Monday, 21 November 2016

more live music

This is a late post, and will be a brief one, as it being late I should like to go to bed soon.  We have just got back from seeing Blazin' Fiddles at the Colchester Arts Centre.  They didn't end their set until gone eleven, having expressed their regret midway through the second half that they had only just discovered that the arts centre had a curfew, and they finished in such a whirl of energy that it was easy to believe they were just warming up.  Looking at their touring schedule it was actually their fifth night in a row of performing, and they have at least another week before they get a break, on a mad route that takes them all over the country.

They are a Scottish band and have been going for ages although by now only one of them was in the original lineup, and they are famous if you are into folk music, otherwise you have almost certainly not come across them.  I'd only heard them on the radio but had a hunch they would be fun live, and they were.  There are four fiddlers, from Orkney, Shetland, Inverness and Nairn, or as the founder member put it, two Viking goddesses and two Highland trolls, plus a keyboard player and a multi-instrumentalist who is mainly tethered to her guitar.

They alternated between the fast and noisy and the slower and quieter in about the right ratio for a gig.  The wall of sound produced by four top notch traditional fiddle players going flat out and backed up by keyboard and guitar is impressive but could get samey over an entire evening, while you'd feel cheated if the whole concert had consisted of demure solos and duets.  I didn't think about it at the time but the Systems Administrator has pointed out that their fiddles were all fitted with wireless mics, which is how they could all walk around the stage without ending up with a muddle of cables like a maypole dance gone wrong.

It was my third live musical encounter inside a week, and provided an interesting contrast to the other two.  Last night, lieder in a consecrated church, tonight wild Highland music in a deconsecrated one.  It's good to support live music.

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