Reviews 2011

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Chris While & Julie Matthews

Pete Brown 4 February 2011

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What a night! The room was packed and hot, luckily the beer was cool. As soon as Ian dimmed the lights an expectant hush descended on the gathered throngs. This was our special night to celebrate forty years as one of the West Midlands top Folk and Acoustic Clubs. Before the Main Act though we were treated to a superb mini set from Billy and Lozz – they were really fired up and set the scene and got us all in the mood for Chris and Julie.

Julie reminded us that it was sixteen years ago when they were last at the club! However, as soon as they started singing the years fell away and we were absorbed into the intimacy of their very special music. Not only do they write exceptional songs, but all their songs have a story, which was told, often with humour which enhanced our enjoyment.

They started with ‘On my Way’ followed by ‘Welcome to your Life’ and then the Southport inspired song about geese ‘The Coldest Winds Do Blow’, such a beautiful song and on their latest Album - Hitting the Ground Running. It was a tremendous first set and included Rock of Gelt and ending with the two songs that were so stirring – ‘Hope Springs’, inspired by their 37 year old friend who died from cancer, a brand new song and for me the best song of the night and, finally, Darkside Wood inspired by their trip to Australia.

The break lasted for half an hour ample time for everyone to buy CDs and get more drinks and then it was (after the raffle) the second half. Once again the lights dimmed and we were Together Alone singing along to the first song and title track of their 2008 CD.

The whole set was absorbing with so many different styles and songs that all too soon it was their last song, ‘Blind Faith’ but not before we had enjoyed ‘Somewhere I Walk Alone’ – a rumba with a tango bridge and ‘Now that Love is Gone’.

Yes! Of course we got an encore ‘Going Home’ with Julie on banjo.

All in all a wonderful evening!