‘We have an Anchor’
On the 3rd of June I was part of a beautiful launch gig at London’s stunning Union Chapel.
Back in 2001 I had the pleasure of touring with folk greats: Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy and Kevin Mitchell on a tour entitled ‘Sharper than the thorn‘. It was a real blessing as I learned so much from these wonderful singers. The gigs themselves were fantastic, just 4 folk singers throwing back their heads and singing one ballad after another, but the best bit was touring from place to place in the car. As there were just 5 of us travelling; Norma, Martin, Kevin, Oli (our front of house and tour manager) and myself, we travelled in a people carrier. I sat in the middle of the back seat between Martin and Kevin and they sang song after song across me in the car all day with Norma chipping in from the passenger seat. It was folk singer GOLD.
Norma is turning 80 this year and with Martin and their daughter Eliza (a storming folk musician and singer in her own right) and the wonderful Gift Band, Norma was releasing her new album ‘Anchor’. Sadly Norma has been poorly of late and had to pull out of the gig but we did our best for her. We were also joined by wonderful musician and singer Cathy Jordan (frontwoman of Irish band Dervish). It was a really warm and lovely night. What I had forgotten about the Waterson/Carthy audience is that they LOVE singing and singers, so it was the loveliest atmosphere in the room – an emotional and fun filled evening. This is a link to what they said in ‘The Times’ **** review.
The album is a wonderful collection of songs, ranging from those written by Scotland’s Michael Marra, to Monty Python’s Eric Idle, Stephen Foster and Tom Waits. The arrangments overseen by Kate St. John and Neil MacColl are beautiful and that is also down to the other musicians: Martin Carthy, Phil Alexander, David Delarre and David ‘Demus’ Donnelly.
An album and night to remember. You can buy it now here on Topic Records.