Steeleye Span – March 2013

Experience: 8/10

Venue: Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells

Date: Sunday 31st March 2013

This was the last concert in the tour, and while we enjoyed getting our regular Steeleye fix, I have to admit that the effects of the tour were showing tonight. Maddy’s voice was definitely husky, and there were some wobbles during the songs. Even so she produced some lovely stuff during Betsy Bell and Mary Grey, and the final part of Tam Lin was pretty good too. Julian was more involved this time round, and there was a treat at the end of the first half; they’re working on a new project based on the Wintersmith novels of Terry Pratchett, and they played four of the songs that will be released on the new CD later this year (November time).

The first half songs were:

The King – sound wasn’t properly balanced, which doesn’t help with a harmony number.

The Blacksmith – still adjusting the sound a little bit

Long Lankin – Julian on lead vocals, did a good job

Let Her Go Down

Creeping Jane – an early version of Quevega (won lots of races)

Songs from the current project:

I Shall Wear Midnight – Peter Knight number about Tiffany Aching not wanting to exist, very lovely

Band Of Teachers – by Pete Zorn, about the roaming bands of teachers in the books, very catchy

Crown of Ice – still in development according to Rick Kemp, though I couldn’t tell why

The Dark Morris – from the beginning of the first book, a dark tale with a strong rock arrangement. We were singing along before the end.

The new stuff really energised the concert for me; I like the old stuff of course, and can sing along with all the words, but it’s good to hear their creative juices are still flowing, music-wise at any rate. After the interval, the numbers were:

When I Was On Horseback – OK

The First House In Connaught, The Lady of the House – reels

Bachelors’ Hall – very funny intro by Rick Kemp about a chap who sang country songs, but only did the first line in an American accent. Talk about crossover!

Hard Times of Old England – a Sussex song, apparently. Great guitar intro  by Julian.

Betsy Bell and Mary Gray – fine

Ranzo – we clapped along

Cam Ye O’er Frae France – fine

Tam Lin – pretty good

Bonny Black Hare – a rousing finish. I also spotted that the second half began and ended on the fourteenth of May, quite a busy day (and hopefully a warmer one when it comes).

We gave them lots of applause, and they gave us All Around My Hat for the encore singalong. Two T-shirts and three CDs later we were on our way home. Roll on November.

© 2013 Sheila Evans at

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