I’ve been wanting to see Kate Rusby for a very long time but never quite got around to it. She’s been touring for 22 years so don’t ask me why. I felt lucky therefore to get the last 2 tickets for this show and even then nearly didn’t go!
I first heard ‘Drowned Lovers‘ on Andy Kershaws show some time in the late 90’s when her voice seemed so strikingly different that it stopped you in your tracks. She’s been ever present since with quality album after quality album and it’s hard to think now, that her voice ever sounded ‘strange’. It now just sounds…..right. This Christmas for instance, we had her Xmas LPs on repeat and apart from maybe Phil Spectre – it’s hard for me now to think of better ones.
What doesn’t come off on record so much, but shines out when she’s live, is just how funny she is. She talks candidly about trawling folk books for old lyrics to fit new tunes and Visa Versa “It tends to upset the Folk Police”. Tales of home life (“The kids loved ‘Awkward Annie’ and insisted we dance around the kitchen to it at breakfast. I bet the neighbours were going ‘they must think they’re great – dancing to their own music'”) how to cope with long hours in the tour van (“Right, it’s Craft hour”) and the odd playful dig at her hubby Damien O’Kane had us in stitches.
The music and that voice though…….just brilliant! The sound quality at the City Varieties was perfect – even on the back row of the top balcony – like being smothered in chocolate. A real pleasure to just sit back and enjoy musicians at the top of their game. Some old faves like ‘Cruel’ which we got to join in with and loads of new tunes from the latest release ‘Ghost’ – title track written for a figure in black that appears regularly in their music room “Sounds posh that doesn’t it, ‘Music Room’ – but its just where we keep the instruments – and the toy kitchen”.
My first live Kate Rusby experience, but it won’t be my last!
Bob the Chiropodist