Woodman Folk Club - Reviews
|Bryn Phillips||2 July 2004|
The evening started off with a nice treat. The BICA
band gave us a rare extended set, which as always was well received. Bryn (that’s
me!) then came on and did a couple of numbers, before Pete Morton took the
stage. He started off with "Little Musgrave" – this is a song he’s
made his own -
a sort of antidote to Steeleye Span’s "Matty Groves". A good start – and then he was off. As the set got going he did a couple more favourites – "St George Slew The Dragon", a thought provoking song with a great hook line "St George slew the dragon ‘cause dragons don’t really exist", followed by "The Battle of Trafalgar" – a great song about …. no not the Battle of Trafalgar, but a pub called "The Battle of Trafalgar". Then a few songs I hadn’t heard before; "The Shores of Italy", "Constant Motion" and "Naseby Field". All of his self penned songs are fascinating, not only because of his sideways look at the world, but because of the lyrics; for example the anthropomorphic reference in the Shores of Italy – "Oh how the boat was creaking and longing for the shore" – clever stuff. But it’s not just the words – the performance is impressive as well; how he moves from a gentle flat pick to a flowing finger picking style to a bluesy rock stomp keeps the whole performance moving on nicely.
After the break we had "The Shepherd’s Song" followed by the "Gay Goshawk", an amazing traditional ballad, which according to the CD is almost 8 minutes long – but you don’t notice the length because the story’s so good. And then we we treated to "The Luckiest Man". This is a great song and one which other singers are going to pick up on "She’s my best friend she’s my companion, for me and the kids she does all she can …..". Then "The Two Brothers" followed by a song I’d been waiting for since his last visit "6 Billion Eccentrics". Then the song we’d all been waiting for - "Another Train" followed by the last song (well almost the last song) of the evening, "Listening to my Boots" another great number - where does he get them all from? The only problem is – with all these new songs, some of the old favourites had to be missed out (Last God of England, The Sloth and the Greed, Tamlyn, Water From The Houses of Our Fathers etc etc)– but then in 90 minutes or so, you can’t have everything.
And then the finale – the definitive version of "Farmer’s Boy" which got everyone singing the rousing chorus. A wonderful evening – Thanks, Pete.