Wednesday, 10 April 2013

GREN BARTLEY & JULIA DISNEY

Live Review

Newhampton Folk Club 

Julia Disney was back on home turf as she accompanied her equally talented husband musician Gren Bartley for the concert in the upper room of the Newhampton Pub which hosts the Newhampton folk club.

They opened with Wayward Stars, a soft, melodic ballad which straight away showed Gren's talent for words and guitar playing with Julia providing the backing on keyboard.
Julia Disney on keyboard
She showed more of her versatility providing the vocal harmonies for Gren on Kings and Queens which was a more upbeat song.
Classically trained Julia then moved on to her first instrument, the fiddle, for a couple of numbers one of which was a country & western song and then a track inspired by a chain gang, My Time Is Nearly Over where Gren used his guitar to great effect with Julia providing the accents to fill the number out.
He then pulled out Between the Lines which is about suicide and yet had a surprisingly upbeat sound and although the message was serious it wasn't solemn and again the two worked wonderfully together with Gren's smooth voice and Julia providing an underpinning of an almost classical violin sound.
In contrast, they followed up with a love song Washed in Grey which was a gentle ballad with Julia back on the keyboard.
The Leamington Spa singer then went pretty much solo for another ballad Waters Run Dry where once again he showed just how good he is using the guitar to add another voice to the song which was highlighted gracefully by Julia on backing vocals.
Brick brought politics into the proceedings with a song about The Royal Bank of Scotland. With the clever words it sounded like something Jake Thackray would have written and even more so with its playful oompah-style, carnival show beat.
Gren Bartley
Welcome to My Home was another C&W offering with Julia, using pizzicato on her fiddle, to accent the song perfectly. Gren was then left on his own for his version of the great Joni Mitchell's Last Time I Saw Richard which seemed to bring out more than a hint of Andy Irvine in his voice.
This was followed by a slightly more upbeat song about people who have the ability to change your life and once again displayed how easily they work in harmony before moving on to Elmo which was an upbeat  bluegrass sound that was marked wonderfully by Julia's rasping sound on the fiddle
Towards the end of the set they played Winter Fires, from the album of the same name, about being cold in Manchester with Gren using the harmonica for the intro and Julia providing the subtle harmonies for the country sounding song.
They finished with the mis-titled Sun is on the Yardarm which was a soft ballad with Gren showing just how good he is when it comes to guitar picking.
Both these musicians are excellent in their own right but together they make up a duo which could go far in the folk world and are easily on a par with Roberts and Lakeman or Gilmore and Roberts.
For more information visit www.fellside.com