Steeleye Spans The Years!

Steeleye Span

Theatre Severn



It seems true that if you change a broom head and then the broom handle you still have the same broom. Well, operating under much the same maxim, no matter how many times Steeleye Span change their personnel, as they do often, they still produce that inimitable sound of what is now considered to be classic Folk Rock. Classic Steeleye Span.

Take the amazing drums and percussion of Liam Glenrockey, add Roger Carey’s meaty bass sound to provide the drive and the beautiful fiddle of Violeta Vitti to provide the mystique compounded by Maddy Prior’s beautiful vocals and you’ll find the Steeleye span written through it like a stick of Blackpool rock. Having had fifty years of presenting their own brand of Folk Music, Steeleye has moved into Folk royalty and their sound remains undated, exciting and still relevant.

The first half of the gig was an exploration of their album, Below The Salt. Although playing the tracks in the wrong order the almost packed theatre was treated to such classics as Spotted Cow, King Henry and Sheepcrook and Black Dog. The second half was a combination of newer songs and the old standards too like Gaudette and All Around my Hat.

The concert was lively and intensive it was a workout for the audience just listening; so for the musicians in such a gig it must feel incredible. If they weren’t fit before they were after, and Maddy Prior, looking all of Thirty-Five and actually being Seventy-Four had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand as she employed her great range to much success. To hear Maddy sing is a joy, she is one of the longest lasting voices of the Folk Scene and yet paradoxically, one of the freshest sounds. That is the key to the success of this group, that and incredible musicianship.

One could see from the silent language of the musicians to each other that they were enjoying the gig just as much as the large crowd of Shropshire Folk fans were doing too. The cleverest thing about The Span is that they can present songs many hundreds of years old and wrap them up into a modern fresh sound that cannot age. It cannot age. The instruments and tools of the rock trade are combined with the sweeter much more bucolic songs of yesterday and yet one defies anyone to claim that they do not sound fresh and new. The audience tonight would happily argue that one with you, as they certainly were an audience of Steeleye fans.

Still working extra hard to catch up with their Covid backlog Steeleye Span still have lots to do but isn’t it nice to return to a covered salad bowl and find the produce still fresh.? Well, the metaphorical lid was lifted on the metaphorical salad and the taste was just as crispy and as delicious as ever it was. Take that Covid! Take more than a virus to hold a strong force back, strong force is what this band is. When flying at full tilt the power and awesomeness of the electrical sound that make this band so recognisable, is simply breath-taking.

If seeing Steeleye Span is on your bucket list and you haven’t yet addressed that issue, one would argue that now is the time. See this band, catch that vibe and see for yourself that after fifty years a band can still sound just as good as it ever was!

This is a Four-Star Review

Owen J.Lewis



Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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