina Gilmore and Jamie Roberts have produced a live album that exudes magic.
Phenomenal as a partnership they have earned three BBC Folk Award nominations (the last one for Best Duo this year) and with four albums behind them the pair have recorded what to me is the best live cd of the year.
Stripped back arrangements, the rich resonance of Roberts' percussive guitar, the wonderful feelings that Gilmore's fiddle evokes and the crystal clear vocals from the pair transport you, the listener, to their gig. You are sitting there in the front row, tapping your feet, singing along to "Selfish Man" a story of how being driven in your aims and taking risks effects you loved ones rather than you. You sing your part as indeed the audience do.
You remember the last time you saw the pair, you recall the between song banter, the introductions that are missing here, the ghostly "Fleetwood Fair" there was no Fleetwood Fair.
And whether your favourites are Gilmore's "Doctor James" a tale of a man with a secret, or Robert's "The Stealing Arm" it's musical drama of the highest quality.
Empathy engages in "She Doesn't Like Silence" "They used to call her confident and strong / Now a little knock makes everything feel wrong" it makes us consider if we are all damaged goods perhaps and if we were would we admit it?
"Oh Cecilia" offers a solution "Oh think of this as friendly fire / Oh to live you have to walk the wire" both tracks from their latest studio album "Conflict Tourism".
And by the time the encore arrives, it's time to leave.
Leave the chores, leave the washing, the cleaning, those "must do" little jobs, leave the chair, lean forward and press "repeat". This is one gig that only ends when you want it to, the best kind. As close to an " I was there" moment as you'll ever have.
If you're familiar with Gilmore & Roberts then "In Our History Live" will be a must have addition to your collection, it's the ultimate reminder of a perfect night. Alternatively if you are not familiar with their music then there is not a better place to start.
|Conor Caldwell & Danny Diamond: North||Michael Baker: Dust & Bone|
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