I always look forward to Pete Morton's performances. A few weekends ago I went to Southwell Festival where he was billed to perform, but instead of singing and playing, he was in the guise of his alter ego Geoffrey Chaucer Jnr as an MC. So, having missed him playing at Southwell I was doubly looking forward to seeing him tonight.
Of course, I wasn't disappointed, as I knew I wouldn't be. His powerful delivery, the amazing lyrics, and his infectious enthusiasm wins over the audience before the first song is over and the magic lasts for the rest of the evening. The first song was Lady Gorilla, an excellent start to the evening, which was followed by one of my favourite songs; "The Luckiest Man", with its infectious chorus which is up there with "Another Train" which he sung later. In fact as the evening progressed I realised that most of the songs were among my favourites; "The Shores of Italy", "The Shepherd Song", "The Post Office Queue" , "St George Slew The Dragon", "The Great Gold Sun", "The Two Brothers" and of course "Six Billion Eccentrics". But it was the new songs that I was really looking forward to hearing. The first was a talking blues "In The Days When Times Were Different", with some very clever lyrics and some oblique (and not so oblique) references to Dylan's early talking blues. He also gained everyone's admiration by remembering all of the lyrics (at least I think he did, but who can tell with a talking blues! Amongst the new songs were "Bigger Than Life", "Sock on the Line" and "India", where, he observed, "there's loads of time". Having heard them once, I want to hear them again, but unfortunately his new CD is not out for release until later in the year.
He ended the evening with one of the most unusual pieces I've heard. It was a rock 'n' roll medley sung in middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer Junior. It featured "Jailhouse Rock", "Peggy Sue", "Summertime Blues" and "Great Balls of Fire", but not as you know them. A brilliant end to a brilliant evening.
I realised after deciding to write this review that I've already reviewed Pete Morton,a couple of times before. So, rather than trying to come up with new words to describe one of the great talents on the British folk circuit, I found a review on Amazon for one of his CDs which really sums him up, so I'll quote that instead, with thanks to "Magic Granny".
"Pete Morton has the most incredible and unusual voice; strong, wide-ranging,and accurate. As for his wordsmithing - clever, funny, moving, thought-provoking - all of these and more - I want him to sing at my funeral!!"
Support artists (all stalwarts) were, in order of performance : Ian Munro, Velvet Green, Bryn Phillips and Dick Woodhouse.