Awake Arise

Lady Maisery and Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith - St Georges

Sid and Jimmy are two young blokes who sing folk songs and play guitar and banjo. They take their folk and their activism seriously; while projecting an aura of fun and warmth from the stage. Lady Maisery are three of the leading young female folk performers; they sing mostly traditional harmony songs; with harp, banjo, fiddle, clog dancing and everything in between. Awake Arise is a second outing for their combined winter show. It was lovely last year in Christ Church Downend but in the intervening twelve months it has acquired layers of polish; drums and a double base; harmonies; a deep, produced, studio feel in a live concert hall. There are Yorkshire pub versions of Christmas Carols; an uplifting sacred harpish spiritual about lying dead in the old church yard; and an absolutely astonishing full-on Romany winter hymn. The songs are interlaid with prose readings: an older antecedent of the Holly and the Ivy is introduced with a text about the different kinds of winter berries that can be found in England; the Cornish Wassail begins with a frighteningly strong recipe for punch. The theater is packed to capacity (something which even the likes of Steeleye Span can't always pull off) and the band is visibly chuffed. They have already booked the venue for this time next year. Merry Christmas.

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