Hindmarsh Hotel .
Port Road, Adelaide . 3-9-99
: Guitar /vocals.
Norma Waterson: Vocals/ triangle.
Eliza Carthy :Violin /vocals
Saul Rose: Accordion/melodeon/vocals.
Even worse, Ian did not bother to bring his camera, because seeing the band photo on the flyer, he reckoned that there wasn't much to capture. Wrong again. Although Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson won't see 50 again, the sheer stage presence of them both and Norma in particular - made this a session to treasure both audio wise and visually . We are kicking ourselves we did not bring the camera, but we do have photos of the next night, which you can see if you visit the Eliza Carthy pages on this website. .
As usual the good old Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide was the venue . The back room of the Gov is an ideal place to see acts. Seating around 300 , decorated with photos of past acts ( and one or two that would be nice to see there ) its generally well ventilated, has appreciative audiences and great acoustics. Before the main act the accapella quartet Jillilla gave us a nice set of songs that ranged from the excellent to the good. Worth a listen, but the poor girls sold nary a Cd all night, even though their leader hung around for a couple of hours after their set. With competition such as the Carthy’s , it was no contest in the CD stakes. They won hands down.
The band took to the stage at around 9:45 and for the next 118 minutes ,proceeded to charm the pants off us with their brand of unique English folk. The fact is , this line-up has made a great difference to Waterson Carthy. I've heard almost every permutation of performers in their history, but to my mind this is one of the best and its mostly down to the addition of the young folks in the shape of Eliza and Saul.
Not that the oldies are past it !. Far from it, Martin was in fine fettle and Norma was out of this world, in terms of both her vocal delivery and her stage demeanour, but the addition of violin and accordion to the line-up and the interplay between these two instruments as they weave their way around Norma's vocals and Martin's guitar is something to be heard and heard as frequently as possible. In particular , the fine jamming that was a feature of many of the songs led my friend Ian to declare that “ as of now, there's no better music on the planet ” and if this seems an overstatement, then its one that I can subscribe to without any problems at all. I can't for the life of me think of anyone in this genre that does it better.
Highlights were just too many to mention, almost everything really, but Jerry Garcia's
Black Muddy River was particularly good, as were The Herring Song , When first I Came to Caledonia, Raggle Taggle Gypsies , Martin's vocal on New Mown Hay and We Poor Labouring Men . After a great version of Midnight on the Water - probably my favourite song of the night - it was all over apart from Eliza advertising her solo show at Big Star the next night ( Norma announced that she and Martin were going to bed early with a cup of Milo , but she was proved wrong the next night .. she might have got an early night , but Martin was at Eliza's gig ) and then the encore of Sleep on beloved , which , being Deadheads and String Band followers , we thought was absolutely great , as both bands have played versions, although under different titles . The applause was long and loud, but we knew that was the last song. A fabulous way to finish a wonderful night of music by some big hearted people . If they are near you, go see them !
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