Steeleye Spans The Years!

Steeleye Span

Theatre Severn

23/May/22

 

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

 

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on www.ojlwritingservices.co.uk.

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