Reviews 2022

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

The Lost Trades

Woody* 13 May 2022

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Hi, Woody here at long last to give you my first review since March 2020. I’m not going to dwell on why I have not been around lately, but suffice it to say I am absolutely ecstatic to be back with you.

The Lost Trades – what a great name and what a great band. Speaking to Jamie after the gig he said that the three members, in no particular order; Jamie R Hawkins; Phil Cooper and Tamsin Quin have all been in the business for many years (Now here I would have to dispute “Many” as they don’t look old enough) – but none the less have known each other for a long time. They got together after Jamie and Phil had separately accompanied Tamsin for some of her gigs and having later got together – probably in the pub – decided to have a go at forming a band. Regrettably, this was shortly before the first Covid lockdown, so gigging became a no go, but it did give them time to record some material which later became singles and their album The Bird, The Book, and The Barrel much if not all of which they performed for us tonight.

In all seriousness it is difficult to know where to start when trying to describe the evening, so perhaps chronologically would fit the bill. When given one job to do – that is introducing the band - our illustrious compere Chris Irving can somehow manage to make one small slip that can change the whole evening if not a band’s career. Hence The Lost Trades became what I thought was announced as The Lost Tones but everyone else heard as The Lost Toads. After much laughter and without him realising at first what he had done Chris tried again and got it right. It is to the credit of the band that they thought this was hilarious and referred to themselves as The Lost Toads throughout the evening.

I have found it difficult I have to admit to know which of their skills to mention first. Should it be that they all have excellent singing voices which they have skilfully blended together to produce the most haunting harmonies? They are to my mind unique, but I do want to agree with a previous reviewer who likened their sound to that of Crosby, Stills and Nash. I am a great fan of CS&N and would not attribute this compliment lightly. When the set began I started to list who was playing which instrument, but soon gave up as throughout they evening each of them seemed to play all the instruments at one time or another. A Gibson acoustic, a Rickenbacker Bass, plus an electric acoustic without a sound hole, which I thought produced a nylon string sound, cajon and a conga drum all seemed to be passed around. These were not all – a small glockenspiel and various shaken percussive items, an electronic pedal which produced a glorious bass drum sound and a tin box which gave a sound I can’t describe so you will just have to listen to the appropriate track and form your own opinion. I admired the precision with which they passed these instruments around between them without getting into any kind jumble.

Enough. I have written half a book already without even mentioning the sets themselves.

All the songs Lost Trades performed were as far as I can tell and with the exception of the closing song of the first set original material – written each of the band prior to forming or together since. As a consequence the majority of the songs can be found on their album or as singles. They kicked off with One Voice a gentle song which introduced us to the conga drum and some glorious guitar harmonics. Although not intended One Voice could describe their sound, three individual voices which blend together to produce One. Road Of Solid Gold about giving way to the urge to travel along a long but golden road featured Peter Knight on fiddle on the album, and although we did not have the pleasure of his presence this evening it did not detract from the beauty of the song. Distance Brings Us Together is a lockdown song with Jamie on guitar. My favourite track of this half Robots came next. Some lovely effects and a wonderful quirky ending. I have been to Hope Cove but will never see it the same way again; a beautiful song from Tamsin. Your Winning Days treated us to more beautiful harmonies. Keep My Feet Dry is a brand new song which is yet to be recorded, but Don’t Look Back. As I said above the first set drew to a close with the band coming off the stage to give us a beautiful accaplela rendering of Down To The River performed on the O’Brother… soundtrack by Alison Krauss. Here the band were joined by the audience who did their best to compete with the harmonies. And there was more to come in the second half. Jamie took the lead for Kingdom Falls, followed by Tamsin’s song Wherever You Are which is not regrettably on the album. Good Old Days is a happy go lucky song about having to grow up while Oaks by contrast is a ukulele only song. Hummingbird their first single, has a lovely three part accaplela opening and a gorgeous piece of glockenspiel part way through. Their latest single Daffodils featuring Jamie on ukulele – demonstrating that it is possible to play one with more than just a straight strum. The penultimate song of the set Silent Noise of the Mind – was about dreams and featured Phil playing guitar in one of his “peculiar” (by which I assume means “open”) tunings. The Groom Of The Stools was to finish the evening; a funny and clever song about one of The Lost Trades which gave the band the inspiration for their name. Except of course it wasn’t the last song because as was inadvertently given away by Tamsin, the band had anticipated the enraptured audience were not going to let them go without an encore, another song from the album Wait For My Boat.

And so ended a superb evening from The Lost Trades and I am sure that I am not the only person in the audience who will be looking forward to a return visit in the near future.

But I cannot close the review without mentioning the excellent support/opening to the evening by Bryn Phillips who sang for us his own songs; I Feel So Sad, Purple Ronnie, Blackpatch Park, Damascus and the wonderful Silver And Gold. A truly magnificent opening to the evening.

So, once again, this is me, Woody, signing off for this time. And as usual;

A wonderful night was had by all, here’s to the next one.

* Notes taken by Les Jones, who also typed up the review, but the views expressed are
those of Woody, the club mascot.