Sunday, 11 May 2014

GRANNY'S ATTIC

Live Review

Newhampton Folk Club

If the young Midlands folk trio of Lewis Wood, George Sansome and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, collectively known as Granny's Attic, are the future of British folk music then you can rest assured it's in good hands.

Granny's Attic
The three lads, who are essentially still in education, have a talent and maturity on stage way beyond their years and put on a refreshing, enthusiastic show which is infectious and full of verve.
With their first visit to the city they filled the small upper room of the Newhampton Inn, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, which hosts the Newhampton Folk Club with sounds that were both solidly traditional and yet injected with freshness and new life by their combined skills, limitless enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment at being on stage.
You get the feel that even though their average ages are around 18 they are seasoned performers with a really professional and slick act.
There was no messing about, they opened full blast with the fiddle, guitar and melodeon whacking out the Humours of Tulla a fast-paced jig which got the audience warming to them straight away.
This slid into a lovely, languishing version of Greensleeves with Brummie Kilcoyne on melodeon, Sansome on guitar and Wood coming in on the fiddle a little later, and a little out of sync to start with but he picked it up and it didn't spoil any of the proceedings.
The luxurious sound then gave way to a fuller and quicker jig which they then cranked up even more adding a third part of a hoe down-style which was a real foot tapper.
You could tell from the first few tunes they started off on the top notch and then just kept moving upwards.
Without even drawing breath they ran straight into a set of jigs with a Celtic theme that produced a full and rich sound with every instrument weaving in and out to create a wonderfully traditional sound which was bursting with new life.
Kilcoyne got a chance to shine opening Silver Spear and then Wood brought in his other instrument the mandolin for another traditional tune which was full verve.
This gave way to a sea shanty made famous in recent times by The Fisherman's Friends, Bully in the Alley. It gave the trio a chance to show they can sing and produce decent harmonies as well as blow the place apart with their instruments.
From left, Lewis Wood, George Sansome
and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne
The Hills was a much slower but no less intricate tune that built slowly and saw versatile Kilcoyne do yet another switch between the array of melodeons and squeezeboxes he had brought with him.
From their EP Mind The Gap they once again showed just how well they combine their skills with Lucy's Compass/Rambling Tom before finishing the first half of their set with the well known Star of the County Down.
Their voices are good but a little rough at times however, with a group as young as this it's pretty much taken as read that they will smooth out any problems with time.
Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl, a dyed-in-the-wool English song was performed with real gusto and with all the bawdiness you would expect from such a traditional tune.
They managed to produce a traditional night of folk music and yet every song and tune they knocked out including Arthur McBride and The Coal Owner & the Pitman's Wife was given new life, while their own tunes Shepherd's Brook/Weaving Your Way Home and The Royal Oak sounded like they had been around for ever.
The trio took a risk with All For Me Grog which has been made famous by the legendary Dubliners but it has to be said they did it proud and showed there are youngsters who are willing to pick up the torch and carry those traditional and well-known tunes into the future and even went for a second bite with Paddy on the Railroad another Dubliners' staple.
They went out as they had come in, with all cylinders firing and were called back for two encores and the audience, which had warmed to them from the very start, were reluctant to let them finish.
Granny's Attic are great fun to watch and listen to, their enthusiasm, youth and exuberance is so refreshing. The 2014 young folk award nominees have done what young folk singers should do, kept the traditional, injected the contemporary, given it new life while paying respects to the generations which have provided the path they are now treading, you can't ask more than that.
Their first full album Better Weather is available at all their gigs.